This year Europe is the face of change: youth innovation and entrepreneurship are no longer limited to just a few exceptional individuals. In 2014, the focus across Europe will be on youth collectively assuming leadership. There will be significant new opportunities to empower young people to be more innovative and entrepreneurial, and EYIF will be at the heart of the action, helping to drive change. Be part of it, join #InnoYear Europe.
Things are changing in Europe. Youth innovation and entrepreneurship are no longer the reserve of a few brilliant minds. In contrast to the last three decades, there is now growing acceptance that sustainable economic recovery and job creation, in particular the fight against youth unemployment, cannot be led only by governments and big business. Europe’s future lies with dynamic and entrepreneurial young people who are prepared to take steps to secure their own prosperity and that of future generations, in an environment that supports, encourages and rewards risk taking. This momentum for a renewed Europe needs to be inspired, supported and boosted, collectively.
2014 will be a watershed year, and for good reasons. The newly “pro-innovation” Europe is launching an extensive pan-European awareness and engagement campaign to promote entrepreneurship. EYIF will be an integral partner of this initiative, with its large community of young innovators across Europe. Furthermore, the new EU Innovation programme Horizon 2020, with 80 billion EUR in funding over the next 7 years, will serve to bolster a more entrepreneurial Europe. Particularly noteworthy is the 11% of this budget, approximately 8.5 billion EUR dedicated to funding innovative SMEs. This momentum for change needs to be sustained by young people exercising leadership through the European elections in May: it’s our opportunity to make our voice heard for greater entrepreneurship, innovation and risk-taking in Europe. EYIF will be at the heart of this mindset change in Europe.
We will be conducting multiple activities and events across Europe where we will engage with more than 1200 young entrepreneurs and innovators, and mentor over 600 of them. For this, we will partner with the European Commission, European Parliament, US Department of State and strategic corporate partners to drive change through youth empowerment. The ICT Roadshow, the InnoTour USA, the Innovation Convention, the European Youth Event, the InnoApps competition, events at our Regional Innovation Hubs, and of course the 3rd annual Young Innovators Unconvention, will be EYIF’s cornerstone activities for 2014.
This month EYIF will participate in the 44th World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, specifically for the European Entrepreneurship Initiative on which it partners with the WEF, co-leading the ‘promotion of entrepreneurship’. In February EYIF will be showcased in Silicon Valley at the Global Innovation Summit as a best-practice of a bottom-up, cross-border innovation ecosystem. Best wishes from the EYIF team for a successful 2014 full of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship! It’s time for less talk and more action –it’s time for #InnoYear Europe. Join us! firstname.lastname@example.org
— Image courtesy of 9gag.com.