YESS – Youth Enterprise Shadowing Schemes – is a 24-months Erasmus+ project (KA2: Strategic Partnership | Youth) designed to support the fight against unemployment among young people and, at the same time, influence their decisions for their future careers, by enriching their understanding of the practical sides of entrepreneurship and self-employment through engaging them in the so-called “Entreprise Shadowing Scheme” (E.S.), which has been proven to constitute quite effective educational processes in many countries.
In the Entreprise Shadowing Scheme, young people – by “shadowing” an entrepreneur – observe an enterprise’s environment, its challenges, the required skills, the value of entrepreneurial training and, therefore, become able to consider alternative career options for the future.
YESS will increase the youth’s career awareness, reinforcing the link between already acquired skills and successfully starting new businesses. The project will positively impact existing policies and practices aiming at entrepreneurship development, especially within the youth sector.
An innovative approach to increase entrepreneurship
YESS presents a novel approach to “creating added value” that will positively impact the existing policies and practices aiming at entrepreneurship development, especially among young people. YESS project’s design and implementation will be based on the following five methodological principles:
This is the first stage of the ES experience where the participating young people get an opportunity to understand all elements of entrepreneurship.
The “Host Enterprise” meets with the young people. The HE should use this opportunity to get to know the visiting young people, by asking appropriate questions in order to judge if a young person is a novice or has some experience.
This is the stage where the young people observe the HE perform its daily activities. Depending on the industry, they accompany the HE in daily routines and/or provide assistance with minor tasks, while cautiously observing their performance.
This is the “riskiest” stage and the main innovation of YESS project. The young people “shadowing” the entrepreneurs shall undertake some of the tasks they had observed. This provides them with a “hands-on” experience, whilst maintaining the safety net of a continuous supervision.
Here a young person will shadow the host in performing specific activities over a designated period, preceded by a mini brief and completed by a follow-up debriefing session. This may work best when individuals work near the host and the host is able to provide them with advice on dates and times of specific activities, which are of value in understanding the entrepreneur’s role.