Empowering young people (15-18 years old) in Central and Eastern Europe with entrepreneurship and STEM skills.

Between February – May 2018, EIT RawMaterials and Junior Achievement Europe organised four Innovation Camps across Bulgaria and Romania with the support of EIT RawMaterials partners BASF Romania, Arcelor Mittal Iasi and Veolia. An Innovation Camp is a one- or two-day interactive event where students work in teams mentored by professional volunteers to come up with solutions to a challenge related to raw materials set by EIT RawMaterials, partner companies and the JA local organisation. The initiative impacted 228 students from 41 schools involving 22 professional volunteers. The challenge questions addressed issues related to raw materials, recycling of natural resources and the circular economy. Students had the opportunity to improve their creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and ability to work in a team, and to generate and present ideas. They also gained a better understanding of how technology, the innovative use of raw materials and responsible behaviour towards the environment can help solve real-world problems and contribute to the success of a business.

These Innovation Camps are the first part of a longer initiative, running until May 2019, in which EIT RawMaterials and JA Europe will equip 1200 young people (15-18 years old) in Central and Eastern Europe with entrepreneurship and STEM skills with the support of 100 professional business volunteers. In the academic year 2018-2019, students are participating in a 1-year entrepreneurship education programme, the JA Company Programme, and this entrepreneurial experience will be certified with the international qualification the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass.