Although EU has prioritized youth employment and entrepreneurship over the last years – most recently announcing the launch of a Youth Entrepreneurship Policy Academy in 2022 – thousands of young entrepreneurs are still facing barriers and social exclusion, while in many cases their initiatives are unsuccessful due to lack of competences, and limited education and training.

Aiming to address these barriers, 7 organisations from Belgium, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Austria and Ireland have joined forces under the European programme “Stars4SD – Supporting youth entrepreneurs in meeting Sustainable Development Goals through a peer certification system,” to offer key educational resources to young entrepreneurs and foster youth employability.

The objective of this initiative is to strengthen youth entrepreneurship, innovation and active citizenship by promoting five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in practice; namely provide quality education to youth entrepreneurs, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, and responsible consumption and production.

More specifically, Stars4SD aims to provide the necessary entrepreneurial skills and competences to young people interested in running a business; develop innovative methodologies to support young entrepreneurs to meet sustainability criteria in their businesses; provide information to policymakers in order to promote the adoption of sustainable approaches to youth entrepreneurship; raise awareness of the importance of SDGs in business and the role of social entrepreneurship in achieving them.

Under the Stars4SD programme, 120 youth workers will be equipped with new methodologies to support youth entrepreneurs to enforce sustainable goals in their businesses, while 120 young entrepreneurs will be involved in the Stars4SD peer-learning network.

The project is funded with support from the European Union under the Erasmus+ Programme, and has a duration of 24 months (01/12/2021 – 1/12/2023). It is implemented in 6 countries by the following organisations: Reframe (Belgium), KMOP (Greece), CESIE (Italy), Amazing Youth (Greece), Sudwind (Austria), Future in Perspective Limited (Ireland), and CARDET (Cyprus).