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With fewer job opportunities in rural areas, more and more young people are either moving away to find work or are becoming unemployed. Supporting potential young entrepreneurs to turn something they are passionate about into an employment opportunity will not just help them find work that they enjoy but may also help them to stay in our rural communities creating new services and job opportunities for others.

RYE (the Rural Youth Entrepreneurship project) is a new initiative designed to support young people from disadvantaged rural areas to do just that

Through workshops, events and interactive online resources the project is designed to help 16-30 year olds in rural areas to consider what self employment is, and how it works, generate a business idea that will take advantage of new opportunities and develop a Business Action Plan that will provide the tools and the confidence to make their business idea a reality.

What does the project provide?

  • Events and workshops to help  young people consider if self-employment may be right for them
  • The opportunity to hear from other young people who have started their own business about their experience
  • Expert local advice and information to help them develop their proposal
  • Free access to online resources and back up support which they can work through at their own pace (www.ryeprojecttool.eu )
  • Tailored advice and referrals to other sources of support to help them take the next step in starting their business e.g. business mentoring, technical support, sources of finance or specific training and education

To date over 300 young people have participated in the project taking part in a range of project activities including “The Big Idea” workshop designed to stimulate interest in entrepreneurship and generate potential business ideas, and “Next Steps” using “The Drawing Board” technique to sketch out how their idea will make money, and consider some pitfalls faced by entrepreneurs.

The project also offers young people access to www.ryeprojecttool, an innovative new online resource combining case studies and interviews with successful young entrepreneurs, research and links to further information on key business sectors, business planning guidance and regulations as using well as the interactive online “Business Action Planner” to help users develop their business idea in their own time. Participants who complete the Action planning process will also benefit from tailored advice and support to help them take the next steps in making their business idea a reality.

The RYE project (Rural Youth Entrepreneurship) is part funded under the Interreg IVB Northern Periphery Programme and is delivered by a partnership across Northern Ireland, Finland, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland. The lead partner for the project is the Rural Development Council for Northern Ireland (RDC). The project is also supported in Northern Ireland by DARD under the tackling poverty and Social Isolation Programme.

Many more workshops and events will be taking place between now and the end of the project in March 2014, so keep up to date with us on our Facebook page or on the project website, www.ryeproject.eu. If you would like to find out more about the project or if you are eligible to participate in a project workshop you can also contact us directly at  ryeproject@rdc.org.uk.

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