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Small events with a large reach 2017 (2/7): Youth on their path to entrepreneurship

The second Promoting Adult Skills (PAS) event invited different stakeholders to discuss the youth involvement in entrepreneurship. On 22 May 2017 the Črnomelj Education and Culture Institute hosted the “Youth on their path to entrepreneurship” event, since they have been stressing for several years the significance of entrepreneurial competences and self-initiative, especially with young people, to help them recognise job-creating opportunities in their home environment.

The second Promoting Adult Skills (PAS) event under the umbrella of the implementation process of the European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL) in Slovenia invited different stakeholders to attend a round table in Črnomelj to discuss the youth involvement in entrepreneurship. On 22 May 2017 the  Črnomelj Education and Culture Institute (adult education centre - AEC) hosted the “Youth on their path to entrepreneurship event, since they have been stressing for several years the significance of entrepreneurial competences and self-initiative, especially in young people, to help them recognise job-creating opportunities in their home environment. They believe that this will remain an important topic, while they are also aware that no changes can be implemented overnight, so the results of their efforts invested in the development of the above-specified competencies will be seen only after 5 or even 10 years. The Črnomelj AEC Directress Ms Nada Žagar MA highlighted that there are definitely a lot of opportunities; something, which we were able to confirm during our meeting.


From theory into practice

The beginning might have been slightly provocative – with the claim that employers simply cannot find suitable candidates for their posts. We speak of unsuitable candidates due to their lack of knowledge and skills on the one hand, and the lack of will and motivation on the other.

The Bela Krajina Students’ Club believes that students and youth in general wish for more opportunities for (student) work. However, employers’ representatives replied that there are not really many calls with the desire to work, and that they have many problems with finding suitable employees. So, where could the problem lie?

Possibilities and opportunities

Individuals acquire knowledge and skills at school or with other organisations, as well as in day-to-day life. In Bela Krajina they miss technical schools, a larger range of programmes for girls, etc. The school system fails to adequately integrate work/practical experience and lacks support for entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial mind-set, which could help youth develop specific competencies. Nevertheless, young entrepreneurs can exploit other offered opportunities provided outside compulsory education, e.g. by different youth organisations.

Margita Adamič, who is familiar with the entrepreneurial mind-set, also in connection with the local environment, believes the creation of opportunities is the ultimate approach. A (young) person must seek their own story and work, whereby support from older people is key, but often lacking. Parents and older people in general are often not capable of an open, broad and entrepreneurial mind-set. Consequently, it would be reasonable to work with them. Regardless of age personal and professional development require will, ideas and courage, as well as readiness and motivation for continuous learning and in-service training.

Businesses seek what hardly exists – people with a high level of self-initiative who are willing to learn!

Companies/employers look for people, including young adults, who are willing to work and willing to learn how to work. E.g. Akrapovič company is looking for people of all ages with different levels of education, since their door is open to everyone who demonstrate their interest and self-initiative regardless of their educational level. So, in the beginning, this is more of a matter of will than knowledge. And this is something they miss: will and a sense of self-initiative of both adults and – or perhaps primarily – young people.

Readiness to work and self-initiative is something which is also sought by the Adria Dom company. They believe that young people must be ready to work and learn. The end of schooling does not mean the end of learning. Namely, the achieved educational level is not once and for all. Therefore, learning should be a continuous life-long process based on strong motivation.

Cooperation and networking

The so-called “millennials” are the most innovative generation in the history of mankind! This was confirmed at the parallel practical event, i.e. the entrepreneurship workshop in the Bela Krajina Company Incubator where young people reflected on their professional path and developed concrete entrepreneurial ideas. Our experience confirmed that sometimes all young people need is a bit of motivation and support.

The Črnomelj PAS event thus confirmed that at the beginning of their career young people must invest some effort, learn and seek opportunities offered by Bela Krajina. Thy must join the action with a brave and proactive approach! The local environment and key stakeholders therein must be able to connect, create and create a support environment for the development of entrepreneurship, and promote the development of relevant competencies of both young and old people. We must be aware of the existing entrepreneurs’ demnads and respond to their staffing needs, while educating young entrepreneurs to prepare them for lifelong learning, raise awareness of the powers it offers, and to find joy in the discovery of new knowledge. The European Year of Adult Learning’s  motto “The Power and Joy of Learning” definitely applies to the path to entrepreneurship as well.


You can find more information on EAAL professional events focused on various existing activities for promoting the development of basic abilities and key competencies of adults, and for presentation of achievements and definition of opportunities and challenges at: http://tvu.acs.si/paradaucenja/dogodki_epuo/2017.


You are kindly invited to read about our past events:

Small events with a large reach 2017 (1/7): Involvement of volunteers in working with migrants 



Simona Kavčič (simona.kavcic@acs.si), Slovenian Institute for Adult Education 

Ms Simona Kavčič works for the Slovenian Institute for Adult Education, where she is responsible for promotional and information activities. She is also responsible for the Institute’s library which she tries to promote among all interested and participants in adult education. She is inspired by active people of various ages whose activity enriches both their own lives and the life of others.

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