Youth unemployment is one of diseases of our country and we need urgent but motivating solutions. Knowledge Factory is possible solution model for this problem. Project aim is to develop innovative concept and place where young people will be able to educate, develop their skills and small businesses and to network in order to found as much as possible small entrepreneurial businesses. It would be first collaborative, co-working, hub and self-development space in Banja Luka and following examples of similar spaces in Sarajevo, region and in USA.
The specific objective of the pilot project is to develop model for social enterprise which will increase employability of young people and to accelerate their market penetration trough and with help one of the services: career planning, generic skills, specific skills or entrepreneurship. Specific goal is to create a unique collaborative, co-working concept which could be a role model for different communities in Bosnia and further.
Knowledge Factory (KF) is innovative and modern concept where young people could have support, services and networking area through which they would get knowledge and skills for nowadays labor market. They would be more prepared for labor market but also would be equipped with skills to found their own entrepreneurship business or start successful freelance career. KF is youth friendly and modern combination of services that are in most of the cases NOT PROVIDED in public education sector:
• Career Counseling and Professional Orientation service
• Entrepreneurship (especially IT) Hub
• Small Youth center for non-formal workshops and unique skills development
Two main physical components are:
• One learning area for different type of workshops
• One E-hub area for young entrepreneurs, ex-workshops attendees which would be used for networking, joint business projects, small entrepreneurship project promotion and development etc.
Activities that will be implemented in KF would include these:
1. Professional Orientation and Career Guidance Program
Graduated psychologists and career counselors will provide free and open service of career counseling and professional orientation testing (CERK is first young organization that implemented pilot project of professional orientation programmed for secondary school student of final year and it proved as very helpful in education and career planning).
2. “IT as a (support) profession” workshops which would include specific workshops which could equip youth with modern knowledge which is in deficit on labor market such are: programming, design, web programming, IT business skills (such are Business Intelligence, Business Reporting trough IT skills, business correspondence etc.).
3. Foreign language Knowledge Workshops: specially designed workshops of foreign language (with focus on English as most common) for specific purpose (e.g. application for scholarship or internship abroad, foreign language in law/management/PR etc.).
4. Unique skills workshops: specially designed workshops which could: – provide small entrepreneurship projects (such are girls who make jewelry of small furniture or young people who are IT freelancer) with support knowledge and motivation for their business development, from legal registration to finance management – provide youth with unique skills (e.g. workshops decoupage, healthy food, ecological, handmade etc.).
The most important advantage of KF concept is that it would be place where knowledge and skills will be produces in symbiotic environment:
• Design workshops attendees would create promotional materials for young entrepreneurs,
• Young entrepreneurs could promote their products to other beneficiaries groups such are language attendees,
• Foreign language workshops attendees could practice their foreign language trough support for IT workshops attendees in their “Product” development”,
• In E-hub all of the groups could meet and network, help each other in development of (new) business and possible work for abroad companies (e.g. two programmers, one designer and one translator could be adequate small company and provide some services for foreign companies and trough that gain valuable experience and financial support for themselves and their project), etc. Promotional slogan before opening of the KF would be “We are opening Factory” AND “Place where will be produced the most valuable resource – knowledge!”
Project is supported by US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.