The primary goal of the RAW & GROW: Sustainable Development and Acceleration of Organic Production Enterprises adult strategic partnership supporting exchange of good practices is to allow organizations to develop and reinforce networks, increase their capacity to operate at transnational level, share and confront ideas, practices and methods. The project “Raw & Grow: Sustainable Development and Acceleration of Organic Production Enterprises” aims through a strategic approach, highly participatory and engaging activities as well as through building the capacities of the participating organizations to empower adults to get into organic production as well as to develop and accelerate their startup enterprises by bringing them closer to this sustainable model of production. In the same time the idea is to jointly address the organic production and not only to inspire start-ups and entrepreneurs to embrace this concept, but also unemployed adults to consider it as a tool and response to their unemployment.

Given the labor market situation in Macedonia based on data for 2013, labour force accounted for 956 057 persons (State Statistical Office, June 2014, Labour Force Survey, 2013 No. 2.4.14.04779 http://www.stat.gov.mk/PrikaziPoslednaPublikacija.aspx?id=3 ). In the population aged 15-64, for the same year, the activity rate was 64.9%, employment rate was 46.0% and unemployment rate was 29.1%. In this environment, the country creating supportive environment for social enterprises could significantly contribute to higher employment especially among adults who are actively looking for work or who are part of start-up companies just recently entering the market. Adults aged 35-55 often lack skills and information to embrace not only growth but also sustainability, keeping them further from the current trends and developments around the globe. The statistics shows that the number of start-up companies in Macedonia (56) is far lower than for instance in Slovenia (176) country with similar size and population (https://angel.co/locations).

In order to solve these problems, Impact Hub initiated this project that will enable learning by doing of the staff and will initiate joint response to unemployment and promotion of organic production. It will encompass short-term trainings for staff as well as transnational meetings. There will be 12 staff members taking part in total of 3 short-term joint staff training events to happen in Slovenia, France and Macedonia. The staff on the training events will be directly involved in the work activities of the hosting organizations during the short-term mobility period, and thereby will get an insight of the production itself, enhancing their knowledge in project management and managerial skills. During the short-term mobility in France and Slovenia, the Macedonian participants will boost their skills in organic production and will become aware about its opportunities, whereas during the mobility of staff from Slovenia and France in Macedonia, the staff will share the positive practices from their work and will get an insight of the situation with organic production in Macedonia as well as learn more about how to further promote this branch in their countries.

On the other side, the project will involve 3 transnational meetings where also 12 participants will join in total. At the kick-off, the participants will set all the details on the project implementation, contact persons will be appointed as well as a project manager. The core team will define the channels of communication and set dissemination strategy as well as polish the methodology needed for the baseline research on organic production in their countries as well as the need assessment of the adults interested in organic production. At the workshop, the staff members from the 3 participating organization will gather and develop an Acceleration Programme on Organic Production for Adults, first of a kind, targeted precisely at adults as the organic production is a concept primarly embraced by younger population involving new methods and technologies. The guidelines “A,B,C for Organic Production” will be very useful in particular for adults who are unemployed and know just the basis of this sphere. The evaluation meeting will be an opportunity to reflect on the whole project and discuss its follow up.

The Raw and Grow project’s sustainability lies in its environmental impact and the healthy living it promotes.