C2E is an Erasmus supported youth-led, transnational project that will develop, test and implement innovative practices in a much neglected area in the field of youth.
The project website can be found at: http://www.c2eproject.org/
Responding to the priorities of the Lisbon agenda and the Europe 2020 strategy treating entrepreneurship as a key component of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, C2E targets young carers aged 18-30 with particular focus on women from low-income families and adopting a youth-led methodology, it will construct and implement evidence-based, well-tested and replicable educational and training curricula to develop young carers’ practical, creative and entrepreneurial skills to enable them to become confident and successful young entrepreneurs.
It is estimated that there are more than 100 million carers in Europe today. This accounts for about one fifth of the entire European population. The vast majority of them are young people, principally girls. According to the Erasmus KA2 (Youth) funded Care to Work project and EUROCARERS’ statistics, young carers are faced with additional barriers to education, training and employment.
The same research also suggests that early in life young carers develop a number of soft skills and competencies that with the right support can lead them into the development of their own social businesses and entrepreneurship activities.
Promoting entrepreneurship constitutes an important part of the Lisbon agenda and the Europe 2020 strategy which treats entrepreneurship as a key component of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Entrepreneurship is perceived by policy-makers as a means of tackling labour market disadvantageand social exclusion more generally (De Clerq and Honig 2011).
We also know that the economic savings that these young people make to their governments through their informal caring role is considerable. In fact, in Europe, the value of unpaid informal care in the community and at home is estimated from 50-90% of the overall cost of formal care provision.
At a critical point for Europe when youth unemployment continues to rise, IARS has put together a strategic partnership of familiar and no so familiar to Erasmus organisations to run C2E as a youth-led, transnational project that will develop, test and implement innovative practices in a much neglected area in the field of youth. Social entrepreneurial competences, such as business and strategic planning with a social dimension, will be the main pillar of the capacity building course curriculum to be developed for the young potential entrepreneurs of C2E.
In particular, C2E will:
– Construct new training curricula and courses (online and face-to-face) for young carers that will allow them to develop the necessary skills, knowledge and competences to become social entrepreneurs.
– Test and implement these material in the UK, Greece, Italy, Romania and Belgium, and use the comparative learning for informing EU-wide practices and policies.
Many studies have recognised the role of entrepreneurship in helping disadvantaged people in society break away from their unprivileged positions (Letts 2004), serving as a potential device for poverty alleviation (Bornstein 2004), a solution to unemployment or discrimination in the labour market (Fairlie 2005) or a tool for the social inclusion of minority groups (Pavey 2006). More than 100 million of informal carers exist in Europe today.
The vast majority of them are young people, principally girls. Just in the UK, there over 1.5 million carers below the age of 35, in Italy, 170,000 and in Belgium, almost 10% of the population aged 15 and over, are informal carers (Sesa, 2006). There are no official statistics for Greece and Romania but according to a cross-Balkan study, due to the harsh living conditions and prevailing traditions valuing family links and mutual aid, young carers are a common phenomenon (Linotte, 2017).
The economic savings that these young people make to their governments through their informal caring role is considerable. In Europe, the value of unpaid informal care is estimated from 50-90% of the overall cost of formal care provision.
Our project is based around a theory of change model that we have created to ensure that the project has a positive impact on young entrepreneurs.
The theory of change model has been constructed using key building blocks to bring about our long-term goal. It is reviewed on a monthly basis throughout the project and is a context for considering the connections between the project mission, strategies and actual outcomes, while creating links between who is being served, the strategies or activities that are being implemented and the desired outcomes. This theory of change is depicted as a “pathway of change framework”, a graphical representation of our progress:
C2E was launched in April 2018 and the partners met in May for their first meeting and to agree the delivery of the project outputs.
User and Civic participation is one of IARS’ founding values. The project will develop user-led training with the beneficiaries. What is unique about our evidence-based programme is that young people, especially young carers are directly involved in design and delivery of the training. Due to their own lived experience, the young people are experts on the issues that affect them, and the project gives them an opportunity to have their voices heard.