ENpower Workshop goal was to gain understanding of Ukrainian context in regards to youth sector and cross sector cooperation for supporting young people. The information and expertise collected during the one-day event was then used in adapting the ENpower training toolkit, training course and mentorship program to local challenges regarding entrepreneurship education and youth employment.
ENpower workshop was organized in 16-17 June 2018, in Lviv, Ukraine, with relevant stakeholders from private sector, universities, youth and student organizations, and partners’ representatives. The 15 experts supported ENPower partners in understanding challenges that both young people and employers/entrepreneurs face on the labor market and in the opening and running local businesses.
We learned that when they want to open a business, young people from Ukraine face the following challenges:
- lack of valuable entrepreneurship formal or non-formal educational programs;
- lack of career counseling in schools;
- lack of the entrepreneurship initiative and entrepreneurship attitude (low levels of self-awareness, consciousness, autonomy, self-confidence, critical thinking and strategic thinking, creativity, risk taking, decision making were identified by the experts we interacted with);
- high bureaucracy and taxes for running businesses and unstable political and economic system;
- financial pressure that makes them to find a job as quickly as possible to support themselves and their families and give up any entrepreneurship initiative they might have;
- lack of mobility from one region of Ukraine to another, caused by cultural habits;
- lack of good and healthy business networks.
The participants to the workshop also provided valuable information on the challenges faced by young people when searching for a job or by employers and entrepreneurs when they want to hire young people for the vacant position they have. The ENpower project does not aim and cannot to solve and address all the challenges identified in the Ukrainian context. Most of the challenges are structural, culturally, politically or economically determined. The project, through the training and mentorship programs, aims at addressing challenges related to the young people’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes, but also some of the challenges related to the lack of proper entrepreneurships education programs or career counselling programs.
ENpower project – Bridges to ENpower. Cross-sectorial initiative to support the young people in their quest for ENtrepreneurship – is co-funded by European Commission, through Erasmus+ Programme (KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices -Capacity Building in the field of Youth), and implemented by Rehionalnyj Blahodijnyj Fond “Rezonans” (Resonance Foundation, Ukraine, lead organization), Fundatia Danis pentru Dezvoltare Manageriala (Fundatia Danis, Romania), Norsensus Mediaforum (Norsensus, Norway) and Fundacja Aktywnych Inicjatyw Rozwoju (FAIR, Poland).
Bridges to ENpower aims to improve the quality of youth work in Ukraine, in the field of entrepreneurship education for young people, and to foster cooperation and exchanges between youth organizations from Ukraine, Poland, Romania and Norway.