On March 2 2023, EARLALL organised the YESFestival! – the final conference to mark the end of the Youth Entrepreneurial Spirit (YES) Specialists project. It was coordinated by Vestland County Council (Norway) and co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. The project partners are the Tuscany Region (Italy), the Autonomous Province of Trento (Italy), Varaždin County (Croatia), Ringkøbing Skjern Municipality (Denmark), and the Principality of Asturias (Spain), as well as the European Association of Regions and Local Authorities for Lifelong Learning (EARLALL).
The YESFestival! was held in a hybrid event at the European Representation of Tyrol-South-Tyrol and Trentino, and welcomed over 40 people to learn about the project’s results that are aimed at creating local youth entrepreneurial ecosystems. The event was kicked off with a video keynote speech from David Pejić:
The address was followed by a keynote speech from Larry Moffett of JEUNE – the Young Entrepreneurs Organizations of the European Union. Mr Moffett highlighted the importance of trust and paying it forward as key components of entrepreneurship ecosystems. Moreover, he highlighted how important mentorship is to young people.
The project partners then presented the three intellectual outputs of the project: a repository of best practices of youth entrepreneurship in Europe; a toolkit and piloting handbook and a guide for setting up a local entrepreneurial ecosystem in Europe.
Participants then got to hear from the experience of the young participants involved in the project through a video created to share their views:
The event concluded with a roundtable on ‘creating and sustaining youth entrepreneurship in Europe’, welcoming:
- Marion Picot from CEJA – European Council of Young Farmers
- Virginie Losson, Coordinator of Young Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow
- Francesca Gnech, head of Youth Policy, the region of Trento
- Francesca Torlone, the University of Florence
The panellists discussed the key challenges and opportunities they faced creating youth entrepreneurship, including engaging the key actors in both formal and non-formal education; raising awareness of the pathways for entrepreneurship; ensuring mentorship and recognition of young peoples’ work and the changing demands of agricultural and rural settings for young people.
The conference was an opportunity to showcase the work of the young participants involved and offered an opportunity for project partners to showcase the work with their local ecosystems.