The Includnet project (Development of Inclusive Entrepreneurship Ecosystem for Young People with Intellectual Disability) aims to promote the social and labour market inclusion of young people with intellectual disabilities through the provision of entrepreneurship education and access to entrepreneurship and self-employment. Young people with intellectual disabilities are subject to discrimination by employers, so self-employment or entrepreneurship remains the only option for employment inclusion for many. The Includnet partnership has developed an accessible and easy-to-read training programme on entrepreneurship for young people with intellectual disabilities and established a business support network that will provide them with mentoring and support services.
The Includnet training programme aims to give all people an equal opportunity to create a sustainable business, whatever their social group or background.
Five different European countries participated in the Includnet project and exchanged knowledge and good practices on inclusive entrepreneurship programmes for young people with intellectual disabilities.
Within the Includnet project, the partners aimed at the following objectives:
- Development of a sustainable ecosystem of inclusive entrepreneurship for young people with intellectual disabilities
- Design and development of a training programme dedicated to inclusive entrepreneurship
- Testing of the training programme in 4 different EU countries
- Promotion of the development, testing and implementation of innovative practices in the field of youth participation in the labour market
- Promotion of activities that can better prepare young people on equity, diversity and social inclusion in the training/learning environment
- Promoting the preparation and training of staff of services for people with disabilities on entrepreneurship and inclusive work
- Promotion of co-productive processes in the development of training material
- Organisation of dedicated activities/workshops and visits to disability services as part of the project’s transnational meetings.
In order to pursue the above-mentioned objectives, the following activities were carried out:
- Activity 1: Creation of a business support network for young entrepreneurs with ID
- Activity 2: Analysis of successful cases of entrepreneurs with ID in the respective countries
- Activity 3: Training programme for inclusive entrepreneurship and piloting.
Young people with intellectual disabilities were actively involved in all project activities. They helped to identify success stories, participated in the development and testing of the content of the training programme, provided feedback and suggestions for improvement.
The Includnet project generated a broad impact:
- improved knowledge for both staff and users on the topic of entrepreneurial opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities
- motivated staff
- improvement of autonomy and self-esteem of users with disabilities, thanks to the possibility of travelling, exchanging experiences (empowerment) and having their say on training modules, being able to recognise a new glossary and new concepts when working, reasoning about their potential, talents and wishes
- enhancement of creativity of both staff and users
- development and use of training modules for awareness-raising and training on entrepreneurship and disability.