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 vulnerable young people 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 in a vulnerable position are far above national average for young people.


While entrepreneurial education has become an EU priority to fight labour market exclusion, a consistent approach to systematically integrate vulnerable young people is missing. In fact, the low number of local projects linking vulnerable young people 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 vulnerable young people access regular support schemes they otherwise would refuse. Of the 100 000 vulnerable young people 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 an App that that can be jointly used by vulnerable young people and their coaches, training materials for professional and volunteer coaches, and guidance for the local implementation of the EYES approach. The project outputs include training labs which prepare coaches to run the pilots in the Ruhr area, Greater London, Flemish triangle, European Metropolis of Lille, and Tilburg.

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 EYES digital platform will be integrated into other digital platforms such as Smart Cities.


Watch our video to get a first impression of the beneficiaries of the EYES approach and the EYES spirit.  

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



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