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Young people with disabilities are much more likely to be unemployed and in poor economic conditions than their peers without disabilities. Since it is very hard for them to find an employment, a valid alternative would be to turn in self-employment and entrepreneurship. However, existing entrepreneurship training and support programmes usually do not take into consideration their needs which are specific and different from those of young people without disability.
STARTUP project aims to empower young people with disabilities to start their own enterprise and support them to overcome all the obstacles that exist both practical and psychological. In the same time, the project aims to empower youth workers to support them in this process. In order to achieve these objectives, the project is going to organise three capacity building courses with many activities, discussions and a mentoring program in order to support the youth workers in the specific field. The project will also build bridges between youth workers and successful entrepreneurs, who are going to share their experiences, best practices, and their guidance, with the aim this project to be the stepping stone for a future where they can drive their own lives.
Furthermore, the project is going to develop an online portal related with young entrepreneurs with disabilities with the aim to create a reference point for the whole sector. It is also going to develop an e-learning course and open educational resources in order to reach young people that because of their disability are not going to be able to participate in the presential activities. Young entrepreneurs with disabilities and innovative ideas are going to be supported through mentoring in an individual basis or in a group. E-youth work is going also to be piloted in order to support these activities.
The project is going to be implemented by a consortium comprised of 5 organisations, representing 4 countries from 3 continents (Greece, UK, Japan, Chile) that face similar issues related with the entrepreneurship of young people with disabilities. The organisations are experts in the promotion of entrepreneurship (generally) and the entrepreneurship of young people with disabilities (more specifically) , online and youth work.
It is expected that at least 60 youth workers and 100 young people with disabilities will be involved in the project activities. At the end of the project, it is expected that more young people with disabilities will be involved in entrepreneurial activities which will be more successful because of the provision of more adequate support.