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Empowering Mediterranean Youth: YERAME Project’s Battle Against Rural Depopulation

As rural areas across the Euro Mediterranean region grapple with depopulation, the very essence of economic development, access to services, and connectivity hangs in the balance. The aging and diminishing population in these regions pose one of the most formidable challenges for the European Union’s future. Amidst this backdrop, the Youth Entrepreneurship in Rural Areas of Mediterranean Countries (YERAME) project has emerged as a beacon of hope. Designed to address the pressing need for youthful energy and innovation in these landscapes, YERAME seeks to bolster the capacity of organizations working with young people in rural areas. This project is poised to equip Mediterranean youth with entrepreneurial skills, fostering the creation of sustainable businesses and, in turn, combatting the depopulation that threatens these vital regions.

Under this context six countries, including Greece, Spain, Italy, Egypt, Palestine, and Tunisia, have worked for the completion of the project’s second work package. The project partners are actively engaged in the Youth Entrepreneurship in Rural Areas of Mediterranean Countries (YERAME) to empower their young entrepreneurs and combat desertification. They have conducted surveys to understand the unique needs and experiences of rural entrepreneurs. Greece seeks to address high youth unemployment, while Italy is witnessing growth in rural youth entrepreneurship. Spain recognizes youth entrepreneurs as agents of innovation, and Palestine faces distinct challenges and opportunities. Egypt’s youth are blending tradition with modernity, and Tunisia’s entrepreneurs are characterized by innovation and resilience. These countries are determined to leverage youth entrepreneurship to drive economic growth and enhance the well-being of rural communities, using survey data to inform their strategies and policies.

In tandem with their commitment to addressing the challenges facing rural areas across the Euro Mediterranean region, the partners are forging ahead with continuing their strategic initiatives. Currently progressing through the project’s third work package, they have initiated the methodology and are actively working towards their goals. Furthermore, a crucial aspect of the project involves equipping staff members with essential knowledge and skills. The training program will encompass a range of topics, including an introduction to the EntreComp Framework, fundamentals of entrepreneurship, market research, business model canvas, business planning and strategy, product or service development, leadership and team building, operations and execution, and marketing and branding. These comprehensive training efforts are poised to empower young entrepreneurs across the Euro Mediterranean region, addressing the critical issue of depopulation while fostering economic growth and innovation in rural areas.

In a region facing the complex challenges of rural depopulation, the Youth Entrepreneurship in Rural Areas of Mediterranean Countries (YERAME) project shines as a beacon of optimism. With unwavering dedication, six Mediterranean countries have united to empower their young entrepreneurs and combat the looming threat of desertification. Through comprehensive surveys and strategic initiatives, these nations are crafting tailored solutions to address unique challenges, from youth unemployment to harnessing the spirit of innovation.

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