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Young Entrepreneurs Drive Enhancements in Programme for Domestic Violence Survivors

Young Entrepreneurs Drive Enhancements in Programme for Domestic Violence Survivors

The professional repercussions of domestic violence are profound and far-reaching, impacting survivors' career planning, daily work routines and growth opportunities. Particularly, women who have endured domestic violence often find themselves in precarious employment situations, such as casual and part-time roles, leading to significantly lower earnings.

On the 2nd of March, 2024, the ICHEC Brussels Management School hosted a landmark event showcasing the outcomes of Project EASE, an initiative designed to support domestic violence survivors through entrepreneurship. The event, spearheaded by ThinkYoung in partnership with Junior Enterprises Europe, gathered over 100 dynamic young entrepreneurs and featured insights from three distinguished experts in entrepreneurship and EU policy.

Project EASE provides an innovative approach to domestic violence, aiming to help survivors get back on track by equipping them with entrepreneurial skills, coaching and mentorship. The training programme spanned over six months and was implemented in three pilot projects, successfully launched in France, Bulgaria and Czechia.

The event kicked off with opening remarks from Marilena Toumazou from ThinkYoung, where she presented the project’s results to date. After that, a panel discussion with experts took place, where they shared their expertise on entrepreneurship and EU SME policy–while providing critical insights on the EASE approach.

The event culminated in a workshop with Manuela Draganova, who oversaw the Bulgarian pilot. During the discussion, young entrepreneurs were asked about potential improvements for the EASE project and its implementation in other countries. Their leading suggestions for improving the programme were:

  • Establishing collaborations with organisations such as Junior Enterprises Europe to reach a greater European audience.

  • Improving communication on the project to increase visibility and awareness.

  • Collaborating with the local partners and municipalities to extend the project’s reach.

  • Creating an ambassadors’ network to raise awareness about the project and to showcase its effectiveness

  • Using more quantitative data to present the results.

The event was heralded as a success, as participants were highly engaged and made numerous suggestions about replicating the programme, which was the event’s event’s focal point.

The speakers that participated in the Panel Discussion:

  • Prof. Dr Judith Behrens, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Université Libre de Bruxelles

  • Manuela Draganova, Coach and Entrepreneurship Teacher

  • Daniela Santopolo, Policy Officer, European Commission, DG Internal Market, Industry and SMEs. Unit D1 – Skills, Services, Profession.

  • Marilena Toumazou, Head of Projects at ThinkYoung

For more information, please contact Mr Hubert Falkowski at


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