Launching EU4Youth “Building Back Better Through Social Entrepreneurship”: A Regional Initiative to Foster Youth Empowerment and Social Enterprise

The European Union, in conjunction with Junior Achievement (JA) and other stakeholders, is proud to present the “Building Back Better Through Social Entrepreneurship” project, an ambitious undertaking targeting the youth of Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine.

Youth empowerment, especially in the realm of employability and skills development, has been central to the EU’s collaboration with its Eastern partners. Building on the EU’s commitment to enhance youth leadership, employability, and entrepreneurship via the EU4Youth programme, we’re excited to announce the launch of “Building Back Better Through Social Entrepreneurship in Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine.”

This initiative, unveiled in collaboration with Junior Achievement, a significant stakeholder in EU’s journey towards youth empowerment, focuses on the objective of equipping 2,100 young individuals with the tools they need to instigate meaningful economic and societal changes in their respective nations.

Running from August 2023 to July 2025 in the three above-mentioned countries, the project’s mission is to foster a deeper understanding of social entrepreneurship and equip young minds with necessary skills, while simultaneously establishing an ecosystem conducive for the growth of social enterprises.

At the launch event in Chisinau on 3 October, a vibrant mix of around 150 participants included colleagues from the implementing countries, international experts, school directors, teachers, partners, donors, central and local public authorities, representatives from the Embassy of Georgia, Lithuania, Ukraine, the EU Delegation in Moldova, JA Europe, USAID, LED, GIZ Moldova, and stakeholders from the entrepreneurial sector.

According to Diana Filip, Deputy CEO and Chief Development Officer at JA Europe, “After the pandemic as well as the economic and geopolitical challenges and crises, it is key to re-build the economies and societies of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. This can only be done by empowering the youth in these countries to transform their economies with a strong focus on social entrepreneurship.”

Laurentia Filipschi, CEO of JA Moldova commented, “This endeavor reflects our profound commitment to channeling the energies of the youth into productive avenues, ensuring they’re well-equipped to make a difference. Junior Achievement is thrilled to be a part of this transformative journey.”

The “Building Back Better Through Social Entrepreneurship” conference on October 3, 2023 is set to be a pivotal event in empowering the youth and fostering social enterprises in Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine. The programme outline is as follows:

Opening Ceremony:

Our distinguished inaugural speakers include:

  • Alexandru Stratan, Rector, Academy of Economic Studies from Moldova, President of Junior Achievement Moldova
  • Dorin Recean, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova (to be confirmed)
  • Dan Perciun, Ministry of Education and Research
  • Jānis Mažeiks, Ambassador, Delegation of the European Union to Moldova
  • Diana Filip, Deputy CEO and Chief Development Officer, JA Europe
  • Ion Sturza, Honorary Chairman JA Moldova

Panel Discussions:

  1. Start-up Creation and Sustainability: Exploring the foundation of start-ups and understanding their sustainable business models.
    1. Moderator: Diana Filip, JA Europe
    2. Speakers include Dumitru Pîntea, Sergiu Gurău, Andželika Rusteikienė, Michaela Marcinova, and Michal Dzoga.
  2. Entrepreneurial Education’s Role in Social Entrepreneurship: Delving into how education fosters social entrepreneurship.
    1. Moderator: Alexandru Stratan, Chairman JA Moldova, Rector, Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova
    2. Panelists: Corina Lungu, Eka Gegeshidze, Yuriy Tokarski, students Doina Cimpoaca and Doina Levinte, and Irina Nasalciuc.
  3. Youth Potential in Social Entrepreneurship: Discussion on how the youth can develop sustainable social entrepreneurship ventures.
    1. Moderator: Tatiana Bucos, Coordinator, Business Incubator
    2. Speakers: Olena Bekh, Vitalie Crihana, Alexandru Gîncu, and Vladimir Ternavschi.

About the Initiative: Supported by the European Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, and other key stakeholders, this EU4Youth project “Building Back Better Through Social Entrepreneurship” aims to equip over 2,100 young individuals with the tools necessary to drive impactful societal and economic transformations within their nations. This two-year venture, from August 2023 to July 2025, will place special emphasis on social entrepreneurship and the nurturing of a conducive ecosystem for its growth.

Venue Details: The Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova, Banulescu Bodoni str., no. 61, Chisinau, Block A, first floor, Hall.

Press and media contact at JA Europe: Minna Melleri, Chief of Advocacy and Growth (