European Early Innovators Program

Youth for Science. Youth for Business. Science for Business.

Development of the entrepreneurial capacity of European citizens and organisations is one of the key policy objectives for the EU and Member States. Entrepreneurship is seen more as a competence than a skill. Generating an entrepreneurial mindset should start in early stage of life.

European Early Innovators Program aims to stimulating development of tools and programs what empowers young people to get engaged in entrepreneurship by reinforcing their high-level and transversal competences needed for self-employment – and as additional chance for young people, needed for intrapreneurship, meaning the ability to contribute more independently to the success of bigger organizations.

Programs to support start-up enterprises exist. Before using those programs, a personal decision on establishing and managing an enterprise must be taken. Insufficient awareness and a lack in motivation to become entrepreneur is a European societal challenge.

Business environment is specified by a high innovation tempo, the use of cross-sector technologies and changes in the labour market. Basis for doing successful business is to combine knowledge on the market with unique solutions, generated by scientific work. Entrepreneurial education needs to be included in curricula of much more universities. European Early Innovators Program is designed as support and coordination action to foster entrepreneurship among youth.

European Early Innovators Program contributes to

  • a larger number of entrepreneurs, prepared by achievable real-life experiences, project work and hands-on habit
  • increased number of innovative enterprises in Danube Region
  • corporate culture based on target oriented investment in education
  • guide youth to STEM
  • specifically qualified teachers and trainers in schools and universities.

Program is based on European Early Innovators Initiative (EEII).

Early Innovators Business Plan Contest

Summary of the project:

Three project partners are conducting a business plan competition in Romania, which can be continued after the end of the project. Teachers and participants (15-19 years old) will receive professional support. Connections to city administrations, universities and companies will be established. Start of the competition and results will be made public. Interest in STEM professions (science, technology,  engineering, mathematics) and study courses is encouraged. Approaches towards dual education issues are introduced.


Creating premises for Jugend gründet best practice model:

Jugend gründet was identified as a best practice model for private – public partnership into guiding youth to study STEM and for young researchers entrepreneurial mindset. At the same time model serves as basis for technology transfer and dual education issues.

Summary of activities:

  • Selection and definition of the general education schools where the competition will be held
  • Selection and definition of the vocational schools where the competition will be held
  • Develop a transparent procedure for the evaluation of submitted business plans
  • Development of a training concept for participating teachers
  • Organizing launch events in the participating cities to advertise the competition among teachers and pupils; other guests: representatives of school inspectorates, city administration, regional development agencies, media
  • Announcement of competition details and conditions of participation (online)
  • Contacting companies to partner in: (a) advertising the competition, (b) providing prizes for winners (3) and for as many participants as possible
  • Involvement of young scientists from universities to present current research topics (online) and stimulate the creativity of the participants
  • Formation and briefing of the jury
  • Recommendation of measures for 2021

Duration of the project: 01.07.2020 – 25.06.2021

EEII tackles some grand challenges of the Danube Region:

  • Young people are not much interested in studying STEM (science, technology, enineering, mathematics).
  • Young researchers are not enough encouraged or supported to become entrepreneurs.
  • Research does not result in innovation.
  • Scientists are not used to analyse markets or to take into account the needs of the industry.
  • Germany’s and Austrian’s best practice in promoting innovation is insufficient known and implemented by other economies in Danube Region.
  • The success rates of applications for European funds is very poor in the Eastern part of Danube Region.