Addressing Youth Frustration with Unemployment

Addressing Youth Frustration with Unemployment

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

SquibS started in the Netherlands for youth who feel unrecognised at school, frustrated by their options, don't function in the regular systems & feel unable to change those systems. Youth organized & lead events build self-esteem, community, & a sense of belonging. By expanding SquibS to engage youth in France, Spain, Greece a sense of control and hope can be restored & innovative models created.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The economic crisis in Europe has put enormous pressure on youth, especially France, Spain and Greece. Mounting frustration with youth unemployment could reach a tipping point resulting in civil violence and unrest. In-grained systemic barriers add to conflicting expectations for how youth should participate in society. In some countries bureaucracy impedes entrepreneurial innovation. Self-esteem and self-worth have suffered as a result and worked against youth inspired entrepreneurial initiatives. Without strong self-esteem, the intuition required for economic performance and entrepreneurial success is lost. There is a need to restore hope, release creativity to go above barriers so youth can contribute talent in their natural way. This is very different from what society expects.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Expand the SquibS program success in northern Europe to restore self-esteem/confidence & develop youth facilitators of entrepreneurial innovation in France, Spain & Greece. Offer youth an alternative to feeling like victims of circumstance. Increase the number of Youth engaged in SquibS to provide safe social settings for diverse youth to gain community, connect at a personal level, recognize what they have to offer and then take that energy back to their countries/communities to catalyze projects engaging more youth. Strengthen self- and group awareness that they can creatively innovate past barriers to create work with meaning, purpose and vision. Create opportunities for diverse youth to collaborate on social entrepreneur projects that are about doing good; the profit will follow. Use peer-based connections, youth created ways to circumvent barriers & invent new business models through collaboration across the European youth community.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

1-Renew Initiative-Self-Esteem through Sense of Belonging: Our solution makes a difference by developing young leaders who are conscious, empowered and motivated to making positive social change. We tell them the WHY and they go for the HOW, in their own way. Exploring their own passions, by falling and stepping up again. Safe failure. They design the program, theme, & organize e.g. weekends out in the forest, fun thematic weekends & survival trips. They participate during & pre-event, allow the event to unfold; adjust-improve; create space for socialize & community. Participants are very diverse (age, gender, backgrounds, social/emotional development) & discover that they have a lot in common. Community forms. SquibS youth experience freedom, acceptance & the spirit to contribute-step forward. They practice new values and leadership skills as they join the sub-events that are organized in an open and somehow chaotic way. Out of this seemingly chaotic field comes valuable insights and results. Everyone learns. All stretch their comfort zones and train their skills to overcome uncertainty, be flexible and learn to appreciate diversity and co-creation. They learn to see and understand the cultural issues that withhold creativity & innovation comfortable in the connected & autonomous new world of co-creation and growing complexity, without the “outdated habits” of trying to control or plan, hierarchical institutions or boundaries. 2-Focus then shifts to collaborating on start-up ventures, new biz models with mentors from consultant & biz community. Do-Learn.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

For this kind of transformational change to work, it will take the combined effort of many who can support follow-up efforts and building of the youth community invested in designing new models for youth employment and contribution to society. Competitors are really potential collaborators. The closest ‘competitors’ are youth leadership development programs throughout Europe, and entrepreneurial programs designed to develop and activate social enterprises. Each bring something different to youth; all address a specific need. Competitors are really cooperators and partners in change. They will be found on the edge of the innovation curve from those who recognize the value of the SquibS approach and who understand how differences create better, stronger solutions. Challenges=Growth

Founding Story

‘Sibren’ went to a school for special needs because of his dyslexia and his lack of concentration. Expected to be a pupil with difficult behavior, he acted as one. Sibren was very unmotivated to do his schoolwork. He had low education, self-esteem and social skills. Two years later he is organizing events & is the coaching leader. He is on the Youth Leadership Team. The work done in SquibS is organized by a dynamic youth leadership team supported by senior professionals & their networks. Currently four young men from 17-23 are most active. The inspiration to expand came from recognizing the potential to support and help kids since the most troubled thrived. The Wuestman family have seen the results with their kids. Bob L. wants to help youth to stand up, be counted and make a difference; to create the world they want to live in. Dawna J. is inspired by her 25 yr old daughter whose social enterprise, Leap of Life Inspirations, aims to inspire Gen Y to step into their full potential.
About You
SquibS + 3 Private Entrepreneurs from Holland, France, Canada
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

SquibS + 3 Private Entrepreneurs from Holland, France, Canada

Organization Country

, XX

Country where this project is creating social impact

, XX

Age of Innovator

Over 34

Gender of Innovator


How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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How long have you been in operation?

Operating for more than 5 years

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)

Access to talent, Access to economic opportunity.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Existing management and society expectations for how youth should behave frustrates the way the newest generations naturally do behave. Consequently their natural habits do not develop in a healthy manner. Squibs embeds successful experiences organically into their inner systems, so they can emotionally connect these positive experiences with the way of working that comes more naturally to them.
• Events started with 20 participants. Now they attract between forty to fifty.
• Youth organized weekends in rural, forest or farm settings have expanded to city trips. More events more often.
• Youth leaders speak at seminars, meetings with governmental officials, and presentations to conferences.
• Kids with troubled backgrounds get on their feet and find ways to give meaning to their lives and that of others.
• Kids with issues like ADHD and Asperger find ways to make a difference.
• Non-troubled youth become accustomed to uncertainty; apply skills.
Become global citizens.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Water the Soil-Sprout the Seeds By Fall, 2013
• Have established partnership relations with key business schools, private sector supporters in France, Spain and Greece. Have established partner relationships with regional and international youth leadership and social entrepreneur programs willing to contribute support and help pave the political path for further positive change.
• Have conducted a SquibS style event in two out of three target countries to engage local youth.
• Established satellite programs in France, Spain and Greece.
• Have expanded participation from 30 to 1000 in the period of a year.
Develop the Root System by Fall, 2013 to Fall, 2014
• Satellites operate self-sufficiently.
• Youth Leadership network expands to 3000.
• Expand program.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

• Identifying Youth Candidates: Recruit from business schools, using contacts & networks of youth & leadership development programs.
• Financial: Seek sponsors from institutional and private sources. Airbus located in Toulouse has been running programs of a similar intent and nature internally. They will be approached to become part of the partner network.
• Overcoming social and emotional development barriers: Run seminars/experiential learning events to evolve leadership through the existing team of mentors & partnerships.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Run a Founding Event to Expand Across Borders: Identify local contacts in each target country: Spain, France, and Greece

Task 2

Develop on and off-line momentum and awareness through partnerships, expand the youth network using social media.

Task 3

Activity seek key partnerships in the target countries and private sector with offices across Europe. Know what each bring.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Country SquibS satellites exist in France, Spain and Greece. Youth lead.

Task 2

Two SquibS style events held in each country.

Task 3

Run 1 trans-European youth event focused specifically on generating an entrepreneurial initiative suitable for collaboration.

Tell us about your partnerships

The partnerships we seek share the vision to replace the old economic drivers, with a new design that fits the needs of youth.This project is not just about transforming youth’s perception of themselves to spark innovative and collaborative entrepreneurial models; it is also about inventing new models replacing old ones. That calls for visionary partners. In France, Spain and Greece we don’t know who they are yet but the consultants have networks who care about these issues. Talks have begun with Triodos Bank & 2 other companies are interested in supporting expertise.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

HAN University of Applied Sciences. Business School. Arnhem The Netherlands
Contact: Mr. Rob Westerdijk. Business manager Business School. Working & Learning

DeLimes. Zwammerdam. The Netherlands
Personal Leadership Consultancy and Organization Activists.

World Leadership Day founder is connected to Bob Larcher (Ambassador)