26 Apr RAISE Youth in Numbers
RAISE Youth – Rural Action for Innovative and Sustainable Entrepreneurship for Youth is a project funded by the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment and implemented in the period from September 2018 to September 2023.
The main objective of the project is to contribute to providing decent and productive work for youth through social innovation in rural areas of 4 EU countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Spain. The project pilots and promotes an innovative RAISE Model of (self)employment, for NEETs based on sustainable agri-business in rural regions with high unemployment rates and depopulation.
Since the start of the project implementation NEETs have been informed about the project and invited to participate in the project activities through the outreach campaigns and public events. Events promoting the project, as well as informing the target group and stakeholders were organized across the partnering countries. Extensive survey was conducted among the rural NEET population followed by the face to face interview and focus groups. Besides the big outreach events, the RAISE team organized separate project presentations in rural municipalities with the support of the local authorities and different institutions.
In Bulgaria and Romania, pilot regions selected for NEET identification are rural communities with a high percentage of Roma population. In this areas, Roma community representatives were of significant value in reaching the targeted group for an adapted program given the age group whereby they have already established families with several children and overall low education levels.
In identifying the young unemployed persons the new media tools played an important role – The official RAISE outreach video was distributed across different media channels, public was informed about the project through several social media channels both official and from partners (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), activities were supported by the local and national web portals as well as several local and national televisions.
By the end of 2021., the target group value for NEETs identified and motivated for participation in the RAISE Youth project set at 4000 was reached and surpassed. However, the activity of NEET identification and outreach is ongoing and NEETs are still being introduced to the project.
The total number of NEETs that actively participated in trainings and other project activities since the start of the project implementation is 3187 out of which 63% women.
By April 2023, 2584 NEETs have been enrolled in education and training, including work-based learning while 523 NEETs joined the mentoring program in the RAISE centers, apprenticeships and/or mobility schemes.
Number of (self)employed NEETs reached 651 and 136 project participants went through the process of starting their own business.
In the second half of the project implementation period the RAISE team networked with local entrepreneurs as an important component of RAISE business model sustainability and as employers and supporters of former NEETs. Successful connections to the total of 128 entrepreneurs have been made by the RAISE team in Bulgaria and Croatia.
Showcasing these numbers, we can conclude that for the past 4+ years, RAISE Youth team has reached and surpassed almost all of the target values. For this reason and in line with the project plan, in 2023 the project will focus on sustainability and qualitative achievements which will enable project objectives and methodology to transfer and develop after the end of the project implementation period.