RAISE Youth - Rural Action for Innovative and Sustainable Entrepreneurship for Youth

Fund: The EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment
40 months (1.9.2018. – 31.12.2021.)

Project consortium:

  • GTF – Initiative for Sustainable Growth (Lead partner, Croatia)
  • City of Gospić (Beneficiary partner, Croatia)
  • CSCD - Center for Sustainable Communities Development (Beneficiary partner, Bulgaria)
  • “AUR” - the National Association of Human Resources Specialists (Beneficiary partner, Romania)
  • CASARRUBUELOS CITY COUNCIL (Beneficiary partner, Spain)
  • FUNDECYT Science and Technological Park of Extremadura (Beneficiary partner, Spain)
  • goodworks Innovation Agency (Expertise partner, Austria)

WHY: The economic structure of rural regions is changing: the share of the primary sector in GDP is in decline, while the tertiary sector grows especially in IT & tourism, which are the main drivers for growth and employment. Countries in South & South East Europe need to create more sustainable models of agro-food production in rural areas in order to stop economic decline and depopulation.


WHO: Young people (NEETs – not in education, employment, or training) in the 4 target countries – Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania and Spain – are experiencing unemployment as their biggest problem because it directly affects the possibility of their independence, future planning, building their own skills and abilities. Youth unemployment and NEETs population are highest in rural areas, especially in the 4 target countries. Project will target 2000 NEETS aged 25-29 from rural and suburban areas, at least 60% of them women.


HOW: RAISE Youth will create a sustainable transnational framework to pilot and promote an innovative RAISE model with rural NEETs aged 25-29 based on experience of 4 beneficiary countries with very high youth unemployment rates. 4 RAISE Centers will be established as training, demonstration and production centers in rural areas facing depopulation. Through intergenerational mentoring, learning by doing and psycho-social support and mentorship, at least 2000 NEETs will participate, of which at least 200 will gain (self) employment. By piloting and promoting an innovative RAISE Model of self-employment primarily for NEETs aged 25-29 based on sustainable agri-business in 4 rural regions with high unemployment rates and depopulation, a new model for youth employment will be created and made sustainable. RAISE will network and cluster nationally and transnationally the rural youth, including exchanges between countries, but also create a web platform for marketing and crowdfunding/crowdfarming which has never before been used as a tool for sustainable youth entrepreneurship support in Europe. Use of “smart” farming, new technologies, combined with multi-generational mentoring and family and individual learning will create an eco-system in the rural area more suitable to job creation, as it will take into account a personal approach while preparing a systemic framework (social) enterprise creation, cluster establishment, web tools, crowdfunding, multistakeholder and policy dialogue.


  • to contribute to providing decent and productive work for youth through social innovation in rural areas of 4 EU countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Spain; 
  • to pilot and promote an innovative RAISE Model of (self) employment, for youth NEETs based on sustainable agri-business in 4 rural regions of EU with high unemployment rates and depopulation.


The RAISE project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment



Center for Sustainable Communities Development

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tel.: 3592 986-47-10