Huge opportunity for 100 young entrepreneurs

A project for young entrepreneurs in the Barents Region a few years ago concluded that it played a crucial role for business and personal development, motivation, networking, and also the potential for cross-border business establishment. As we all know, the decision making on projects with multiple financial sources tends to be lengthy. But this year a new project for young entrepreneurs is finally coming together with 25 participants each from all four Barents countries.

The participants run or plan to run business in very various branches – creative industries, communications and computers etc. The participants and the development of the project can be followed on the project web page.

The main funders are the Kolarctic ENPI Program, the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, and the three Norwegian member regions of the Barents Cooperation, Finnmark, Nordland and Troms.

The project is managed by the Norwegian Barents Secretariats in Kirkenes, Norway, by Adviser Morten Brugård. He has a Master in Strategy and Management and a Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation – the latter from GSOM, St Petersburg State University.

What are the purposes of the project?
- The overall objective of Young Innovative Entrepreneurs project is to support economic and social development of the Barents region by facilitating innovative entrepreneurial initiatives by young people in order to contribute to the development of the employment and entrepreneurship in the region. The specific objective of the project is to create a region wide support system that will enhance the development and implementation of innovative business ideas across the borders by young entrepreneurs in the Barents Region.

Why do you find entrepreneurship so fascinating?
- What I like about entrepreneurship is that it offers extraordinary possibilities for ordinary people who are willing to take risks. Entrepreneurship is about creating the future we want - both for ourselves and those around us!

Who is in your opinion the ideal entrepreneur?
- An ideal entrepreneur builds great solutions for a large number of people. As for the ideal person, I do not have any preferences. I believe, that everybody has his own way of view and development, and that each and every person should try to find his or her own source of inspiration.

It is competitive to get funding from Kolarctic Program – what made this project application successful?
- In Young Innovative Entrepreneurs we believe that multifaceted and diverse groups in both aspects of gender, age and business areas are key components to create a successful melting pot that will contribute to border crossing cooperation and entrepreneurial networks. I believe this approach gave us positive attention from the decision makers – as well as presenting a structured application with many stakeholders wanting to contribute.

Can you tell us anything about the expected results of the project?
- I am certain that our project will increase entrepreneurial knowledge and build strong entrepreneurial networks within the Barents region. I also hope that we will be able to show examples of actual border crossing entrepreneurial activity between rgw participants.

BarentSaga will report on the development of the project and feature the participants in later issues.

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