A partnership of four organisations has succeeded in establishing a large youth entrepreneur project across Greenland, Finland and Northern Ireland, with associate partners in all of the EU’s northern periphery area.
The project has a budget of €1.8 M, out of which €1.2 M is funded by EU’s Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme through the European Regional Development Fund.
The partnership involving Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KUAS) in Finland, Greenland Business, and two Northern Irish agencies: the Advantage Foundation and the Rural Development Council will be led by KUAS.
It is a unique project in European scale, bringing together young talented entrepreneurs from many corners of the Eu. The tools, support mechanisms and networks we create will make a difference I´m sure.’ says Kalle Pakalén of KUAS.
The partners had their first meeting in Belfast in March 2015, preparing for the actual start of the project after it was announced that the EU would award the funding. Representatives of each of the four partners met in Nuuk in June 2015 to sign the partnership agreement.
‘We are delighted to be a part of a project of this magnitude, and it was a pleasure to be able to host our partners in Greenland’, says Karsten Høy, CEO of Greenland Business.
The name of the project is RYE Connect, and RYE stands for Rural Youth Entrepreneurship. The purpose of the project is to improve the possibility for young entrepreneurs in the scarcely populated areas in the Arctic and the northern countries to start and run a business. The project aims at developing young peoples’ talent for entrepreneurship through training and use of online tools, international networks, competitions and events. The public in the involved countries will start to hear much more about this in 2016.
‘We are currently developing the content and support tools for the project, and the partners in each country hope to start engagement with young people later this year’, says Gerry Ford, Director of Advantage.
The practical tools and methods, to be developed and used, are based on knowledge and experience from the former pilot RYE project. In that project focus was on creating a ‘pre-start’ programme, now we will enhance the scope with programmes for ‘start’, ‘growth’ and ‘turnaround’. Thereby making a toolbox for much of the challenges the young entrepreneur will meet from when they get their idea through to finalise the first sale or getting the investment they need to grow.