With today's rising levels of Youth Unemployment, AEGEE-Valletta’s #2morrow2day event, held recently, pushed for the idea of Youth Entrepreneurship as a solution to this ever persistent problem. With MEP Miriam Dalli, Education Minister Evarist Bartolo, Mr. David Curmi from the Chamber of Commerce and students from across campus this event brought together key stakeholders in the entrepreneurial field for open discussions about what is currently available, and what has yet to improve in this field.
Addressing the audience MEP Dalli said she was happy to see such a large turnout of students interested in the cause, and hoped to see the spread of entrepreneurship amongst young people here in Malta. She also commented on the need to provide young people with the skills and know-how to make a truly thriving business, securing a better future for our country.
Speaking on the current mind-set of the education system locally, Minister Evarist Bartolo said that it is important to work on changing our current education system which “shackles” the entrepreneurial spirit as opposed to encouraging and improving it. He also spoke about the need for the students’ voice to be heard at more than just on special occasions, but rather at all times. There should no longer be a society that “reward[s] silence and conformist thought”.
President of the Chamber of Commerce David Curmi then spoke on the fact that there are no losers when entrepreneurship is concerned. New businesses create jobs, revenue and potential for investments. He went on to say that the problems faced by young people come from three different stages, namely the familiar level (that is to say, the cultural background and societal norms the young people are exposed to), the economic levels which tends to put entrepreneurship as a risk, as opposed to a career, and finally the state level, with problems of bureaucracy slowing the process for those willing to try new things.
Following these speeches a panel discussion was carried out with several other experts in the field who discussed issues of Net Neutrality, European Union schemes that are put in place to help young people by the and the differences and challenges faced when opening a local business as opposed to an international one.
This event was the first of several organised by AEGEE-Valletta with MEP Dalli, aimed at promoting Youth Entrepreneurship. This project will then take a European Dimension when the reports and recommendations discussed in Malta will be compared and discussed with hundreds of European youths during a youth conference which is partly funded by the Ministry for Finance and is to be held later on this year.
AEGEE-Valletta and AEGEE-Agrigento
By Andrea Fenech Adami
Sun, Sea, Beaches, Food, Parties and Fun. These were the themes of our Travelling Summer University which was held from 23rd July to the 6th August 2014. 35 lucky participants from all around Europe packed their bags and headed towards the first destination of the TSU; Agrigento. Welcomed by the Maltese and Sicilian organizers, the event kicked off with an opening ceremony and icebreaking games for the participants to get to know each other. The holiday, as promised, was characterized by lots of beach visits, workshops where we showed them typical Sicilian food, where the participants created their own Tiramisu. The participants really loved the sun and sea, and also enjoyed our trip to the Temple Valley, where we actually walked through Roman remains which are a key part of Italian and Sicilian history. The city centre was also explored with a twist. Instead of a boring tour, we left the participants to discover the centre on their own, by doing a Treasure Hunt! Everyone had the chance to visit every corner of the centre, while taking photos and further contributing to team spirit! The Sicilian organisers were also very proud to host parties in some of the most established clubs in Agrigento, most of the parties being held on beaches, Mediterranean style! The highlight of the trip was the trip to Taormina, where the participants could indulge in the beautiful scenery and take a dip in the crystal clear waters.
The Maltese part of the TSU was kicked off with a big breakfast so everyone could be full of energy to kick off their day. The participants had a perfect mix of sun, sea, history, fun and parties, making sure that everyone got the most out of Malta! The group visited the historical temples of Hagar Qim, visited key cities such as Mdina and Valletta, also having a treasure hunt in the process! The participants absolutely loved the sister island of Gozo with its beautiful green areas and unique beaches. Parties were held in the very famous clubbing centre of Malta; Paceville while one of them was a beach/toga party! We also surprised our participants by spicing up the Comino trip and including a private boat party on the way! This was definitely the highlight of the TSU, and everybody had a wonderful time. The participants had time to dance, work on their tans, enjoy Comino and the Blue Lagoon all at the same time!
AEGEE-Valletta and MEP Miriam Dalli are proud to collaborate with a number of organisations, to embark on an ambitious project to promote Youth Entrepreneurship in Malta.
Graduating from university is probably one of the best feelings in the world. After years of lectures, sleepless nights and coffee-fuelled breakdowns, very little feels quite rewarding as receiving your degree. But nothing can put a damper on this joy like leaving the student life behind and finding that there is no job waiting for you on the other side of it all.
In some countries youth unemployment has reached over 50%, meaning that more than half the young people in certain countries cannot even find a work (whether they be freshly out of university or otherwise). With this in mind the idea of Entrepreneurship is one that has flourished as a solution to an ever-growing problem.
Officially the word entrepreneurship means: “the process of starting a business of another organization;” over time however it has developed to be a more colloquial term for an innovator who creates something with a fresh new take, perhaps even employing ideas previously unthought-of before. It is because of this growing concern over youth unemployment that AEGEE (European Students’ Forum) has made it one of its main thematic focuses for the year 2014-2017.
It is widely accepted that one of the main combatants of youth unemployment is in fact entrepreneurship, which is why AEGEE-Valletta has decided to work on this project.
This project will be led in tandem with the office of Dr Miriam Dalli MEP, who personally endorsed the initial concept put forward by AEGEE Valletta and with whom we are closely collaborating to spread this idea and create dialogue on such an important concept. Miriam Dalli has always advocated about the need to instil and promote entrepreneurial spirit even before being elected as an MEP.
Together with Miriam Dalli, AEGEE Valletta is looking forward to a conference spread out on three different events which will finally result in suggestions and recommendations that we would want to put forward.
The first event will take place on the University of Malta campus and will set the ball rolling. This event will be a public dialogue, with speakers from various walks of entrepreneurship (social, political or knowledge) coming to explain their work, what they do and how they achieved what they worked for. The aim is to engage participants to talk to the speakers, and to start discussions about any questions they may have.
The second event will take place in the city of Brussels, Belgium. Here there will be an intensive seminar where the plan is to have 100 participants attending. Various representatives from student organisations, as well as other young people interested in entrepreneurship will travel to Brussels for a 3 day seminar with talks from foreign entrepreneurs and young politicians, as well as workshops and more discussion panels.
Finally there will be a third event, which will act as a follow-up, as well as a concluding meeting to the previous two sessions. Here, together with the help of student organisations and other groups which focus on helping young entrepreneurs, a final youth meeting will be hosted in Malta with the participation of over 300 hundred youths from across Europe, who will be invited to collaborate and contribute to the compiling and finalisation of a document; the document is to affect legislation with regards to helping the start-up of entrepreneurial adventures on a local level.
The third stage of this project (conference) is part-funded by the Ministry for Finance.
The combination of the three events is a large scale project which, in itself is a very daring one, but no conference on entrepreneurship would be complete if the organisers didn’t learn a thing or two about working “outside the box” and learning to think big.
Throughout all three events, the number of students attending is estimated to reach 500 but should the final document be accepted, the number of future entrepreneurs who will benefit from this project cannot be counted.
Should you wish to participate and help out in these events, do not hesitate to contact us on the AEGEE-Valletta page or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last October, we welcomed our friends from AEGEE-Tilburg and AEGEE-Nijmegen. It was a crazy week filled with laughter, friendship and to top it all - partying! We first settled in a private villa in the country-side, seeing Malta’s beautiful views, such as Dingli Cliffs and the Blue Grotto. But, as the week progressed the adventure got crazier. Our weekend started in typical AEGEE- Valletta style: with our weekly Thursday nights at Footloose! Our mandatory hung over from the European Night was also included!
During this week we visited the Megalithic temples at Hagar Qim, went around the winding streets of Mdina and experienced Malta’s vast history in Valletta. Thankfully, the weather was in our favor too, as we spent a lovely day at Golden Sands, had a fun packed day going around Gozo and even managed to visit the small Comino-heaven.
Even though this Tilburg and Nijmegen visit was a very short one, we have managed to make friends for life, a value which is greatly cherished in the whole European AEGEE family. Thanks for such a great week! Everyone at AEGEE-Valletta hopes to see our Dutch friends soon!