KA8002

SOCIAL CROSS-BORDER ENTREPRENEURSHIP: START-UP FOR EVERYONE AND OPPORTUNITES FOR ALL (SOCCER)

Programme name:Karelia CBC Programme 2014-2020

Name of the project: Social cross-border entrepreneurship: Start-up for everyone and opportunities for all

Acronym: SOCCER

Project ID: KA8002

Full legal name of the Lead partner in English: University of Oulu

Country of the Lead partner: Finland

Region of the Lead partner: Oulu Region

Priority: Growing cross-border business cooperation

Thematic objective: Business and SME development

Duration of the project in months: 24 (2020-2021)

The aim of the SOCCER-KA8002 project is the active involvement of young people (18-30 years old) in socially beneficial entrepreneurial activities on both sides of the border. The project organizations partners are  from Kostomuksha, Petrozavodsk, Kajaani.

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Project news

1. The problem the project is planning to solve and how it has been identified:

In the Republic of Karelia, as in the Russian Federation as a whole, there is a high need in the provision of
socially useful services especially in remote from the capital areas. Here we are talking about services in the field
of education, leisure, culture, health care, sports, the creation and maintenance of public spaces, the care of the
elderly and disabled, the work of preschool institutions, etc.

At the same time in these geographic areas there are a number of problems associated with employment and
especially in relation with young generation. According to official statistics, the unemployment rate among
young people is growing. Thus, in the Kainuu region (Finland), one of the largest number of unemployed is in
the age group 20-24 years old. A similar situation is observed in the Republic of Karelia.

On both sides of the border, young people have an interest in doing business and there are also those young
people who are already engaged in entrepreneurship. However, most of them do not have knowledge about the
prospects and opportunities for doing business in the sphere of socially useful services. Those who are not
involved in entrepreneurship yet often do not know how to start business, and those who do business are not
always familiar with the specifics of socially useful services.

The growth of entrepreneurial activities connected with socially useful services in recent years has been a trend
both in Europe and in Russia. The states and governments understand the importance and prospects of this
process. Thus, in Karelia on the basis of the Development Corporation of the Republic of Karelia, from 2019, a
special Center for Social Innovations is being created, which is a platform for high-quality interaction of
participants of social initiatives and assistance in implementing projects of social importance.

According to what was said above one of the possible solutions to the problem of youth employment, holding
young people in the places of residence, creating social elevators for young people, while simultaneously solving
socially significant problems related to the lack of socially useful services, could be the development of
entrepreneurship in the sphere of socially useful services.


2. The objective of the project:
Overall objective of the project is “Increased cross-border interaction and trade”.
Based on the foregoing, the following specific objective of the project can be formulated:
- Development of entrepreneurship in the field of socially useful services in the Republic of Karelia and Finland.
The specific objective is connected to the priority element “Activities increasing the capacity of enterprises to
start cross-border economic cooperation “.

It is worth noting here that this project is not aimed precisely at implementing the concept of social
entrepreneurship, since it is understood or defined by law in Russia and Finland in different ways. The essence
of the project will be the development of social and entrepreneurial activity: entrepreneurship in the sphere of
socially useful services, the range of which is quite wide, but understandable and close for Finland and Karelia.

3. The expected change the project will make to the current situation:
- A system of information and training programme for young people interested in doing business in the field of
socially useful services is developed
- Youth strengthened their potential for socially useful business activities
- Rate of youth employment is grow up
- New SMEs providing socially useful services (including cross-border) is opened
- The range and quality of socially useful services are expanded and improved

4. The target groups and beneficiaries of the project:
The target group of the project will be young people (18-35 years old), potentially interested in doing business
in the field of socially useful services.
The beneficiaries of the project will be representatives of the target group involved in the project and users of
socially useful services in the project regions.
Geographically, the project will focus on Kainuu and Oulu districts in Finland, as well as Kostomuksha and
Petrozavodsk districts in the Republic of Karelia.

5. The main outputs the project will produce:
- Register of social and economic opportunities for young people for the development of business in the field of
socially useful services in Republic of Karelia and in Finland will be created, including the most promising areas
of services in the cross-border areas.
- A system to promote young peoples' entrepreneurship in the field of socially useful services will be created
and implemented.
- A model of training programme for young people interested in doing business in the field of socially useful
services will be developed and tested.
- During the development of training programme the best youth entrepreneurial business ideas in the sphere of
socially useful services that have a potential impact on the development of cross-border businesses between
the Republic of Karelia and Finland will be selected and supported.
- Recommendations on doing business in the field of socially useful services in Karelia and Finland will be
developed and issued.
- Networks for interaction between young people interested in implementing socially useful entrepreneurial
business ideas in Finland and Karelia, as well as between organizations working with young people in Finland
and Karelia will be created.
All outputs will work to provide the sustainability of the project results in the future.

6. The approach planned to take (type of activities to be implemented):
- Investigating the market area of social needs and potential for socially useful services across the border and

creating a register of socio-economic opportunities for young people in cross-border areas for the development
of such businesses.
- Development and implementation of measures aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in the field of socially
useful services among young people in Finland and the Republic of Karelia.
- Developing training programme for young people interested in doing business in the field of socially useful
services (e.g., using distance learning, foresight sessions, hackathons, etc.).
- Selecting, promoting and counseling the well-functioning socially useful business ideas across the border.
- Development and distribution of recommendations on doing business in the field of socially useful services,
taking into account the specifics of the implementation of social services in Karelia and Finland.
- Creation of the sustainable network between project partners working with young people, educational
organizations and representatives of young people interested in doing business in the field of socially useful
services with the help of internet tools and experience-exchange activities.

7. Why cross-border cooperation is necessary for implementation of this project:
- The cooperation by large is aimed at the development of social and professional mobility of young and
professional staff and collectives in the field of small and medium-sized businesses and in the social sphere
through the implementation of socially useful business initiatives in cross-border cooperation.
- The proposed project partner pool forms stable and competent network in cross-border focus area as it
includes educational institutions, municipality, NGO and private enterprise. Cross-border partners will also
complement each other's advantages.
- In many cases the challenges in socio-economic sector are the same for Finnish and Karelian sides of the
border, and cross-border cooperation in this project, dissemination of experiences, findings and best practices
in the sphere of socially useful services may lead to positive synergy for enterprises to start cross-border
economic cooperation.
- Cross-border cooperation will expand the range of socially useful services in the cross-border areas and
improve mechanisms and tools to support the development of entrepreneurship in the field of these services.
                                                                                                   

Official address: Pentti Kaiteran katu 1, 90570 Oulu, Finland

Postal address: P.O.BOX 8000, FI-90014 University of Oulu, Finland

Telephone number: +358 294 480 000

Email of the organisation: university.of.oulu@oulu.fi

Website of the organisation: http://www.oulu.fi

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Veli-Matti Ulvinen/ University Lecturer, Head of the project/ +358 40 5476802/ Veli-Matti.Ulvinen@oulu.fi

 Galina Ulvinen /Project leader/ +358 503399685/ Galina.Ulvinen@oulu.fi

Natalia Sergina-Kishlar/ Project designer/ +358 504398609/ Natalia.Sergina-Kishlar@oulu.fi

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