Plant your future

Erasmus+ Youth Exchange

The project addressed the topic of “Rural entrepreneurship” and brought together 36 youngsters (17 to 29 year old) from Romania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland and Spain near to the town of Devin, Bulgaria for 9 days between 8-16 September 2020. One of the project results was a good practice manual for young entrepreneurs that you can download from below.  

The challange

The isolated rural areas, especially in Southern and Eastern Europe are facing similar challenges such as poor infrastructure, educational opportunities, decreasing and aging population. Those are resulting in limited economic potential and a serious wage gap compared with the more urbanized and industrialized areas. This makes many local youngsters migrate, not being able to see the opportunities their hometown provides, making the situation even worse.

About the project

The main objective of our project was to inspire more young people from isolated rural areas to search for their development in their native place. For this purpose, we supported them in acquiring the basic knowledge, needed to develop a successful business idea and business plan. During the project, the participants had the opportunity to meet with people who have already passed this path in the sustainable alternative branches bio-farming and ecotourism. We gathered youth from similar regions of different parts of Europe and give them the opportunity to understand how alike are the challenges they face and supported them to get motivation and ideas from each other in terms of how to deal with all these obstacles.

A short insight

12th of September 2020
After a very delicious breakfast, we started the day in a positive way with an energiser of our choosing. The mountain sun was shining upon us as we arranged in a circle and danced to the music. The game consisted of choosing a leader and making one of us wait at a distance as we choose. The followers have to copy their leader’s move as the banished person tried to guess who the leader is. This exercise was one of the most amusing and entertaining energisers in the project.
As we continued with the day, we started the first steps to one of the most important aspects of this project: making a business plan. The theoretical part was covered in an interesting and easy remember-way as we discussed the steps a successful business has to take. Once every participant understood, we moved on to practicing what we have learned. The pizza and macarena energisers shook the sleep off of us and put us in good spirits as well as bodies.
We separated into five international groups, each other with the task of coming up with a plan for a business, following the steps we have previously learned. In the first few minutes, we brainstormed what we thought the world needs, keeping in mind the balance of the demand and offer. After brainstorming and settling on the logo, motto and a brief description, everybody headed to the lunch area where the most delicious potato soup was served with croutons.
During the free time, some participants gathered for a volleyball game, a healthy mind in a healthy body. The remaining few worked on the business plan because at 16:00 every team had their big reveal. The projects were diverse and promising: horse riding courses, a pool complex, a company that can provide people who live in the urban area with a rural experience in Bulgaria, and two middle man companies, one regarding adoptions and the other funding and investing. After the idea came to life, we moved to the next step: the marketing plan. This was the main focus of our efforts for the next few days as, at the end of the week, we had to present our entire plan to a commission of local entrepreneurs who played the roles of investors and decided which was the best business.
During reflection, every aspect of the day came to light as every member shared their thoughts and opinions, so the next day it could be improved.
After a lovely dinner, the long-awaited Spanish night began. To get to the location of the celebration you had to use a password which was written on the invitation. After successfully entering, the Spanish team delighted us with a presentation about their country, celebrities, traditions and food and tested our new acquired information in a competitive Kahoot game. Dances were the festivity of the night, as a demonstration and a lesson was given to the public. Stomping our feet in a very passionate way made us hungry, so we were invited to the dining area to taste the wonders Spain can offer. The food was delightful with a high variety of meat and cheese. We danced the night away on Spanish tunes and aromas, making this day a memory that won’t be easily forgotten.

The project „Plant your future” was financed with the support of European Commission through Erasmus+ Programme. This blog reflects only the author’s views, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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