The start of the RAISE Story

Once upon a time… Having worked for nearly 20 years with disadvantaged and marginalized groups on improving employability and entrepreneurial capacity, the call for the EEA – Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment came around, offering us at GTF – Initiative for Sustainable Growth the opportunity to pilot new and innovative methods for improving the employment situation of NEETS.  What an opportunity that was, given that our innovations and improvements  made, to date, hadn’t had a place to come together until this call. As you probably know, we are committed to working in rural areas and revitalizing rural communities. In this program we joined forces with partners in 3 other countries, Bulgaria, Romania, and Spain.

So what is RAISE Youth about?  Giving young people from rural areas the chance to turn their lives around, right where they are! How does that come about? Well, it takes a village, literally. Meaning, with the support of the community, friends and family,  external experts and mentors where needed, the new world of entrepreneurial action can open up. Seeing problems as opportunities, opportunities as good business, taking charge of their lives, and reconnecting to society with a new perspective on working hard and doing what you love.

Sounds impossible, well, it sure isn’t easy, but with our RAISE model combining agriculture, tourism, digital and business incubation and acceleration, it just might work…