NoCry2 project increases potential for growth and employment in deprived areas of northern Europe

A unique business support service and networking platform connects young creative entrepreneurs in remote and rural areas.

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Snapshots of the NoCry2 project activities.© Snapshots of the NoCry2 project activities.©

" NoCry2 has been one of the best things to in my career and personally. I was given the opportunity to meet a team of talented, inspiring and supportive young people who have helped me keep focused on my business, and generate an income, by offering their educated views and skills. "

Leanne, Northern Ireland

Launched in 2011, NoCry2 was developed by young entrepreneurs for young entrepreneurs. Under the slogan ‘Live of what you love where you love to live!’, the project delivered virtual and real-life opportunities to young people keen to start and/or develop a business. Promoting collaboration between like-minded individuals in different EU countries and regions, the project aimed to establish “creative business clusters” to accelerate the development of innovative products and services.

One of the main outcomes is the Experimental and Alternative Business Support Service (wecooperate.net) comprising: The Real Factor, which offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to promote themselves and their businesses/skills and to collaborate to improve their competitive advantage; the integral tools briefcase, that includes interactive learning opportunities; and The Cloud Creative Community that enables a continuous exchange of ideas through an ever-expanding community.

Another main outcome is the Creative Office. This is a virtual 3D environment built with many different functions, actors and possibilities in mind, such as working spaces and an auditorium with an interactive screen making it possible to simultaneously host, for example, virtual and face-to-face workshops, lectures or business coaching sessions, either within smaller groups or to a wider audience.

16 organisations from Sweden, Finland, Northern Ireland, Norway, Iceland and Scotland were partners or associated partners, including business and regional development associations, and companies specialising in training, education and R&D. With their entrepreneurial approach and support, over 30 enterprises and 100 young creative entrepreneurs shared ideas and worked together on projects.

A practical approach to address regional challenges

With an increasing number of young people leaving the Northern Periphery to seek employment in more prosperous geographic areas, there was a need to create a new and sustainable market economy providing real opportunities for the community. Focusing on creative industry, innovation and knowledge as drivers of future growth, NoCry2 fosters entrepreneurship, nurtures talent, facilitates cross-border collaboration and helps develop innovative solutions.

Conceived in response to a demand for a “one-stop-shop” of services by entrepreneurs struggling to survive on their own, participants have a say in how it is developed. Nearly 90 % of the previously unemployed entrepreneurs have positively changed their situations, businesses have improved and more than 20 new ones been started. Through multidisciplinary collaboration, new products and services have been developed, one of which is already available in the international market. Business hubs are established in Sweden and Norway, while user-generated communication via new media and interactive online channels improves project reach and sustainability.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Northern Creative Youth 2” is EUR 992 907.93, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 575 480.39 from the operational programme “Northern Periphery Programme” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date

04/12/2014

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