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Project Update: European Learning for Youth in Social Entrepreneurship

March 15, 2016

ELYSE in Portugal

Since the ELYSE project began in May 2015, collaborators from six countries have been on a voyage of discovery to unearth the vital ingredients required to enable young social entrepreneurs. At the outset of the project, it was already clear from the partners’ experience with young people aged 16-30 that:

  • Leading a social venture is a powerful personal development experience;
  • An early experience of social entrepreneurship can generate longer-term interest in social action;
  • Young people bring a distinctive and valued approach to engaging their peers in projects;
  • Young social entrepreneurship has potential to create significant economic and social benefits

The question, then: how can we do more of this? What ways are most effective to provide mentoring, peer to peer support and a quality environment for young social entrepreneurs?

Through a series of round table discussions, exchange visits and research, the six partners have undertaken to answer exactly that.

Progress so far

The first meeting brought partners from Croatia, the UK, Portugal and Poland to Naples, Italy. You can read Luisa De Simone, GSEN Associate’s, full visit report here.
Next,  partners took their investigations to Lisbon in Portugal to see what youth social entrepreneurship looks like there. Full report here.
Subsequent exchanges have taken the team to Poland and the UK. Stay tuned for more reports soon.

Learnings and recommendations

The project concludes in July with a final report and a toolkit for practitioners defining the best ways to inspire, educate and support young social entrepreneurs. We are collecting young social entrepreneurs’ experiences to feed into this. If you are working with young social entrepreneurs (16-30) please help us share this survey.  You as practitioner can also feed your own experience into the toolkit by answering these short questions.


This is a collaboration across 5 countries:

UnLtd (UK)

Social Enterprise Agency (Portugal)

Project Ahead (Italy)

Youth Business Poland

CEDRA HR (Croatia)


This project is generously supported by:

Supported by Erasmus

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