Programme partners, speakers and guests arrived in a very sunny Sisimiut, Greenland for the first RYE Connect Conference in June.
The speakers included Stephen Mooney from Cold Climate Innovation based at the Yukon Research Centre in Yukon College. Highlighting the similarities between the issues faced by Greenland and the Yukon region, Stephen went on to share his experience of engagement and recruitment practices used by the Yukon Innovation Prize to attract young people with good ideas.
Alison Reid Director of the Invest NI Propel Programme described the engagement, recruitment and development methods used by their programme in Northern Ireland. Alison also highlighted the need for mentoring, support and tailored advice for businesses wanting to export.
EyJolfur Ey Jolfsson from the Innovation Centre Iceland explained how they had worked hard to engage with potential entrepreneurs providing a hub for such people to come together to explore and develop their business idea. He emphasised how having a place to be, surrounded by positive like-minded people had proven successful in inspiring their participants. Likewise meeting the practical needs of the entrepreneurs in the early stages such as free phone, internet and workspace as well as ongoing networking events and workshops all contributed to the programmes high success rate for Start Ups.
The conference was also attended by two inspiring examples of successful Greenlandic businesses, Anita Hoegh, Qiviut Aps and Eliza Motzfeldt, Sava Design. Both described their own personal journey in setting up their business, the challenges and the rewards. Their businesses being proof that a rural location need not be a barrier to starting and running a successful business. The conference provided an excellent platform from which to make people aware of the opportunities now available across the NPA region through the RYE Connect Programme.
Participants also got to view the RYE Connect Online platform which when complete will include: a pitching portal connect to a network of investors, business audit, gamified business plan, role model videos from all partner countries and much, much more.
Kalle Pakalén from Kajaani University of Applied Science (Lead Partner) highlighted the extensive Associate Network already established by RYE Connect across the whole NPA region.
Kalle Pakalén said:
"RYE is a unique project, it brings together young talented entrepreneurs from many corners of the EU. We want to produce tools, support mechanisms and networks based on what young people say they need and what will really make a difference to them."