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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social inclusion

Screenshot of new website for young people in Montenegro to talk about unemployment and finding jobs

A digital space for young people to discuss employment

A few months ago, we wrote about our idea to tackle youth unemployment in Montenegro – to open up digital space for young people to air their concerns and problems and come up with solutions to the most pressing employment related issues.

We’d like to tell you what we’ve been up to since then.

Build it and they… will not come

We designed a nice, pretty web portal but the engagement was far below what we expected. It turns out shiny technology is not enough to get people to participate.

So we went back to the basics and started talking to people about what would get them to get engage in our platform and they told us few things:

  • Improving the visual design of the website – making it more interesting and dynamic

  • Making instructions clear and concise

  • Identifying and reaching out to influencers and role models to promote the portal virally

  • Including a greater focus on active young people, and those affiliated with NGOs

  • Engaging young people from face-to-face workshops into further promotion and use of the website

  • Using a series of Facebook ads, that lead to discussions on specific challenges

Listen…and they will come

We were thrilled to get feedback and redesign the platform and our strategy based on it. As a result, insights and opinions started coming in about youth employment:

Skills:

  • How can young people gain additional skills needed for employment?

  • How can we provide more and promote existing opportunities for non-formal education, volunteering, life skills development?

  • Is there a way to provide more opportunities for gaining practical experience during school?

Entrepreneurship:

  • What are the best ways of informing young people about existing opportunities and supporting measures for starting a business?

  • What are the main characteristics, skills and attitudes of a successful entrepreneur?

  • How can we boost innovation in youth entrepreneurship?

  • Is there a way to motivate young people to engage more in agriculture, family businesses and organic food production?

Institutions/programmes:

  • How can we bring existing programmes and institutions closer to young people?

  • What are some ways of improving the availability of information, its relevance, youth-friendliness, and outreach?

Problems on the way to solutions

Not only did we hear about problems, but we got 14 concrete proposals (in Montenegrin) on how to address them. The phase of proposing solutions stirred the most engagement and interaction on the portal.

The online community and a jury are voting for the best solution. The jury is composed of the United Nations and partners from the Directorate for Youth and Sports and NGOs Forum MNE and Expeditio. The value of votes is equal (50/50).

The proposed solutions are focused on supporting youth entrepreneurship through:

  • Trainings

  • Campaigns

  • Meet-ups with successful entrepreneurs

  • Online courses

  • Computer and CV writing skills for young Roma

  • Providing practical experience and links with employers

  • Rural tourism and agriculture promotion

The majority of the proposals target entrepreneurship – emerging as a way for young people to take their lives and careers into their own hands. Despite the obstacles and risks, the world of entrepreneurship is opening possibilities for self-employment but also pushing for innovation!

What`s next? The three best solutions will be financed with micro grants by the United Nations and the Directorate for Youth and Sports to support their implementation.

We will closely follow how the solutions are implemented, and engage with young people who proposed the winning solutions to provide them with advice and information.

We are sure that young people, when provided with the opportunity and means to play an active role in shaping their own and lives of their peers, can do it!

Stay tuned to hear about how the winning solutions turn out!