Banbridge enterprise centre hosted the kick-off meeting for the EPIC project in their offices in Banbridge Northern Ireland. It was a highly productive meeting which helped all partners get to grasps with the innovative topic of pop culture in entrepreneurial education.

We had a rousing discussion on what constitutes “pop culture” in each of the partner countries and it was highlighted that in Northern Ireland we have a close link to film and tv. In recent years, we have hosted crews and actors from the hit T.V show Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy and even the film Braveheart!

We also discussed the issue of Youth unemployment and how this can be combatted by entrepreneurship education in an innovative and engaging way. This project was successful due to its highly focused outline, “Although youth unemployment is slowing falling from its post-crisis peak, it remains persistently high, especially in our partners’ countries. As globalisation continues to blur cultural boundaries, pop culture is a dynamic area where culture, business and technology meet. EPIC Opportunities for Youth capitalises on this, placing pop culture at the centre of an innovative and engaging approach to help young people develop their own entrepreneurial skills and cultural awareness. It is particularly appealing to young people. Many young people, especially early school leavers and migrants, face unemployment, underemployment or disadvantage in the labour market, generating economic and social repercussions. Entrepreneurship provides an alternative route to professional and personal fulfilment and the ability to contribute directly to society based on each individual’s unique skillset.”

In order to meet the aims of this project and to have the intended impact on the educators and young people we will produce the below materials over the course of the two year project:

  1. Pop Culture Entrepreneurship Resource Pack. Aimed at youth educators and stakeholders, these downloadable documents will explain the value of pop culture as a medium for inclusive entrepreneurship education and offer practical guidance on how to understand cultural heritage, raise cultural awareness and develop pop culture businesses.
  2. Digital Tools for Young Entrepreneurs Resource Pack, will guide youth educators and stakeholders on how to make the most of freely available digital and mobile technology to improve the effectiveness of learning outcomes in non-formal education programmes for young people.
  3. EPIC Opportunities for Youth Framework, published and disseminated as a set of Open Education Resources (OERs). The core of our project, this set of integrated multimedia resources is organized around a curriculum and provides youth educators with the structure, example learning activities and suggested content to deliver a pop culture entrepreneurship development programme and guide young people to become aware of the cultural heritage around them and develop innovative and sustainable products and services based on pop culture opportunities.
  4. EPIC Opportunities Learning and Knowledge Exchange Platform. An interactive online site optimized for mobile access, providing young people with direct access to the EPIC Opportunities OERs in bite-sized learning chunks and a platform for sharing and peer-reviewing entrepreneurial ideas within their own group and with young people across Europe.