Developing Skills of Rural Youth in Lika

The idea behind the RAISE Youth project is to pilot and promote an innovative RAISE Model of (self) employment for NEETs based on sustainable agri-business in 4 rural regions of EU with high unemployment rates and depopulation. The focus of the project in Croatia is Lika Senj County – the biggest and the least populated out of 21 counties.

This area has a great potential for agricultural, ecological and tourist development which is slowly starting to be recognized among youth. For the recent years the trend of depopulation is being replaced with the trend of staying on the lands of their ancestors and trying to contribute to the development of this highly underdeveloped area.

What young people usually have is the idea, enthusiasm and family lands. The part they are missing and that usually discourages them in pursuing their dream is the lack of skills.

The RAISE Youth project has recognized this need and for the past several years the project has organized numerous trainings in different areas which help rural youth develop their business – from practical skills, idea development and business preincubation to workshops on legal requirements and EU funding.

Ever since the start of the project implementation, the preincubation program has been helping youth not only in the business idea development but it has shown very useful to help young people decide whether they are suitable for entrepreneurship or if they should include in the labour market in some other way.

Those who, after the preincubation process, decide to indulge into the journey of entrepreneurship find particularly useful the RAISE mentoring program which helps young entrepreneurs learn legal requirements for registering a business and how to find funding.

Since the spring 2022 RAISE Youth team has been working on the development of pilot permaculture regenerative garden in the heart of Lika Senj County. Permaculture design envisages the revitalization of the agricultural system in order to establish an example of cultivation according to the principles of regenerative agriculture. These practical skills are very interesting both for rural youth who plan to start their own family farm as well as those who are looking to acquire new skills useful for the labor market.


The RAISE Youth project in general focuses on activating young people and preparing them for labor market by helping them in the development of their skills and competences.