Since we formed Rinova we have been developing a wide range of innovative programmes with UK and international partners to tackle mass youth unemployment, which continues to grow in London, the UK and across Europe.

One such programme is the European Youth Enterprise initiative (EYE-i) – a two-year EU Lifelong Learning Programme that is exploring the way that creating and growing social enterprises – and specifically co-operatives and mutuals – can create new working environments and improve skills for employability through enterprise.

The UK partners in EYE-i are Rinova and WOTs Associates. EYE-i brings together six partners from five countries and also includes:

The most recent meeting of the EYE-i project was hosted by Fundaction Innoves in Malaga. Youth unemployment has reached 57% across Spain, where the social economy is a large employer.

The project partners were able to visit a number of Andalusian Social Economy School, CADE (a business start up programme) and the Confederation of Social Economy Organisations of Andalusia (CEPES) and receive presentations from each.

Some short films from that visit can be viewed on the project’s youtube channel.

Fabricio Chavarro of Rinova, who lived and worked in Malaga for a number of years said “Although the situation regarding youth unemployment in Spain and particularly in Andalusia is appalling, we saw much in the work of CADE and CEPES to inspire us and to give us some new ideas for developments in London”.

The partners recently completed a review of the position relating to social enterprise and young people in each of their countries.  The results of this review will soon be available on the project website, which was launched recently.  To visit the EYE-i website, click here.

Partners will now build on the review through a transnational workshop for young people in the Netherlands in July, which will be attended by young people who have formed social enterprises from amongst members of the Rinova Consortium, and will continue to share experience and know-how while building up to a major conference in Berlin in 2014.

Pictured above: EYE-i partners at their meeting and project visits on the 4th and 5th March 2013 in Malaga.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.