Young Entrepreneurs Succeed – Youth Employment Summit in Barcelona

Barcelona, 5 July 2023

First edition of the Youth Employment Summit in Barcelona

  • Spain continues to be the OECD country with the most unemployed young people.
  • The event, organized by Autoocupació and the Fund for Youth Employment of EEA & Norway Grants, was a success of participation.
  • Lion Dreams, a short film to promote entrepreneurship among young people around the world, was released.

Barcelona, 5 July 2023.  On June 29, Autoocupació organized the Youth Employment Summit at the Caixa Fòrum Macaya, in collaboration with the Fund for Youth Employment of EEA & Norway Grants,  a day in which the new strategies of youth employment policies were presented, as well as some of the best practices of innovation and cooperation in this field. It was attended by more than 150 people representing public and private entities in the field of employment from 10 European countries.

The day was opened by Albert Colomer, President of Autoocupació, and Nora Mehsen, representing the Fund for Youth Employment of EEA & Norway Grants.

The first session focused on new youth employment policies. Veerle Miranda, representing the OECD, again noted that “Spain continues to be the OECD country with the most unemployed young people”. Miquel Carrión, representative of the Servei d’Ocupació de Catalunya, added that “a young person trained has three times as many chances of finding a job as one who is not”.

Good practices in youth employment

This was followed by four round tables to share best practices on youth employment in Catalonia.

The first round table presented the voluntary mentoring program for young self-employment entrepreneurs within the framework of the Young Entrepreneurs Succeed project. Jo Gray, representative of Youth Business International, said that “it is often surprising that mentors do this work voluntarily, but there is no other way to do it than with initiative and drive.” Guillem Arís, Director of Autoocupació, shared the impact of the mentoring program: “The 5-year survival rate of the  mentored companies  is 87%, more than double the average in Spain.” Daniel Venteo, as a volunteer mentor, and Rubén Fernández, founder of Jabonalia, shared their experience in the program.

Then three more conferences were held to share the best practices in educational return, with the participation of the Asociación Española de Escuelas de Segunda Oportunidad and El Llindar Fundació, in dual training, with the participation of the Servei d’Ocupació de Catalunya, Fundación Exit and Superwagen and in labor insertion, with the participation of the Incorpora network of the Fundació La Caixa and Fundació Intermedia. All the round tables had the participation of beneficiaries of the initiatives to give visibility to their impact.

What is the future of work?

Albert Cañigueral, explorer, consultant and disseminator, announced the changes that will mark the future of work and how technology will affect labor relations. “85% of jobs of the future are still not invented,” he said.

The Youth Employment Summit was closed by Gian Luca Bombarda, Director of the Fund for Youth Empolyment of EEA & Norway Grants, and by Oriol Amorós, Secretary General of the Departament de Drets Socials of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

Lion Dreams premiere

That same afternoon Lion Dreams was premiered, a short film promoted by Autoocupació to promote entrepreneurship among young people.

The film is based on the true story of a young entrepreneur who has developed a solution to facilitate the coexistence between humans and wild animals in Africa.

The film has been directed by Jordi López, produced by Laura Egidos and Albert Aynès, written by Aleix Mestre and Dani Belenguer and interpreted by Usu Tambadou and Sol Merino, all of them young professionals who start their professional careers in the world of cinema.

Guillem Arís, Director of Autoocupació, defined Lion Dreams as “an inspiring story, a real example of entrepreneurial spirit, with a social component and environmental sustainability” and kicked off the Oscar race for the best short film: “we do not give up on anything!”. 


The EEA and Norway Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reduce economic and social disparities and to strengthen bilateral relations with 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics.

For the period 2014-2021, the total contribution is €2.8 billion (EEA Grants €1.5 billion and Norway Grants €1.3 billion).

Under the EEA Agreement, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are part of the European internal market. The EEA Agreement sets out the common goal of working together to reduce social and economic disparities.

⇒ READ MORE about the implementation of the YES! project in Italy

The Scaling trust-based partnership models to recharge youth entrepreneurship: Supporting underserved communities with innovative entrepreneurship support instruments (TPM-RYE) project, benefits from €2,3M grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment. The aim of the programme is to activate unemployed youth to access the labour market and promote entrepreneurship.


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