Living Lab, organized by the Institute for Technological Transfer and Innovation, Bulgaria

The event took place on 06/09/2022 at 10:00 a.m. in the municipality of Sadovo, in the community center “Hristo Smirnenski” in the town of Sadovo. It was attended by two people from the team of the Institute for Technological Transfer and Innovation and 9 interested parties – the mayor of the municipality of Sadovo, a municipal councilor and employees from the municipality of Rodopi, 2 young entrepreneurs, 4 representatives of the NGO sector working with youth in rural areas. The project and its activity results were presented. After that, a discussion was held on the topic, and recommendations were made for the future implementation of the project. The event ended with a presentation of the Rural Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Panel and the upcoming international meeting. The Memorandum of Understanding was also presented.

The Memorandum of Understanding from 1 municipality, 1 VET provider, 1 private company and 2 NGOs.

The main conclusions after the discussions in all partner countries were:

  • Young people should see role models – successful entrepreneurs who came from the same environment as them. In addition, the family environment is very important. Young people whose parents/relatives are entrepreneurs have an additional incentive to start a business. If they live among entrepreneurs, they will probably end up being entrepreneurs too.
  • Encouraging many trips abroad so that young people can get to know other experiences, good practices and ideas.
  • Teaching young entrepreneurs to focus on soft skills, – negotiation, critical thinking, resilience, this is everything behind knowing how to create your own business.
  • Digitization enables young people to learn online. But the problem is that the villages do not have optical connections to ensure that young people can get a digital education.
  • Creation of municipal councils for the promotion of (youth) entrepreneurship in the municipalities, in which representatives of relevant municipal directorates, municipal councilors, representatives of educational institutions (schools, universities), of local business organizations, student councils, as well as recognizable and socially engaged young entrepreneurs;
  • Competitions for young entrepreneurs by municipalities, as they most fully reflect local characteristics and opportunities for starting a business
  • Initiation of local mentoring programs with people from practice for students and high school students in order to stimulate entrepreneurial intentions and entrepreneurial activity;

On this basis, the following project results will be developed. In the month of July, the International event will be held, where the participants in the Rural entrepreneur ecosystem will be determined and a Memorandum of Understanding and future cooperation will be signed.

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Project Number: 2021-1-BG01-KA220-YOU-000029589