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Is EU funding opportunities administration an art?

We had the chance to meet volunteers and experts from Youth Business Network, an active group of young people based in Komotini a city in the region of East Macedonia and Thrace, northeastern Greece but with a global vision and activity.  YBN , is a network  of young people active around the world aimed to contribute to competitiveness and regional growth through an entrepreneurial mind-set in the next generation. The potential partners in this endeavour include educational institutions, embassies in host countries, governments, private sector and individuals. It will be achieved by creating awareness, organising debates, providing opportunities for practical business start-ups and facilitating peer partnerships. Founder Nikolaos Kostopoulos says the organisation will be a platform from which to provide moral and directional support to young people as they foster the necessary business skills to pursue their goals.

To promote youth employment and entrepreneurship, the EU and its member countries work together to:

  • Address the concerns of young people in employment strategies
  • Invest in the skills employers look for
  • Develop career guidance and counselling services
  • Promote opportunities to work and train abroad
  • Support quality internships/apprenticeships
  • Improve childcare and shared family responsibilities
  • Encourage entrepreneurship

In order to achieve those aims EU is supporting young people with various grant to invest to their ideas.

The EU does provide some significant opportunities, but it does have quite strict rules and criteria, and will not be relevant to all organisations in these sectors.  However, there are many beneficiaries which have received significant funding from one or more of these sources for their projects and initiatives.  

Youth entrepreneurship is high on the EU political agenda as a tool to combat youth unemployment and social exclusion as well as stimulating innovation among young people:

Youth work and non-formal learning play an important role in developing the creative and innovative potential of young people including entrepreneurial skills. Youth policy and programmes at EU and national level support this:

Youth Business Network has recently organized a training course under Erasmus Plus+ sponsored by the Greek National Agency called ” How to Administrate EU Grants more effectively ”  that took place in Greece. During that training 25 young people had the chance to practise the following skills :

  • What does a European commission appointed proposal evaluator typically look for?
  • What you need to remember when filling out the application? DOs and DONTs
  • Writing a winning proposal, live demo, taking a case study of a typical EU grant application and his idea, a detailed step-by-step demonstration of how to write a proposal with high chances of winning

YBN is intended to assist grant beneficiaries in the implementation of their grant projects in financed from EC. This training  tries to provide practical information on the implementation and procedures related to financial management, reporting and accounting in line with EU financial regulation

One of the main beliefs that has been the acrual factor for the implementation of this project was that EU funds are used for direct access by a small circle of practitioners, though these grants are a real opportunity for the financing of all projects with a European dimension. Mastering Eu funding techniques ensures a valuable skill for your career and are essential for the development of your organization leverage.

Below you can find some observations participants have synopsised during this training course and they are useful not only for EU grants applications but from private donors-sponsors -investors :

The purpose of a proposal

● Ask for money ● Inspire donors ● Inform ● Share your vision ● Build a relationship ● Communicate your success Explain why your project is important and different. Focus on the future, not something you’ve already done. MANAGEMENT RELATIONS IDEATION

TOP 5 PROBLEMS WITH PROPOSALS

1. THE PROPOSAL IS NOT A PROPOSAL 2. BORING! 3. THERE IS NO CLEAR PROBLEM STATEMENT. 4. LACK OF LOGICAL ORDER 5. DOESN’T SOLVE ANYTHING

Final Advice

1. Proofread 2. Organize your proposal to make it easier to read . 3. Don’t include color, staples, fancy, bindings or special materials Researching foundations

● Identify nonprofit organizations that are similar to yours ● Conduct research using Foundation Center (www.foundationcenter.org) of European Foundation Center (efr.be) ● First contact those foundation that have similar interest ● You don’t need to be a great writer to write a great proposal 2

Become a better storyte

Make sure you write proposal (for a future need) , not a report or something that has already been accompished or founded.

For more information you can visit Youth Business Network’s website www.ybn.club or stay up to date with their news through their official facebook page www.facebook.com/ybnacademy

RestartBalkans2 is a fact Save the date 22 November 2014 Komotini Greece

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Restart Politics is the second version of our annual yearly event RestartBalkans. This year we will focus just in politics in the wide Balkans area and we will limit the entrepreneurial spirit of the event ,we have focus last year. This year Youth Business Network is teaming up with Students for Liberty.  This spectacular weekend will be be highlighted by our interactive forums which will address “The Future of Liberty Politics  in Balkans area .”  Our speakers will clearly articulate the need to reduce the size of government, maximize freedom, and return to the Constitution.

We will examine liberty from historical, constitutional, and moral perspectives and explain why the limited government ideas that created our country  ,can restore and revitalize our optimism for the future.

 

At  Restart Politics 2014 you will be able to:

Spend time with fellow liberty-minded activists and also some startup geeks

Strengthen your understanding of the foundational principles necessary to maintain liberty.

Learn about current events from a freedom perspective you won’t hear from the media.

Learn how to recruit, equip, and mobilize an army of informed citizens.

Learn how to build your group’s organizational structure necessary to win.

Learn how to become an effective campus organizer.

Learn the fundamentals of fundraising and running for political office.

Learn to master the political process on the local and national level.

Don’t miss out on this weekend filled with political philosophy, political history, campaign tactics, and strategies from some of the best veterans in the field.

About Youth Business Network

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This is an NGO established in Greece with the main objective of fostering the impact of Greek’s
professionals on the continent. Its vision is to facilitate Greece’s development and transformation
through its own young students, graduates and active entrepreneurs through practical techno-social
entrepreneurship engagement. The potential partners in this endeavour include educational
institutions,  embassies in host countries, governments, private sector and individuals. It will be
achieved by creating awareness, organising debates, providing opportunities for practical business
start-ups and facilitating peer partnerships with non-Greek counterparts. YNB is aimed towards
facilitating the development and transformation of Greece .
Five young professionals have secured funding from the Youth in Action programme
to establish a non-governmental organisation with a mission to empower young
people to set up their own businesses.

43 per cent of Greek  young people would like to set up a business

Founder Nikolaos Kostopoulos  says the organisation, called Youth Business Network , will

be a platform from which to provide moral and directional support to young people as they

foster the necessary business skills to pursue their goals.

“My role as international and EU officer and the interest in entrepreneurship lem me

traveling all over the world and make a network with young entrepreneurs.

On his return to Greece,  the national government youth agency, helped establish the right

source of funding and provided guidance on turning the initiative into an NGO.

Among a string of initiatives planned is a research pilot project in Athens to identify the

issues holding young people from taking the plunge into the business world. The group

believes the research will help fine-tune its mission statement and help it channel its

efforts more effectively.

Youth Business Network  is seeking sponsors and partners with whom it can co-ordinate

and organise initiatives like business simulations, business hubs, and workshops where

successful business people will share experiences of milestones like success, setbacks,

failure, and re-invention. It even hopes to be able to accompany aspiring entrepreneurs on

overseas trade missions in search of partners, knowledge exchange, and possibly investors.

The group hopes Youth Business Network  will establish itself as a resourceful platform

and networking facilitator to which young people can turn to for support.

“Our mission is to promote measures and

mechanisms for youth entrepreneurship, to

influence the policy of national institutions, and

promote a culture among young people of job

creation rather than job seeking.”

 

Greek Turkish Economy Forum

 

Greek Turkish Economy Conference was organized succesful from Youth Business Network -associate organization of Students  for Liberty and International Platform for Young Entrepreneurs at Bilgi Law School 9 to 11 May 2014 . More than 100 participants from both countries attended the conference with main topic international relationships ,economical cooperation between Greece and Turkey .Also 2 startup companies showcased at the duration of the event . Lot of  journalists from Turkey have attended , and their interest for Greek Speakers was quite interesting
Some of the main speakers were :

 

 Emre Semercioğlu The role of International Platform for Young Entrepreneurs”

Myrto Dimitriou-Michaela Papamichail  -Youth Business Network -How we promote Greek startup ecosystem
Nikolaos Kostopoulos 10 reasons your startup will fail
Dr.Vasileios Grammatikas (Keynote speaker ) 
Haris Donias “Creating a Culture of Job Rather Τhan Job Seeking”
Enver Mısırlı Startups’ sector in Turkey”
Yro Chatziathanasiou Volunteering Instead Unemployment
Euthymia Papagianni “Investment Opportunities in Greece”
The second part of Greek Turkish Economic Forum will be announced soon and it will be organized in Greece

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