PROJECT Entrepeneurship Strategy & Policy
Roma inclusion in green entrepreneurship and job creation
The main objective of the activity lies in "combating the unemployment of Roma people in different regions of Slovakia by focusing on green innovation in entrepreneurship, self-employment and job creation in Roma communities".
The objective is in line with the overall goals of the EEA & Norway Grants in Slovakia, which pay significant attention to the Roma people inclusion and empowerment, as well as creating new green jobs and business opportunities through the launched programmes. The bilateral activity strives to bring synergy effect in those 2 areas.
Examples of sectors that hold the promise of the green jobs of the future include:
- delivering improvements in energy and resource efficiency, particularly in the building sector (new and existing built stock), but also industry and transport;
- renewable energy (including biofuels and renewable technologies);
- sustainable mobility (i.e. mass transportation);
- waste management and recycling of raw materials;
- eco-industries related to pollution control (air, water, waste, site decontamination, noise)
- “eco-friendly” services (conservation, ecotourism, etc.).
In developing economies other sectors may be at least as important, in particular:
- those involving the sustainable use of natural resources, including agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
- activities relating to adaptation to climate change.
Roma communities are often located in remote/abandoned areas with environmental challenges, but also opportunities. Roma people are already engaged in economic activities related to these challenges (like waste collection). With new innovative solutions and partnerships these can be turned into more jobs organized in a decent and sustainable way.
In recent years Europe has already seen several successful projects targeting (green) job creation and inclusion of Roma people. Building on success stories is vital when planning for other new projects and initiatives. The project partners would like therefore prepare a study on best practices within the area of Roma people inclusion, entrepreneurship training and the creation of green jobs. Building on the knowledge from that study the partners will assess the potential for developing green entrepreneurship/jobs among Roma people in Slovakia and create a concept design on how this best could be achieved through future projects in the country. The long-term aim is that the partners together with Slovak stakeholder’s initiates big scale projects in the country (potentially under new EEA&Norway grant programme – Roma inclusion and empowerment or other relevant programme).
Specifically, the bilateral activity contributed to achieve goals in the Green Industry Innovations Programme Area in following way:
- by developing solutions – new innovative ways of collecting, separation and recycling of wastes, which will contribute to decreasing of waste landfilling and/or creation of illegal dumping. Thus, the environmental conditions will be improved,
- by developing solutions for reaching higher employment of Roma people or their own business activity in the waste treatment sector (including proper training, management and stakeholders involvement)
The realization of bilateral activity was enabled not only sharing of experiences and knowledge of both project partners in the area of Roma inclusion and waste treatment, but its main benefit lies in designing scalable and replicable solutions of boosting green industry development by utilizing of potential of Roma people (issue of national and international importance). Therefore, these solutions will be not relevant to be applied only within framework of closed project partnership, but they can be implemented also by interested national, regional or local autorities.
In other words, the bilateral pilot cooperation of partners with significant track records (“market experience”) presents not only an opportunity to establish new connections in Norway and in Slovakia but to come out with feasible solutions, which may after their testing on the market become best practice examples for Slovak/foreign entities working with Roma people and/or entities engaged in the waste treatment/circular economy development.