Earlier this month, we started a new project – “Entrepreneurship for All” – funded by the European Union under Erasmus+. Entrepreneurship is defined as “the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit”.

“Entrepreneurship for All” will be implemented until the end of 2022, and we will be working together with organisations from Turkey – Tübitak Marmara Teknokent A.Ş. and Youth for U, and an organisation from Bulgaria – Consortium Innovative Capital. Both organisations work with startups, while ENIL joined the project as an expert on disability rights.

Entrepreneurship is one of the leading forces to personal and societal advancement; it is a capability that can offer great opportunities and empowerment. This is why it is greatly valued in our days, especially, among young people who seek to better their future, and that of the society. In this context, young disabled people can also look in entrepreneurship for opportunities and challenges, even for a way to promote social change. However, the road to do so is often obstructed by practical and social barriers. This project comes to address this issue, and provides new approaches and tools for the cultivation of entrepreneurship among young disabled people.

What will we work on? We plan to start by assessing the needs of young disabled people (through a cross disability approach), when it comes to entrepreneurship. We then intend to develop useful and accessible resources on entrepreneurship, and promote their adoption, in relevant training programs, addressing exactly those diverse needs of young disabled people. Special attention will be given to the training processes and their accessibility.

We aim to develop a manual for practitioners and organisations on how to make any type of learning and training program accessible for all young people. To this end, we will try to design international training modules on entrepreneurship, involving young people with and without disabilities themselves, together, to develop strategies and learning tools for their own use, to design non-formal educational methods, to establish an e-learning platform and e-learning modules, to enrich the “toolkit” available for easy and efficient use by everyone.

Furthermore, we expect to train over 100 young disabled people, through blended learning and training activities and e-learning modules, so as to improve their capacities for entrepreneurship, as well as 25 trainers and/or practitioners, to become competent on using inclusive and accessible training approaches and tools on entrepreneurship. Through this process, we aim to establish a network of young entrepreneurs, with and without disabilities, to strengthen collaboration, and promote our project’s goals.

Working together with partners specialised in youth projects and promotion of competence development among young people (Youth for U), the promotion of good entrepreneurial practices and innovations (Consortium Innovative capital), and the advancement of science and technology, through practical support and consultation practices (Tübitak Marmara Teknokent A.Ş.), we hope to offer our expertise concerning disabled people and their right to self-determination and self-representation, through social inclusion, solidarity, peer support, across different impairment groups. Diverse experience and expertise of the partners is a key factor for the successful implementation and efficient outputs of this project.

ENIL promotes the full inclusion and participation of disabled people in the society, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – UNCRPD. Adopting the social model of disability, we believe disabled people are disabled by the environmental, systemic and attitudinal barriers in society, rather than by their impairment. In this context, ENIL seeks to empower disabled people to live independently and to help break down the barriers holding other disabled people back from full inclusion, and in this case, from entrepreneurship. ENIL’s Youth Network is an active part of our organisation, and any project involving the empowerment of young disabled people is in the interest of ENIL.

“Entrepreneurship for All” will promote inclusive entrepreneurship, inclusive learning and training methodologies in entrepreneurship, throughout Europe, for young people of all abilities. We look forward to making this happen.

More information about the project and all deliverables will be available from our website.

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