According to the Creative Industries Mapping Document issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in UK ( DCMS, 1998), creative industries were defined as activities which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have the potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property. While cultural industry is well studied and practiced in West European countries and already emerged as a faster growing economy sector, it is still out of cultural, social and economic agenda in the Balkan Region. This is why we develop the idea to get together young people from the Balkans to discuss and debate on new opportunities to develop the entrepreneurial thinking related to the cultural production and to share good practices already tested by the leading entities in this field. Our goal is to stimulate the creative thinking of young people, while developing the respect to their different cultures, religion and ethnicity. The project "Off the Beaten Roads: Cultural Entrepreneurship in the Balkans" is conceived as a multilateral youth exchange and provide an opportunity to meet 45 young people and leaders from five Balkan countries - Turkey, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria and Macedonia. The long-term goal of our project is to promote creative entrepreneurship both in own country of participant and on regional (Balkan) level. We expect that as a result of project implementation the young people can make choice to work on their own business thus trying to overcome the phenomenon of wide spread youth unemployment. The project will be inspiring and encouraging way for participants to find yet “unbeaten” ways to use the experience and knowledge gained during the activities together, to contribute to their society in particular and to the regional cooperation, in more general sense.
Within 10 days , the project will enable young people involved in the field of culture, arts and heritage, to debate on what is cultural entrepreneurship, what characterizes the creative industries , how they fit into the cultural policies of European countries and how the youth involvement in this young sector in the Balkans - a region with rich historical heritage from antiquity to our days - to be encourage. Will be discussed the possibilities for career development of young people in cultural industries at national, regional and European level , as well as best practices on promoting the role of local and national institutions to build effective youth policies and strategies for social inclusion and career development of young people. The program will offer a variety of methods of non-formal education - method of simulative business games (simulated companies with main activities in the field of cultural industries corresponding to the training of participants - music, media and advertising, art , restoration , etc. . ) Method of "collaborative learning " ( how to make a business plan , advertising and marketing strategies) , interactive role plays and workshops , presentations , artistic outdoor activities , visiting cultural sights to assess the possibilities and potential of local cultures and cooperation with local authorities in the implementation of cultural products created during the project. The idea of the exchange is to promote cooperation between young people from the field of art and culture in the Balkans, to encourage their initiative and motivation to start their own business to contribute to the unity, tolerance and mutual understanding. Our goal is to stimulate creative thinking of young people, while strengthening their respect for different cultures, religions.
The main objectives are: to identify the opportunities of working with young people in the emerging cultural industry market in less privileged region such as Balkans; to help young people to get involved in evaluation of the rich pool of Balkan cultures and cultural heritage as a kick off point in starting an own project related to cultural industry; to provide opportunity to young people from different countries to create a social network and communication which may facilitate their efforts and boost their entrepreneurial spirit; to give them the sense of personal confidence in own creative and creative skills needed for their future professional life; to discuss what the cultural industry is and how young people can develop their creative skills needed for entrepreneurial activities in the field; to share ideas and good practices for successful and sustainable business development in the cultural production; to debate ideas for own projects; to discover the innovative ways to use the new knowledge and skills in developing strategies’ for entreprenership in culture; to evaluate the local authorities cultural policy as an opportunity for cultural economy development; Finally, we aim to enable groups of young people to create their own successful business in field of cultural industry.