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 email@example.com.
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!
What we have done in these last months
As you all know AEGEE Valletta celebrated its 17th birthday on the 7th of November! We are pleased to say that it was a successful event, despite the horrible weather that day! It was a night full of cheers, laughs and good spirit, and gave the opportunity to members to catch up, and also gave the opportunity to new members to get to know the AEGEE-Valletta board and members! During this event, the AEGEE-Valletta board presented President Emeritus Chris Frendo with a token of appreciation, thanking him for his three years spent as President.
Following last April’s successful Erasmus trip to Malta, AEGEE-Catania decided to organise another trip to Malta in collaboration with AEGEE-Valletta from 15th to 17th of November. During the event, we also gave the opportunity for University of Malta Erasmus students to meet the 40 AEGEE Catania Erasmus students, giving them the opportunity to improve their social ties and share their Maltese Erasmus experience with other Erasmus students from Catania. This event also gave the opportunity to AEGEE-Valletta members to interact with AEGEE-Catania members, strengthening the ties between the two antennae.
From 14th to 16th November, AEGEE-Valletta organised their usual Erasmus Gozo trip. Consisting of about 25 people, both Maltese and foreign, the group had a very enjoyable weekend, with amazing weather. The weekend had a perfect balance of parties, sightseeing and relaxation, making it a perfect weekend getaway for everyone (something only Gozo can offer!). Feedback was all incredibly positive, many stating that they cannot wait for our next event!
Many persons when talking about North Africa, Middle East and Europe tend to focus on the differences there exist in these countries when in actual fact many things are common between us. We share the same history and also the same concerns. Yet, the focus still tends to shift to what divides us rather than what unites us. It is also true that many times the things that are different from one country to another are the things that enrich us and make us appreciate more the Mediterranean region with its diverse cultures and traditions. The key is therefore to find common grounds while appreciating the differences and focus on dialogue. It is for this reason that AEGEE-Valletta decided to come up with a project that indeed focuses on inter-cultural dialogue and inclusion with the name of ‘Raising the Bar: Euromed A Way Forward’.
This Training Course, funded under Action 3 of the Youth in Action Programme, offered an opportunity to the partners involved to reflect on issues which are common to all countries coming from the EU/Mediterranean region. The training course thus focused mainly on three issues:
1. Inter-cultural dialogue enhanced through intercultural communication
2. Inclusion and young people in EU/Mediterranean region within a European context
3. Project Management and active participation of young people in an innovative and creative way.
This training resulted in opportunities for the youth leaders invited to actively participate; thus stimulating initiative, innovation and entrepreneurship. Therefore, the event generated an environment to support partner’s capacity building in the region on topics of inclusion and intercultural communication. It was run over 5 days and saw 30 participants coming from 10 different countries from all over the Mediterranean, namely: Malta, Greece, Croatia, Spain, Italy, Palestine, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey and Morocco.