Enriching international experience through Foundation MIR and YES Network

One of the key aims of the Youth Entrepreneurship Support Network (www.yes-network.org) is the dissemination of useful information about possibilities for strengthening the capacities of its members. YES Network is mainly consisted of civil society organisations that work in the field of youth entrepreneurship, on the territory of Republic of Macedonia. However, its membership permanently extends with various other stakeholders, such as entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs, educational institutions, local authorities, other NGOs, students, as well as many young entrepreneurially-minded people.

Alongside the implementation of the regular activities and networking on local and national level, a large number of the network members are directing their focus towards the transfer of knowledge and experience, as well as networking within the European Union. The Foundation for Management and Industrial Research (Foundation MIR) which is a partner of the YES Network project and much experienced in the field of implementing international EU projects, has enhanced the network’s platform by launching the first success story of knowledge transfer and capacity building for one of the network members, in cooperation with EU partners.

Namely, a representative of the Youth Entrepreneurial Service Foundation (YES Foundation) has taken participation at „ЕCO-OIKOS: Sustainable Options”, a 10-day training course where around 30 youth workers from 9 countries explored the ideas of sustainable development through research and exchange of concepts. This Erasmus+ training, financed by the European Commission, took place during the month of July 2015, in Molfetta, Bitonto and Bari, in the Puglia region of Southern Italy. The participants representing civil society organisations that deal with sustainable development concepts from various perspectives, had an opportunity to present their identified good practices and discuss possibilities for future international cooperation. We share some of their statements regarding the experience:

„The ECO-OIKOS initiative was an exceptional experience for me due to the opportunity to observe and practically experience sustainable development good practices in several Italian cities, and get connected with other creative young people from different EU countries. In my opinion, the most impressive part of the experience was the visit to the organic waste treatment and composting plant – Tersan, the presentation held by the Slow Food movement and sustainable transportation solutions in the region. In addition, I found the practical workshops for innovative recycling solutions of paper, plastic and other types of material, very useful. As a representative of the Youth Entrepreneurship Service Foundation, the project coordinator of YES Network, I had the opportunity to present our networking platform, the projects implemented by the collaborating CSOs and related to sustainable development, as well as the social entrepreneurship projects in the focus of our foundation. Eventually, we have initiated multiple discussions for future collaboration among the participants.”

Olivera Aritonoska, YES Foundation, 29 years old, Macedonia

 „I learned about YES Network by the presentation held by Olivera. I work in the field of raising sustainable development awareness through civic engagement. I believe that the attention of young people should be directed towards the important problems we are facing today in order to inspire them to become active protagonists in the improvement of our attitude towards our environment, our work and our fellow citizens, for a better future for all of us. We would like to establish cooperation with organizations from Macedonia for a future project on sustainable development though innovation and entrepreneurship, which we plan to submit to the next open Erasmus+ call in 2016. The contacts available through YES Network will be very useful for establishing communication with various relevant partners.”

Valerio d’Amici, Brindisi, 28 years old, Italy

„I work on multiple projects for rural entrepreneurship development in several regions in Spain. The Youth Entrepreneurship Support Network and the Youth Entrepreneurial Service Foundation represent an ideal partner for developing innovative projects that contribute to sustainable development via entrepreneurship. I got to know better quite a few practices and projects implemented in different regions in Macedonia. We already had several creative discussions for future cooperation, which I believe we will put into practice as soon as possible. ECO-OIKOS represented an excellent opportunity to meet up and design international concepts for sustainable development that we can implement through our organizations’ platforms.”

Juam Pablo Perez Gomez, Sende – rural entrepreneurship, 36 years old, Spain

 The Youth Entrepreneurship Support Network and its partners’ consortium will keep up the internationalization of its activities in order to offer new opportunities for cooperation and networking to its members and also to strengthen its platform of promoting youth entrepreneurship development and other related areas, such as sustainable development.