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Welcome to the dissemination seminars in Lithuania and Sweden

The two remaining dissemination seminars will be the 18:th of June in Ukmerge, Lithuania at Taujenai manor http://taujenudvaras.lt/kontaktai/

and the 25:th of June in Kalmar, Sweden. Please find invitations and programs in the attached files.


Program in Ukmerge, the 18:th of June

Program in Kalmar, the 25:th of June

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Dissemination seminars going on

The national dissemination seminars are going on.  It started in Finland in April and in May the seminar tour has passed Latvia, Estonia and Poland. In June it will touch Lithuania and Sweden.

The main program in all the seminars are three presentaions of good examples found in the project. It is one example from each of the three themes, participation, entrepreneurhsip and innovation. Two are presented by representatives from other countries and one is from the own country. The exemples are commented by a representative from a relevant body in the own country and also discussed within the puublic in the form of world café.  The plan for a future project is presented by the “future group”.

Here are some short notes from the seminars:

The dissemination in Finland was done through participating in the entrepreneurship training and education conference in Savonlinna, which was organized partly by the Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences. Marita Mattila and Hans-Olof Stålgren made a short presentation of the main parts of the flagship project and the results. They also hosted one of six discussion tables, this with the specific theme of rural youth entrepreneurship. All the about 35 participants were divided into small groups and all groups visited each discussion table for a short time. One of the main issues lifted was the attitude towards entrepreneurship that needs to be changed. The participants were representing the education sector at many different levels. Even some students participated.

The dissemination seminar was arranged by the LLKC/Latvian Rural Network and the Latvian Young Farmers Club. Some 30 young participants, mainly from the Young Farmers Club gathered in the Valguma Pasaule recreation centre about 60 km outside Riga in a nature reserve area. Foreign participants were Ilona from the Mniski Vital village project in Poland and by Skype Lauri Hyttinen from the Finnish Rural Network, who presented the innovation camp concept. The Latvian example was the Entrepreneurship training and competition presented by Inita Krivasonoka The project manager Hans-Olof Stålgren also participated together with representatives from the future group. They were Marianne Blückert, Camilla Broms and Niklas Björkegren from Sweden, Natalia Puzio from Poland, Simonas Barzda from Lithuania and Kaidi Ojasoo from Estonia.
Starting after lunch the first day there were presentations of the different examples and short discussions around the tables after each presentation. After a social evening inside and outside the sauna the seminar continued the day after with a world café with the three themes of participation, entrepreneurship and innovation. The main ideas and suggestions can be found in the short report that soon will be published here.

The National Rural Network in Estonia organized the dissemination seminar in their premises in Jäneda about 70 km from Tallinn. The about 35 seminar participants were both from the Ministry of agriculture and rural development as well as from NGO:s and the education sector. There were both young and somewhat older participants. The foreign presentations were held by Niklas Björkegren from Sweden about the participation method Landsbygd 2.0 and by Marita Mattila from Finland about the Rural Parliament for children. Harald Lepisk from Estonia presented the ENTRUM concept. After the presentations a world café was arranged with the three seminar themes in six different tables. The main discussions and suggestions can be found in the short report that soon will be published here.

The Polish National Rural Network hosted by FAPA organized both a dissemination seminar in Warsaw and a following two-days conference in Smardzewice, in the Lodz region. The Warsaw seminar was held in the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture and rural development and among the participants were representatives from several ministries, among them the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Higher Education and of course the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Several representatives from FAPA participated as well as young representatives from the Young Breeders Association and the Polish Rural Youth Forum. The foreign presentations were held by Tatu Karppinen about the Finnish Innovation Camps, Inita Krivasonoka from LLKC about the Latvian Entrepreneurship training and competition and Joakim Stålåker from Sweden regarding the project concept “From idea to success”. Hans-Olof Stålgren presented the general idea and activities of the project and Camilla Broms presented the project report about methods and support systems for rural youth.
In day 2 and 3 there was a conference located to Smardzewice southwest of Warsaw. Day two was a day dedicated to lectures from several researchers and also interventions from the foreign participants. A large group of students from a secondary upper school were also participating. The students were quite young and maybe the distance to the professors from the universities made that the discussions were not so lively. Nevertheless there were good discussions were the general perception of entrepreneurs as only businessmen met the idea that an entrepreneurial mind is something wider that also can be applied in for social innovations and even to improve work and routines in public organisations. A short report from the discussion and suggestions can soon be found here.

The seminar will be held the 18:th of June in Ukmerges

The seminar will be held the 25:th of June in Kalmar

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Draft of the report on support systems for rural youth

The draft report on support systems for rural youth, presented by Camilla Broms in Högsby, can now be completed by you. You can also read the report about examples of methods for youth report.  Download the files here and give comments direct on the blog or by e-mail to the project leader. To make a comment you click on the “No comment” (!)  line down in the right corner. It seems not really logic to click on No comment when you want to add a comment. But that is how it works.

Link to the draft report about support systems.

Link to the draft report about methods and examples

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The Lerning conference in Högsby is approaching

With over 40 registered participants from 6 different countries the learning conference in Högsby seems to be a great event. The name tags are ready to be used, the study visit hosts are preparing, our workshop process leaders are introduced, almost all travel arrangements are done. So it is just to say welcome.

The weather will be a typical northern Europe / Baltic Sea November weather. So you all know what to expect. No sun glasses needed. about 5 degrees plus (at least it is plus) grey and maybe some rain. For the study visits it is best to be prepared with warm clothes and some boots. At least one of the places to visit might be a little bit muddy.

See you all soon

The flagship project team

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Welcome to the Learning conference in Högsby, Sweden, Nov 24-26

The second Flagship Learning Conference will be organised in Högsby in Sweden in Nov 24-26- 2014. The theme is “Learning by doing” and we will visit the Berga village with many interesting rural activities and businesses. During the following day we will use some of the methods identified for youth participation and for entrepreneurship support to discuss and hopefully develop new ideas for the village. We will used skilled process leaders and innovative ways for the presentation of the ideas. The businesses and organisations we have visited the first day will be present to receive the the suggestions for new innovative ideas from the conference participants. This is the same working process that was used at the conference in Jurmala in October. During the second and third day there will also be presentations of some of the methods and support system identified with the questionnaire done during this autumn. Added to this we will have some guest lecturers to inspire us more with presentations of  their support methods for youth.

We invite all that have participated in at least one of the flagship activities. We are calculating for about 50 participants so there will be possibility for about 7 participants from each country.

Please read the invitation here


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Entrepreneurship and Marketing in Jurmala Oct 7-8

At the conference “Entrepreneurship and Marketing in Jurmala Oct 7-8 2014 we met with some 100 rural and young entrepreneurs from Latvia, Finland, Estonia, Poland, Sweden and even Uzbekistan. We had two days of workshops, presentations and also a study visit. Three lecturers with very different backgrounds, themes and views gave their presentations in the first morning.

Jörgen Andersson, an entrepreneur, visioner and farmer from Åre valley in Sweden presented his views of creating values for the local area. Some of the quotations are:

I am a “regrarian”. Farming so I regenerate the ecosystem.
30% of the world population is fed by the food chain (big industries) and 70% of the population is fed by the food web, (local quite small scale production). But 96% of the food related research goes into the food chain. 80% of that research is going to the food processing after agricultural production. Most of these 30% of the population, fed by the food chain, suffer from health problems.
We are entering the period of “the end of endless resources.” One important is where you place yourselves. Are you participating and influencial for all the things you need in life or are you only a victim of circumstances? When people decide to take control of the circumstances and have a real influence in their life, the big companies and the authorities are at your services and you (and your local friends) are on top of your local economy.
If you realise and understand the possibility to be influencial and even running the circumstances, there is no way back from insight.
Many big companies and the governments and EU want the majority of people to be totally dependent and victims of circumstances.
The only thing we really have to do is to die. What I do before that is my choice, my own choice.

Kristaps Silins – Strategy consultant, gave some insights in marketing strategies with examples from different marketing campaigns in history.

 You can find the presentation here

You can do strategies even without knowing every detail about the process. One of the most important things in strategy is to say NO. Beeing a strategist is to look from beside and take a lazy view of how to come to the goal.

The 1:st NO is saying no to knowledge. Too much knowledge makes your sight blurry. Escaping the curse of knowledge is extremely important, to be able to have a sight from the side. If you want to tell the audience about the Higgs particle for instance, it is an advantage not to complicate the story with a lot of information and knowledge. Make it simple and tangible, not with graphs and overload of data but maybe as simple as some snowflakes.

The 2:nd NO is to avoid trying to do everything that comes up as ideas. Concentrate on choosing the 10 or 5% , or even only the 1%, of the ideas that are really amazing. If you do not say no to most of the ideas, you will end up with something like an EU-project with 15 goals and 20 subgoals and 45 pages of strategy.

The 3:rd NO is Don´t reach. Do not try to reach everyone. Define the audience that you are not aiming at reaching. Have the curage to exclude the target groups you do not want to, or need to, reach.

Herwig Friedag. Management consultant from Berline with many years of experience gave his view on the importance of finding business partners

You can find the presentation here

Do not think you always know the best yourselves.

There are two different business models:
The Shareholder orientation with:

  • short term goal orientation
  • profit maximisation is topmost postulate

The Stakeholder orientation with:

  • balanced orientation to all relevant stakeholders
  • customers
  • employees
  • production partners
  • investors

The focus is to be sustainable and one of the most important asset is the reputation and trust in your products and services.

The important things are:

If you want to build a ship do not drum up people to collect wood or assign them taks and work but teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

Find others to work together with.
Pay attention for responsibility for all people you are working with. See the client as the deliverer as a partner.
Talk early with your bank and try to find win-win-situation for all.

Make your product more than just the product, the I-product like an I-phone instead of just a smartphone.

Try to have at least two eyes in your business, two ways of making money. Do not be dependent on just one product, or one client only.

Please do at least one mistake a day because that is learning. Competition and mistakes to get better. Mistakes should be seen as a way of learning. Learn also from colleagues and from their mistakes. Let them learn from your mistakes.

Do not do everything alone. Give responsibility to your partners, employees, family etc.

Her wig Fried egg is my name, or to say Herwig Friedag. The wig and the egg is just a way to make you remember my name.
Discuss openly your projects. Most people will know before you if you have problems anyway.
When you realise problems in your company – talk with people, No mails,, no letters no lawyers.

Study visit

In the afternoon we went for a study visit to Rozītes rosegarden. It was a lovely garden of some 2 hectares where the owners were breeding and selling roses adapted to the nordic climate. But the impression was that the owners invested a lot just for the love of making a beautiful garden. They also donated a large quantity of roses every year to the municipality, hospitals etc just in the aim of spreading beauty. Many of the participants had some problems of adding up the total income per year and see it as a profitable business but obviously the owners seemed to live well and the place was really a pleasure to visit. We also got the opportunity to test and alsu to purchase some of the rose products like a rose jam (delicious) and a really good rose wine.

During the study visit and in the morning the day after, all the participants were divided in groups to discuss and give business suggestions to the Rozītes regarding Marketing, Adding value (product and service development) and Management (finding partners).

There were suggestions for a development into a Rose wedding venue, a Rose therapy and health center, A rose art center or a theme park for peace and beauty called “Guns and Roses”.

Presentation of the results from the management workshop group

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International LAG Fair in Lithuania May 2014

Report from the Lithuanian LAG Fair
2014 05 30

At the Lithuanian international LAG Fair at Raudonė castle, Jurbarkas the 31:st of May seven young flagship project representatives participated. They had a task to interview a representative from as many LAGs as possible asking about how they are targeting rural youth. They had a questionnaire form with questions both about the youth representation in LAGs, how the youth projects have been initiated and what themes they have. There were also questions about if the LAGs are using special methods to target rural youth and examples from their youth projects. The questionnaire form is attached in the end of the report.

Thanks to a large effort for interpretation by some Lithuanian participants the Swedish and Latvian flagship representatives managed to reach 15 LAGs with their questionnaire. But even with interpretation help there might have been some misunderstanding so the picture is somewhat misleading. It is not sure that the interviewed person was the one with most knowledge about the youth projects, which can be another source for incorrect figures. Sometimes there are no answer at all to some question which could be understood as there are no youth projects targeting social issues or the question has not been fully understood so they have just skipped to answer. Nevertheless some conclusions can be drawn from the answers of how Lithuanian LAGs are working with the youth issue.

The most interesting information is that the next program period will have an extra bonus from the state for the LAGs where 40% or more of the projects have a focus on youth and youth employment.

Even though there is a requirement to have youth representatives in the LAG:s some of them have problems recruiting young LAG members. Most of the respondents say that very few or none of their projects are initiated and run by the youth themselves. Most of the projects seem to be done for youth but by adults offering training in project planning and implementation or traditional handicraft or culture. But there are also examples of youth projects which have been initiated by the same young people that are implementing and are the final beneficiaries.

This is a summary of the 15 responding LAGs´ answers:

  1. Do you have young people as members in your LAG                      Yes          No
    or a special youth sub-LAG?                                                                      6            2
  2. How many projects targeting youth have you done or are doing?           23

How many of these projects are initiated by youth groups  themselves?        7

In how many projects have youth been involved and active  in the
planning and implementation of the project?                                                   12

  1. How many projects are targeting youth and:
  • participation in society                                                                              5
  • social issues                                                                                             7
  • sports and leisure                                                                                     5
  • innovation                                                                                                  2
  • entrepreneurship and business                                                                 6

Do you have any special method, practice or ways of planning                    Yes          No
and doing, when you try to address rural youth?                                                6

The working methods to find and target youth and their issues listed are:

  • Organisation of seminars about project applications and financing
  • Close cooperation with schools and after school activities
  • Using the Youth Centers as a recruiting channel for LAGs.
  • Using art school performances to attract youth.
  • Contacts through the center for employment of disabled.
  • Internet, Facebook and other digital media
  • Cooperating with local attractions like national parks.
  • Offering youth study trips within the projects.

Examples of Leader projects targeting rural youth

  • Training courses or five days camps how to write and organize projects combined with small grants to implement small events.
  • Practical training courses in traditional handicraft and how to teach it further
  • Courses in building wooden boats or old herb medicine and organic farming of herbs
  • Training in garden renovation
  • Offering mobile cinemas in small villages
  • Letting young rural citizens make film about their own villages
  • Dance courses – youth teaching other youth in traditional dances.
  • Exchange with other Lithuanian LAGs about how to create employments for rural youth.

Download the Questionnaire form here

Download the report and questionnaire as a Word file here

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Youth entrepreneurship in St Petersburg

Report from the Flagship activity in St Petersburg, Russia,
2014 04 07-08

During the sixth practical activity in the flagship project we visited The St Petersburg State Forest Technical University. Through contacts between some of our partners and the university in St Petersburg and through the participation of representatives from the university in former flagship activities we got an invitation to meet and see young entrepreneurs in rural areas and from the university.  The topic of the conference and our aims were to be familiar with the situation for young people in rural areas in Russia. Through study visits and seminars we were presented to young entrepreneurs and were also introduced to  systems and methods that exist (or are missing) to support young people in rural areas. We also saw some analyzes and statistics about the trends and mindset of young people when it comes to strating private businesses.

Strongest impressions

St Petersburg as a city is impressive. Even if we had just a few hours of city tour all the buildings and monuments tells you about the important history of the city and how it is linked to our common history in Europe.

Regarding entrepreneurship and young entrepreneurs In rural areas the most memorable impression was that the idea of free private entrepreneurship is quite new in Russian society and systems to support it are not fully developed yet. Young entrepreneurs in rural areas seem to have very few possibilities to receive some kind of support. In urban areas there are some programs and approaches but they have to be developed further. One surprising figure presented was that only 6% of the youth were interested in starting a private business. Most of them wanted to be employed either by the energy company Gazprom or as a civil servant in the public administration or police.

Nevertheless we met some really fantastic entrepreneurial young people who had found ways of starting their businesses and manage the bureaucratic system. It was interesting to listen to them and try to figure out how they had developed their businesses.

City tour.

We started with a city tour in St Petersburg which, despite the pouring rain, gave a memorable impression of both historical and todays life in the big city. It seemed like every cousin or relative to the tsar family and also other main officials had to build their own palace, which now had to find other use than just being impressive. Many famous Russian writers have written about the life in St Petersburg during the tsar time, which is easier now to imagine having seen all the monuments and buildings. The rain was not an exception. According to statistics there were only some 60 sunny days per year in the area. The following two days we had sun so we consumed a percentage of the possible sun.

The saw mill

The first day of the conference was a study tour to two new started enterprises outside St Petersburg in the Leningrad region. One of them was a saw mill with 20 employees that this year started the production of planks, pallets and firewood. They were both exporting and producing for the national and local market. The timber was harvested from an area of 15.000 ha, which the company is renting from the state on a 49 years contract. This is the situation of all rural enterprises in Russia, since the state owns all land. The rent was however very cheap in the region, about 20 euros/ha, which made some of the conference participants interested in starting an enterprise there! It is a problem though, that the infrastructure often is very bad. The owner, Sergey Semenov was a true multi entrepreneur. He also made some money on cows, pigs and hens and he took part in running the local food store. Besides this he was also a member of the community council.

The horse breeder

The second visit was at a horse breeding company, owned by a former salesman and forester who wanted to try something new.  In fact it was a long nurtured dream of him and his wife. They had 60 horses and were one of most successful horse breeders in Russia. Two years ago they achieved a price for the best horse breeding company in the country. Because of that the company had got a grant from the state for about 200 000 euros to set up new stables. This Grant was actually for other types of farms and this company was the first horse company in the region to achieve it. Apparently you can get as much as 60 % of the costs, but not more than 500 000 euros, in support from the government.


The day 2 we had a presentation by Mr Michail Krylov from the university with the theme “Youth and rural entrepreneurship in Leningrad Region”.  Two young entrepreneurs, students at the university, described their entrepreneurial journey.  One was Daria Temkina running a house cleaning business but also summer bars etc. The other was Dmitriy Zaytsev  who talked about Youth Business in Russia drawing from his own experiences of running a Youtube channel and businesses using the web and social media.

Please find a longer report and all the presentations in the attached links.

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Conference in St Petersburg in April

The flagship project has been invited to a conference at the Technological State University of Forestry in St Petersburg. Two representatives of that university participated last year in the event at Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences and now we have been invited to St Petersburg The 6th – 8th of April.

More than 20 participants ar going there from all our partners.

The draft agenda is as follows:

Sunday 2014 04 06:

  • Mid day: Arriving in St Petersburg
  • Late afternoon: Guided tour/Excursion around St Petersburg

Monday 2014 04 07:

  • Excursion to  Vyborgsky Region of the Leningrad Region.
  • Visiting rural  youth enterprises
  • Joint dinner in a restaurant on the Finnish Gulf

Tuesday 2014 04 08:

  • 10.00                  Opening of the conference,   Rector or first Vice-Rector of SPbFTU
  • 10.15-10.30      Presentation of the SPbFTU,  Svetlana Tereshchenko
  • 10.30-11.00      Introduction of the project “Sustainable rural development through  youth participation, innovation and entrepreneurship”,  H-O Stålgren
  • 11.00-11.15      Coffee-break
  • 11.15-12.30      Lecture”Youth entrepreneurship in Leningrad Region”,
    Mikhail Krylov (SPbFTU)
  • 12.30-13.00      Innovation SME in High Educational Institution, SME Geliantus.
    Young entrepreneur Alexander Dobrovolsky (SPbFTU)
  • 13.00-14.00      Lunch in the  SPbFTU Cafe
  • 14.00-15.00      Presentations of students     entrepreneurs from SPbFTU
  • 15.00-16.30      Discussion:
  • What are the main directions of youth entrepreneurship in Baltic countries?
  • How youth entrepreneurship can help in sustainable development (examples)?
  • 16.30-17.00      Discussion of future plans & closing of the seminar


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Learning conference in Prusim, Poland Dec 2013

The first learning conference in the flagship project was held hotel Olandia in the small town of Prusim, Poland, close to Poznan. The aim was to gather participants from the previous activities in the project to draw conclusions and identify what the important caracteristics are for the methods to involve rural youth and support their entrepreneurship and innovation.

The learning conference started with a study visit to the Centre of Regional and Natural Education in Mniszki.  Active representatives in the LAG Puszcza Notecka gave a presentation both of the activities in the field of youth entrepreneurshipto and of the activities of the centre and the involvement of rural inhabitants, e.g. presentation of vanishing trades (museum). It was impressing how many active young participants and leaders the LAG had fostered.

The rest of the conference was opened by three scientific presentations followed by the more internal discussions about the learning so far from the project activities.

A Polish researcher, PhD Peter Odrakiewicz was asked to participate in the learning conference. This is a link to his report.

Presentation of Mgr Ewelina Ewa Dzikowska and Mgr Ewa Gabryelak

Presentation of Mgr Pamela Jeziorska-Biel and Mgr Ewelina Sudra

Presentation of Dr Iwona Nurzyńska from Polish Academy of Sciences

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