YesSpecialist project brought together future young entrepreneurs and VET teachers to participate at the second international workshop on topics agriculture, tourism, creative industries from 4 to 6 October 2022 in Varaždin County (Croatia).
Representatives of partner regions from Norway (Vestland), Italy (Trento and Tuscany) and Denmark (Ringkøbing-Skjern) visited Varaždin County that hosted Second Workshop on topics agriculture, tourism, creative industries as part of the YesSpecialist project. Considering that young people and their teachers are key actors for promoting innovative entrepreneurial models, the delegation of each region consisted of professional teachers, young people with an entrepreneurial mindset from rural areas (e.g. young entrepreneurs, start-up entrepreneurs, young initiators/innovators, youth workers, those who are engaged in the development of their rural area, etc.) and representatives of the project partners.
During their stay, they had the opportunity to try and practice many new informal learning methods in order to create a new modern methodology that will later help them build local ecosystems promoting innovative entrepreneurship concepts.
They also visited the RezervArt Association (Croatian Association for the Promotion and Development of Intellectual and Artistic Creativity), a self-sustaining “hub” of the creative industry, where they got familiar with the concept and programs of the Association. There they were especially motivated by the works of the world-renowned sculptor from Varaždin, Nikola Vudrag, and the owner of the company “Lola Guitars” and “Drevo”, Lovro Vujanec.
High School “Arboretum Opeka” Marčan, declared a Regional Center of Competence in Agriculture, was a second stop. Thereby, they got acquainted with the future place of excellence in vocational education and training, which will significantly contribute to the needs of the economy and the labor market. They’ve managed to spent some also socializing with young future agro-entrepreneurs.
In addition to diligent students, the best promoters of successful entrepreneurial stories are also hard-working farmers, so a visit to a former student of the School, today the owner of the successful OPG Patrčević was organized. His company is founded for drying pumpkin seeds and producing premium pumpkin oil, awarded at numerous international exhibitions. On that occasion, Yesspecialists also tasted dishes made exclusively from pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil, what was a special experience as some of them heard about this food for the first time, and especially how beneficial it is for human health.
Participants were also introduced to activities of the Varaždin Technology Park, an entrepreneurial campus that gathers an ecosystem of innovative companies, providing them with modern infrastructure and access to a wide range of financing instruments and access to the global market. They were particularly interested in the Makerspace, a collaborative workshop space for rapid prototyping and production, whose goal is to enable the development and production of physical products in smaller numbers in a work environment that at the same time provides tools and knowledge.
Visitors also had an opportunity to learn more about the rich history of the Varaždin County, thanks to an expertly guided tour and going to the concert of the Varaždin Baroque Evenings, where the students of the Music School in Varaždin performed along with the Varaždin Chamber Orchestra.