Cooperation Slovenia and USA for youth-friendly entrepreneurship and the European campaign Pact 4 Youth

Posted on Dec 15, 2016

In Maribor  were on 12 December 2016 presented  the possibilities for cooperation of Slovenia and USA concerning youth-friendly entrepreneurship and the European campaign Pact 4 Youth today. This campaign encourages youth employment, internship and practice in enterprises.

Klemen Bzjak Member of the Institute InTeRCeR attended the event.

The Institute for the Development of Social Responsibility – IRDO has presented the possibilities for cooperation of the youngsters with USA and strengthening of their entrepreneurship. The event took place at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Štajerska and was organized in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana, the Republic of Slovenia’s Office for Youth and the supportive partners. Saša Pelko, Vice-mayor of the Municipality of Maribor, Izaak Martin, Deputy Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Ljubljana, Slovenia, Jernej Salecl, assistant to the manager of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Štajerska, and Anita Hrast, M. S., manager of the IRDO Institute, addressed the audience.


The discussion with persons who have already experienced work, entrepreneurship and education in USA followed. They transferred their knowledge on the youngsters and suggested them how to create relation, get involved in studying, work and life in USA. Charlotte Taft, SEI & Alumni Coordinator, U.S. Embassy Ljubljana, stressed that this Embassy offers to the youngsters from Slovenia numerous possibilities, e.g. encouraging the youngsters’ gaining of practice in USA enterprises in the form of the summer work, which they can obtain from the STA travel agency, Fulbright scholarships and other supports, such as the foundations (Ad Futura etc.). They invite the youngsters to monitor announcements on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana and use the offered opportunities. She exposed the youngsters’ need to have a chance of practicing in enterprises; this is the only way for them to know how they should work, when they are really employed. The work during the studying time is a youngsters’ usual practice in USA; thus, they gain the suitable experiences in practice.


Creston Davis, PhD, Founding director & Professor of Philosophy – The Global Center for Advanced Studies, New York, Chair of Interdiscp. Humanities Alma Mater Europaea Slovenija & Austria, stressed that Maribor faces a big unemployment of youngsters and on the other hand has a free education. He encourages foreign students to come and study in Slovenia, which he finds a very beautiful country, and it is too bad not to help youngsters to their success. Youngsters must take risks and have the courage to succeed although they make failures on their way to it. Failures are only a different way of learning for success. »Lack of money is only an excuse to not do something; it is essential that the person decides on his or her own to make something of him or her-self,« he added.


Alenka Hren, SPIRIT Slovenia, public agency, exposed that much is going on elsewhere; hence, youngsters must dare to go abroad and return home. Youngsters should be more proactive, travel and be open for several opportunities. Martina Rauter, PhD, Municipality of Maribor, said the one must start working rather than talking, including the youngsters. »It is urgent to link the existing supportive systems on one common point, offering the youngsters key information for studying and getting employed; this is the aim of the Municipality of Maribor too,« she added. Jernej Salecl, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Štajerska, said that the Chamber, too, has special packages ready to professionally support the youngsters in the beginning of their business, if they decide to be entrepreneurs; hence, the Chamber invites the interested youngsters to visit it.


Gregor Salobir, finishing the MSc at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, traffic and architecture, University of Maribor, stressed the youngsters’ own responsibility of the success or failure: »All information and supportive environment does not help, if you are not ready to do something. It happens, though, that we youngsters lack information about what to do during our high school. We receive a lot of information from the social workers in the primary school providing direction which high school should we select. In the high school, such professional offices are not sufficient. They do not inform youngsters in a systematic way about the existing chances, we are left to our-selves. Much information is available, but they are diffused. Everywhere they demand the employment candidates to have two years of work experience, but you have no chance to gain them, if nobody is willing to provide your internship, practice, mentorship.«


To improve this the IRDO Institute presented in September 2016 in Ljubljana, for the first time, the All-Europe campaign Pact 4 youth (CSR Europe), with which they encourage the traineeship, apprenticeship and enabling of internship in enterprises. They invite therefore the enterprises, institutions and organizations that are ready to offer the youngsters activities of this kind, or to employ them, to help them to succeed, to sign the letter of intention and cooperation. Eleven Slovene organizations have already signed it, including the Javni zavod Cene Štupar – Center za izobraževanje Ljubljana, AISEC Slovenija, Zavod Nefiks, e-Študentski servis (ŠS storitveno podjetje d.o.o.), Saubermacher-Komunala Murska Sobota d.o.o., CMPP, Zavod 4 Lune so.p., RASR, Razvojne agencije Savinjske regije, Data d.o.o….


In a festive style, today Saša Pelko, vice-mayor of the Municipality of Maribor, delivered signed letter of intention to support CSR Europe action; thus, Maribor joined the project as the first municipality in Slovenia. At IRDO Institute they will continue the campaign in 2017 to try to help to offer the youngsters traineeships, apprenticeships, internship, practice and employment together with the joining organizations. Therefore IRDO Institute invites others to join.


The event was organized with the financial support of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport – Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth and U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana. The University of Maribor – Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Maribor – Career Centre, Alma Mater Europaea – Evropski center, Maribor, and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Štajerska supported the event with their professional work.