FRESH START: Introducing Entrepreneurship to Young Offenders
Re-integrating in Society and Entering the Labour Market
Lifelong Learning Programme
Leonardo da Vinci, Transfer of Innovation
Agreement n° LLP-LdV/TOI/10/RO/002
The Fresh Start project is co-funded by the European Commission ,
by the Directorate-General for Education and Culture
The project duration is 24 months , between: 20.02.2011 – 20.02.2013
with a Total Budget of 313.292,000 €
of which the EU Grant represents 234.969,000 €
The project aims to develop a specialized train-the-trainer course in order to provide European VET trainers with new skills that enable them to pass their training on developing young offenders’ entrepreneurial skills.
The main project objective is to adapt the available innovative content considering young offenders’ needs and specific sociocultural and linguistic contexts. Then, the project will develop a mentoring syllabus and a multilingual e-learning platform for VET trainers in order to improve their skills and competencies to train young offenders in entrepreneurial skills.
Fresh Start has been developed by a transnational consortium specifically set up for the purpose of implementing the project. It involves 6 partners from 4 EU Member States i.e. Romania, Greece, Lithuania, Estonia with complementary expertise. Content is provided by an organisation in Portugal.
ROMANIAN FOUNDATION FOR DEMOCRACY, Romania
MILITOS EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES & SERVICES, Greece
ACADEMY OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP, Greece
HELLENIC AMERICAN UNION, Greece
PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT AND COUNCELING CENTRE, Lithuania
NGO BEST OPPORTUNITIES, Estonia
TECMAIA – SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PARK OF MAIA, S.A., E.M., Portugal
The Romanian Foundation for Democracy is an independent NGO, founded in 1992, at the initiative of Prof. Dr. Emil Constantinescu (former Rector, University of Bucharest and President of Romania 1996-2000). RFD’s objectives are to inform public opinion on mechanisms of democratic institutions and on fundamental human rights; promote the free exchange of ideas, political and economic analyses and solutions; and to develop partnerships with organizations, both national and international. It also promotes innovation in education. RFD counts a widespread network in Romania and internationally and has extensive experience in advocacy, public relations as well as in supporting innovative education and training initiatives involving ICT. It has solid partnerships with the National Endowment for Democracy and the H. Seidel and K. Adenauer Foundations. RFD’s institutional and its excellent contacts will be complemented by the project management specialized staff to be involved in this project. Contact details: Mrs. Mihaela MARCU Programmes Development/Chief of Department 17, Splaiul Independentei, bloc 101, sector 5, Bucharest, Romania Tel: +40 21 316 02 93, Fax:+40 21 316 03 99 [email_address] , firstname.lastname@example.org - http://www.frd.org.ro
Militos Emerging Technologies & Services offers an integrated range of innovative consultancy services in a wide spectrum of fields, such as entrepreneurship (emphasis on women and groups at risk), gender equality, employment and VET, environment, culture, media, R&D, etc. A prominent field of activity for Militos includes dissemination, awareness raising, media relations and information campaigns. It regularly initiates and participates in national and transnational EU co-funded projects, where it commonly undertakes the role of dissemination and exploitation expert. Since 2001, the company acts as the National Editor of the EC Standard Eurobarometer public opinion. In 2009, Militos was selected by the EC Representation in Greece to provide exclusive media consultancy services for events and awareness raising, over a 4 year period. It also brings to the consortium research expertise and an extensive network of partners and media contacts in EU27 as well as in candidate countries, thus providing added value to the dissemination and exploitation activities. Moreover, it has specialised expertise in project management, having acted repeatedly as the locomotive of many national and EU funded projects, responsible for the elaboration and co-ordination of all managerial structures involved in the implementation of large-scale and complex projects.
Academy of Entrepreneurship is a non-for-profit organization, established in 2007, with the mission to contribute to the creation of a healthy business environment for the development of entrepreneurship in Europe. It is a Non Governmental Organisation based in Greece, acting in constant and close collaboration with Networks of Innovative Entrepreneurs at European and Global level, with the aim to create the proper conditions for entrepreneurship and to support young entrepreneurs with their visions and goals. AKEP designs and offers specialized entrepreneurship education and training to enable young entrepreneurs, during the start-up or growth phase of their business, to expand and grow in European and international markets. AKEPoffers training for the start-up phase of new businesses; innovative seminars on latest trends and developments in international entrepreneurship; and the development of new and required skills for a new business. At last AKEP participates in EU funded projects and stimulates cooperation of innovative knowledge based businesses from all around the globe.
Mrs. Sophia PROTOPAPA Director of Training & EU projects 9 Chavriou & Praksitelous str., 10562 Athens, Greece T: +30 210 33 13 690, Fax: +30 210 33 13 691 [email_address] , http://www.akep.eu
Founded in 1957, Hellenic American Union is a public-service key institution with an international focus and strong community commitment, providing opportunities for a diverse range of audiences to encounter and benefit from innovative educational programs and cultural events. Vocational Training was incorporated in its activities in 1998 to address rapid changes in business practice by helping participants of different age, gender, religion, origin and physical disability develop new skills in the fields of business, finance, and IT, to improve their career potential. For the past 12 years, thousands of people have benefited from HAU’s programs that range from seminars to certification programs in near all business fields. HAU is committed to providing or enhancing the career opportunities of its public through innovative educational initiatives and collaborations. Since its establishment, the HAU has welcomed students and visitors from all over the world. It is estimated that to date 2.000.000 persons from 75 countries have enjoyed its services.
The Psychological Support and Counselling Centre (PPKC) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization, established in Kaunas (2nd largest city in Lithuania). It was established in 2001 and is one of the leading organization, at least at regional level. PKKCentras implements various national and EU projects and programmes having established solid partnerships with governmental institutions, NGO’s, Ministries, etc. The Centre’s mission is to strengthen mental health on individual and societal levels, by designing and implementing programs that render expert services of psychological support, counseling and teaching. PPKC’s main activities are the:
Implementation of prevention programs for youth and families at risk
Entrepreneurship programs for unemployed adults and youth at risk
Integration programs for people in social exclusion
Skills training for psychologists, social workers and related personnel
Leadership programs for youth
Mr. Osvaldas STRIPEIKIS Director Ateities g. 13,LT-53338 Ringaudai, Kauno raj., Lietuva, Lithuania T: +370 68 09 76 1, Fax: +370 37 56 35 31 [email_address] , http://www.ppkc.lt
NGO Best Opportunities (created in 2007) is a non-profit organisation in Estonia. Its main aim is to develop the abilities of persons who are under social risks to cope in everyday life. Specialists in our organisation have worked with different target groups who are under risk in the society. For example, NGO Best Opportunities has worked with offenders in Estonian prisons and newly released persons to re-integrate them to the society; there have been group discussions about the difficulties and fears after release from the prison, how to adapt with everyday life in freedom, find solutions to problems with finding job and place of residence. Training has been organised in prisons, while personal support has been also offered and provided. Similarly, the organisation has worked with children and families with different risk factors (poverty, drugs, alcohol and gambling addiction in the family, unemployment). During the last two years over 400 persons have received training, support or help by BEST Opportunities.
Ms. Piret PETERS Chairwoman of the Board Tila küla, Tartu vald, Tartumaa, Estonia T/F: +372 526 28 28 [email_address] ; http://www.parimadvoimalused.ee
TECMAIA – Parque de Ciência e Tecnologia da Maia, was created in 1999 with the purpose of promoting competitiveness in the Maia region and enhancing the national economic and technological leadership. Tecmaia is an effective associate of TECPARQUES – Associação Portuguesa de Parques de Ciência e Tecnologia – and a “full member” of IASP – International Association of Science Parks. Tecmaia’s stakeholders are relevant entities both at regional and national levels, which facilitate the development of projects putting all these stakeholders in collaboration. Entrepreneurship is a key issue for Tecmaia. Actually there are almost 50 companies installed at Tecmaia working in different business areas. About 50% are micro enterprises and the other 50% range from small to large enterprises, some with national or international scale. At Tecmaia, they work regularly almost 1.000 people, including professionals from aboard. TECMAIA is the project leader of the former LdV ENTER project.
Main target groups
End users will be male and female young offenders between 18-25 years. Their conviction will be on the basis of minor offences imposing an imprisonment duration between 1-5 years and will be about to be released before trainings.
It is a fact that when offenders are released from prison they face many difficulties during their transition back to society. Not only are they stigmatized in the community but also they lack the skills required to find a job and make a living in an ever changing and competitive labour market. This is one of the causes for the exclusion they face. In this context, there is an urgent need to provide offenders with adequate training, information and support and equip them with the skills they need to be re-integrated in society and the labour market when they are released.
In an effort to support offenders to have a future in the labour market and to smooth their re-integration in society, the proposed project aims to support this disadvantaged social group by introducing entrepreneurship as an alternative sustainable professional path that builds on their current skills, usually technical, while it gives room to independence and flexibility and could help them to regain self esteem and moral stability, something that may deter them from committing offenses again.
More specifically, the project will transfer innovative e-learning content from the course modules developed in the frames of the previously implemented EC co-funded project ‘ENTER’; Course modules include introduction to business planning, project management, finance, marketing, communication, innovation management, intellectual property, internationalization, etc .
Through the educational material of the course, such as background reading, case studies, questionnaires or activities, the participants will be acquainted with the profile of the entrepreneur and the skills required for setting up and developing a business.
Since the project will be created in English and translated in all the partner languages, immigrant offenders who might participate as beneficiaries will benefit from the course not only by enriching their entrepreneurial and personal skills but also by improving their language skills.
The FRESH START methodology includes the following interlinking steps:
Review the innovative content and definition of transferring alterations;
Enrich t he online available course modules with content covering issues on personal development, the profile of the entrepreneur, goal setting, decision making, problem solving, time management and team working ;
Simplify the language and terminology so as to fit the educational background of young offenders ;
Adjust the course to the entrepreneurial market in each of the partner countries ;
Develop a train-the-trainer course on how to train in entrepreneurial skills ;
Create and sustain a mentoring cycle between offenders, entrepreneurs and psychologists for psychological support and increase of self esteem as well as business advice during all the stages of setting up and running a business ;
Produce a hard copy of the material for reference during training ;
Produce a CD ROM with the course modules;
Produce a guide (electronic format) on how to use the online platform.
TRANSFER OF INNOVATION
The transfer of innovative content concept applied is two-fold:
the original content is to be transferred from the general population to a focused new specific target group i.e. VET trainers and new end beneficiaries (i.e. young offenders)
the core content will not only be adapted to match the exact needs of the new target group and the new beneficiaries but will also match the needs of new target countries and will be further developed (new core content).
Indeed, throughout the project, special emphasis will lie on accounting for the needs of young offenders who seek an entrepreneurship path as a professional option, but lack the appropriate skills and competencies to achieve it.
TRANSFER OF INNOVATION
Clearly, a new geographical dimension is a deed regarding the transfer of innovation in both new and old target countries. Therefore, besides Lithuania and Estonia (new countries) FRESH START targets as well with newly adapted and developed content, the previously ENTER target countries i.e. Greece, Romania and Portugal.
Moreover, FRESH START will promote the involvement of private and third sector stakeholders, NPOs, all of which are well represented in the consortium itself, contributing and complementing different outlooks, skills and areas of expertise as a way to contribute to the achievement of maximum effectiveness and efficiency of project outputs and target groups’ and end beneficiaries’ benefits, but also as a means to maximize the opportunity for including more disadvantages groups (i.e. immigrants long-term unemployed, returning workers) who could benefit from this initiative in the future.
FRESH START consists of eight Work Packages to be coordinated by WP leaders:
WP1 – Project Management
WP2 – Mapping VET Initiatives in Entrepreneurship
Current and previous national and regional and EU initiatives in VET, online entrepreneurship training, entrepreneurship training for young offenders and mentoring have been already mapped through desktop research and the use of network focusing on analysis of thematic entrepreneurship content and defined training and mentoring methodology and pedagogy.
WP3 – Interactive Needs Analysis
It has identified the exact requirements of target groups and end-beneficiaries and has achieved to directly involve them from an early stage.
The ex ante needs analysis and the outcomes of WP2 will be used to transfer and update innovative content and apply didactic methodology.
Quantitative tailor-made questionnaires, qualitative interviews and innovative ICT, as well as traditional low-tech methods have been used and results have been produced and are available for public reading.
WP4 – Adaptation and Development of Existing Content
An adapted entrepreneurship syllabus will be developed, updated, localized and translated from the innovative e-learning content of ENTER project based on the findings from the analysis of WP2 and WP3, customized to the profile, background and needs of the target group and end beneficiaries.
A train-the-trainer course will be designed based on sound learning theory, training methodology and tested training methods.
WP5 – Pilot Implementation of the e-learning platform
Based on the outputs of WP4, a multilingual e-learning platform will be developed, to be tested with an identified target group, guided by facilitators, based on appropriate administrative guidelines for recruiting and registering participants and facilitators communication between participants and facilitators recording participant progress and outcomes.
Difficulties of participants and/or facilitators with course content or technology (e-learning platform), recording necessary updates.
An overall quality assessment by participants and facilitators will provide data on course and technology effectiveness and required updates.
WP6 – Mentoring Sessions for VET Trainers
Target group members and facilitators will be identified to participate in pilot mentoring sessions. Moreover, an e-Guide and e-syllabus for the mentoring sessions will be designed and developed.
WP7 – Targeted Dissemination
All project activities and results are being disseminated from the beginning of the project at a local, national and EU level. Deliverables of WP7 are designed to raise awareness, enhance visibility and distribute information about project goals, activities and results, to target groups and stake-holders.
WP8 – Valorization
Preparation and safeguarding of sustainable impact and further utilization of deliverables during and after the project lifecycle by more target groups in EU 27 and the wider region will be conducted in close consultation with WP7.
Stakeholders’ support (policy makers, VET, experts, academia, social workers in imprisonment) will be sought to integrate adapted content into regional and national sectoral training systems and policies, aiming at official recognition, certification and accreditation.
A Valorization Committee will foresee ongoing support and advocacy work and a special expert workshop at the final Conference will produce a Working paper for the use of project outputs and lessons learned.
The Valorization Committee will explore possible output commercialization.
FRESH START focuses its attention to pave the way towards a European Model and a certificate of entrepreneurship training for VET trainers who are called upon to pass their training to young offenders in order for the latter to develop new entrepreneurship skills and competencies, but also for VET trainers who work with disadvantaged groups in general.
The project will further raise awareness in all project countries on the actual need for improvements in VET, especially with regard to training the unprivileged group of young offenders.
The project activities will further expand and seek to transfer the adapted entrepreneurship syllabus, the train-the-trainer course, the innovative e-learning practices and tools, and the mentoring pedagogy and methodology in VET to other target groups and sectors (immigrants, long-term unemployed, returning workers), as well as countries.
Due to the scale of the project, emphasis will be put on the five countries represented in the consortium (RO, EL, LT, EE), in terms of geographical coverage, based on the existing extensive networks of the partnership, it is foreseen that approximately 1200 stakeholder and media contacts, identified in and representing all LLP+30 countries, will be targeted through the project.
Although stakeholders and media will be targeted across the LLP+30 countries, due to the scale of the project, emphasis lies on the five EU Member States represented in the consortium (RO, EL, LT, EE) so as to achieve more realistic and feasible results.
The consortium will continue, after the project end, on a voluntary basis and as identified in the IPR agreement, to communicate with policy makers with the aim to seek extra funding in order to continue the development of project outputs.
Moreover, it will set in action the suggestions/steps laid down in the commercialization plan to be produced in the frames of the project, so as to commercialize the outputs to new target groups and new countries and earn revenues, while managing to cover human resources expenses that may eventually need to be covered.
The project will also examine the possibilities for the set up of new network within the same thematic field, i.e. entrepreneurship training of VET trainers so they can train other disadvantaged groups.
Thank you! For more information www.freshstartproject.eu