Project title: EVERYONE CAN START-UP
- Lithuanian Association of People with Disabilities – Lead Partner
- Latvian Association of People with Disabilities APEIRONS
- The Estonian Union Of Persons With Mobility Impairment
- The Nordic Academy for Social Entrepreneurship NASE, Sweden
Project Period: Expected to begin: 11.06.2012 Expected end: 21.11.2012
Project Funding: Nordic Council of Ministers
Target group: People with disabilities who have energy and will to start-up business in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia
Project Aims: To activate and support self-employment and entrepreneurship activities among people with disabilities in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
- To enable national associations that unite people with disabilities in the Baltic States to start entrepreneurship development and promotion activities.
- To create a platform for providing practical support, coaching and mentoring for self-employment initiatives by persons with disabilities.
- To increase the motivation of persons with disabilities in relation to self-employment and to raise awareness among stakeholders about the value and good practice of entrepreneurship among persons with disabilities.
Project summary: The project aims to activate and promote entrepreneurship and self-employment activities among people with disabilities in the Baltic States. EU studies and experts state that self-employment is an important alternative way of participating in the labor market for persons with disability, however to date this opportunity is poorly exploited.
During the project two representatives from each of the partner organizations will develop entrepreneurship competences including developing a business idea, understanding clients’ needs, identifying products and services, marketing and business planning, budgets and share good practices and experience during workshops and study visits to Sweden. The project will utilize Nordic competence and transfer it from Nordic countries to the Baltic countries. Study visit participants will be introduced to programs that support entrepreneurship, in particular clustering, which is much supported in Sweden and regarded as one of the most effective ways to develop small entrepreneurships. During the project participants from the Baltic countries will visit cluster where people with disabilities are involved in 3 companies, which are led by people with disabilities.
In order to make long lasting, systemic and sustainable support and mentoring for self-employers or business starters among persons with disability a pilot social cluster will be established in Lithuania. Members of the cluster will be disabled entrepreneurs. A one day meeting workshop for all partner organizations is planned to discuss the concept of clusters, their development and management. Swedish colleagues will supervise the creation of the cluster, provide consultations. During the project 3 disabled business starters who are highly motivated, have a desire to start a business and a preliminary business idea and plan will be mentored by the cluster members who are experienced entrepreneurs. Mentoring will include development of the business concept and business plan and its implementation.
In order to raise awareness and to motivate people with disability to start up their own businesses a competition will be organized at the end of the year for disabled entrepreneurs from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to select the best business set up and run by a person with disability. Various forms of awareness raising including a website on-line forum, films on best practices and successful businesses developed by persons with disability will be created.
- Representatives from the associations for people with disabilities, 2 from Latvia, 2 from Estonia and 2 from Lithuania will be trained on entrepreneurship and will participate in study visits in Sweden.
- The first pilot cluster for disabled entrepreneurs will be created in Lithuania. The cluster will unite a minimum of 10 members, who are entrepreneurs or self-employed with disabilities. The cluster members will mentor 3 disabled persons who are willing to be self-employed and start-up a business.
- An online- website forum will be opened and moderate with a minimum 50 subscribers. It is planned that at least 3 movies on successful businesses by persons with disabilities will be created and distributed via online social networks.