EYES - Empowering Youth through Entrepreneurial Skills

Project Summary


EYES encourages young people who are in a vulnerable position to (re)gain control of their own life. The approach combines personal coaching with an entrepreneurial mindset and digital support.
EYES is co-designed by an European partnership of municipalities, regional governments, social services and universities, jointly with young people.


In NWE, 14% of young people aged 15-34 years are not in employment, education or training (NEET). Since NEETs are rather irresponsive to classic top-down approaches and hardly connect to existing support schemes they bear the risk of long term labour market exclusion. The situation is particularly alarming in deprived NWE metropolitan areas where multiple risks of becoming or remaining NEETs are far above national average.


While entrepreneurial education has become an EU priority to fight labour market exclusion, a consistent approach to systematically integrate NEETs is missing. In fact, the low number of local projects linking NEETs to entrepreneurial education reveals the fragmentation of knowledge across NWE. To make a real difference, a transfer of knowledge is needed to generate a new, transnational model. The co-designed EYES approach combines entrepreneurial education with personal coaching and a digital platform to help NEETs access regular support schemes they otherwise would refuse. Of the 100 000 NEETS in five NWE metropolitan areas, EYES will reach 1 000 during the project lifetime. 400 of them will use regular support schemes while 25 will even become early-stage entrepreneurs.


The EYES product package includes digital tools and coaching materials. 4 bilingual training sites prepare 25 coaches to run the pilots in the Ruhr area, Greater London, Flemish triangle, European Metropolis of Lille, and Tilburg, supported by a common helpdesk.

Long-term effects

Ownership of the EYES approach will be handed over to the EYES innovation network that develops the approach further and transfers it to other cities in NWE, and the EU later on. The training sites will become permanent to provide training sessions for new coaches. The EYES digital platform will be integrated into other digital platforms such as Smart Cities.

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Evangelische Kirche von Westfalen, Institut für Kirche und Gesellschaft 25 Iserlohner Straße
Juergen.born@kircheundgesellschaft.de www.kircheundgesellschaft.de
Name Contact Name Email Country
Stadt Herne Dennis Neumann dennis.neumann@herne.de Germany
Metropole Européenne de Lille Anne Billaut abillaut@lillemetropole.fr France
Gemeente Tilburg Tanja Jansen-Hassouna tanja.jansen-hassouna@tilburg.nl Netherlands
JES stadslabo Erwin Van Steenvoort erwin.vansteenvoort@jes.be Belgium
Royal Borough of Greenwich Barrie Kelly Barrie@visitgreenwich.org.uk United Kingdom
Association des Centres Sociaux de Wattrelos Sébastien Raemdonck Europe.acswattrelos@gmail.com France
Serve the City international Sara Tchaparian sara@servethecity.be Belgium
Stichting Katholieke Universiteit Brabant Marieke Schoots Marieke.schoots@tilburguniversity.edu Netherlands
University of Greenwich Stephen Kennedy s.kennedy@gre.ac.uk United Kingdom
University College Leuven Limburg, UC Leuven vzw Stijn Custers stijn.custers@ucll.be Belgium


Local testbed JES youth Gent

Posted on

The project EYES is about cocreation: projectpartners, coaches and young people jointly combine their experiences and knowledge in creating a new approach. This cocreation is done in local testbeds, but also in transnational panel meetings. This is an example of a local testbed, executed in Gent. Read More


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