Sofia participates in an international project for the development of youth entrepreneurship

Sofia participates in an international project for the development of youth entrepreneurship

Sofia Municipality, together with Sofia Development Association is partner in the international project "Revealing the Potential of Young People for Business and Social Innovation in the Danube Region" (NewGenerationSkills), implemented under the Danube Transnational Cooperation Programme 2014-2020, funded by the European Union.

The project aims to improve innovation management measures and strengthen cooperation between key stakeholders in the Danube Region. In the process of implementation, the partners - local authorities, universities, innovation development centres, small and medium size enterprises and civil society organizations - will jointly explore, develop and test innovative strategies to stimulate youth entrepreneurship.

Leading project partner is Obuda district, Budapest (Hungary), and besides Sofia partners are the cities of Belgrade (Serbia), Maribor (Slovenia) and Graz (Austria), Cluj-Napoca Regional Development Association, University of Belgrade, Centre for Small and Medium Enterprises Development at the University of Budapest, as well as three non-governmental organizations from Slovenia, Austria and the Czech Republic.

The main activities are related to studying the experience of cities regarding policies and measures for education and employment of young people aged 15-29 in transition from education to the labour market. Poor entrepreneurial culture and lack of capacity to manage innovation are recognized as a key challenge in the Danube region.

As a result of the project implementation, a Local Innovation Advisory Group will be set up in each of the participating cities and will include representatives of the local business and the youth community, together with centres, agencies, associations supporting youth and / or innovations. A Strategy for Youth Development and a Local Action Plan will be developed to reflect the knowledge and experience gained from the transnational exchange of experience as well as the concrete actions for the successful implementation of innovative ideas.

A key outcome of the project implementation will be the establishment of "Innovation Lab", which will provide young people with access to the skills and competences necessary for their successful future fulfilment.

The total project budget is EUR 111 572, of which 85% are funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The remaining 15% is national co-financing provided by the national budget through the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works. The project duration 30 months.