The YESpecialists project

Regional and local actors in Europe have identified several common challenges regarding the departure of young people from rural areas, mostly due to youth unemployment rates and a lack of motivation. Furthermore, even if part of the young community would like to stay in the areas where they were born or indeed build a new future in a rural environment, they do not find any sustainable options for them. In this context, entrepreneurship becomes a key element to build an adversity-safe future for Europe and a tool to find alternative ways to deal with labour market challenges.

Funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union (KA2), the  Youth Entrepreneurial Spirit Specialists project ‑ YESpecialists – aims to build local ecosystems, gathering Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers, NGOs, businesses and municipalities in rural areas to support young people to build their initiatives. Involving young people in the rural community and helping them to find an active role in it is at the core of YESpecialists.

With that aim, the YESpecialists project introduces non-formal learning methods in formal education and includes entrepreneurship education into VET within subjects that traditionally have not dealt with it as a key topic, connecting them to the local reality. In this way, YESpecialists will strengthen entrepreneurial spirit and a local belonging sentiment for youth in rural areas.

The partnership

The project is led by by Vestland County Council and gathers experts from six European regions: Asturias, Tuscany, the Autonomous Province of Tento, Varaždin County Council, Ringkøbing-Skjern Kommune and the European Association of Regional & Local Authorities for Lifelong Learning.

Contact details for each partner:

Varaždin County:

  • Iva Janežić – Advisor for development programs, Department for Education, Culture and Sport
  • Email:


  • Barbara Harterink – Department for Business Development, Regional planning and Innovation
  • Email:

EARLALL – The European Association of Regions and Local Authorities for Lifelong Learning:

  • EARLALL Secretariat
  • Email:

The Autonomous Province of Trento

  • Luca Bassetti
  • Email:

Tuscany Region

Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality:

  • Glen Kristensen – Coordinator for Knowledge and Workforce
  • Email:

Koordinator for Viden og Arbejdskraft