If you are setting up or have a small business, the EU4Business initiative offers a wide range of advice and consultancy services to help you take the next step in developing your business. Visit the EU4Business page for full details of projects that you can apply to, as well as examples of successful beneficiaries. The programme also offers loans and grants for small businesses.
The EU-funded, Collaborate for Impact project aims to develop social entrepreneurship and social investment in the Eastern Partnership countries. In Azerbaijan it partners with the Education HUB to increase awareness and collaboration among social enterprises and civil society organisations and provide access to non-financial resources, education and mentoring programmes, as well as social innovation competition events to promote new social business models. Check out the Education HUB website and Facebook page for news and opportunities and visit the Collaborate for Impact website for success stories and podcasts from Azerbaijan.
Working with UNDP through the Developing innovation-driven and sustainable civil society in Azerbaijan project, the EU offers business training on social entrepreneurship helping them to develop practical skills in idea generation, business design and planning, sales and marketing, as well as measuring and reporting social impact of their businesses. The project will also offer ideation and acceleration programmes, working towards the creation of a Social Enterprise Platform in Azerbaijan. Find out more.
The EU4Youth programme will soon launch a series of projects aimed at developing social entrepreneurship and career management skills, linked to the promotion of youth entrepreneurship in the green and digital economies. Follow the EU4Youth page for upcoming opportunities.
EaP Civil Society Facility hackathons
The EaP Civil Society Facility organises a series of EaP Regional Hackathons – special events that bring together civil activists and IT professionals from the Eastern Partnership countries to work face-to-face on civic tech solutions that would enable civil society to better contribute to reforms and democratic changes in their home countries. Teams work with mentors to enhance their existing prototypes of digital solutions, with the winner(s) receiving financial and expert support from the European Union to finalise and launch their projects. Visit the Hackathon website for more details!
The EU4Digital programme is setting up an EdTech Hub for the Eastern Partnership region, which aims to foster collaboration between the EU and the Eastern partner countries, creating new opportunities for growth and development. The EdTech Hub is set to launch its first courses in July 2023. Currently, course curricula are being developed, local partners are being selected and partnerships established. The EdTech Hub is part of the EU commitment to digitally empower 1 million EaP citizens. For more info and how to take part, click here.
Eu4Digital also highlights a range of other EU programmes to support digital skills for SMEs, including the EaP Startups ecosystem.
The EU4Youth programme will soon launch a series of projects aimed at developing digital skills among young people, especially in disadvantaged communities, linked to the promotion of youth entrepreneurship in the green and digital economies. Follow the EU4Youth page for upcoming opportunities.
Young European Ambassadors
The Young European Ambassadors (YEAs) initiative is a non-political, voluntary, vibrant communication network connecting young people from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and the EU Member States and the United Kingdom. The aim of the network is to raise awareness about the EU’s cooperation with its Eastern partner countries, showcase the tangible results of this cooperation, and contribute to policy dialogue on various topics.
Through participation in the network, YEAs learn important new skills, improving their competences in the fields of teamwork, problem-solving, leadership, and communication – essential soft skills for future careers! There are currently more than 900 active YEAs representing over 34 different nationalities, including 197 in Azerbaijan (click here to meet them). The network is open to young people aged between 16 and 26, interested in public diplomacy and outreach activities. Applications take place every year, usually in the autumn.
Erasmus+ Youth Exchanges
Erasmus+ is not just for students. Indeed, in recent years, thousands of young people and youth workers from Azerbaijan have participated in joint Erasmus+ Youth projects (exchanges, trainings, policy debate, volunteering). Erasmus+ youth exchanges are open to anyone between the ages of 13 and 30, and last between 5 and 21 days. You can expect to participate in activities such as workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, outdoor activities and more. These exchanges take place through youth organisations and you cannot apply directly as an individual. To find out more, contact the Erasmus+ Youth Info Centre in Azerbaijan by visiting their Facebook page, calling +994 50 321 72 90, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
European Solidarity Corps
One way to gain experience abroad is by volunteering through the European Solidarity Corps. This is a unique way to experience different cultures and make new friends, while also helping others and learning new skills. You need to be between 17 and 30 and be willing to spend between two weeks and 12 months abroad. Volunteer projects could be anywhere in the EU or its partner countries, and in fields as varied as culture, youth, sports, children, cultural heritage, arts, animal welfare or the environment. Find out how to apply and check out hundreds of opportunities on the European Solidarity Corps portal.
Civil Society Fellowships
The EU supports young civil society leaders and activists in Azerbaijan and across the Eastern Partnership through its EaP Civil Society Fellowships programme. Every year, the programme helps 20 civil society activists in their efforts to achieve positive social change in their communities, offering tailored training, grants of €5,000 and access to networking opportunities. Details about the Fellows selected since the programme began 2017 and their areas of interest can be found here. Applications usually take place every year. Check here for updates.
EaP Civil Society Facility – e-learning
The EU’s EaP Civil Society Facility offers civil society representatives targeted online courses and materials adapted to their needs and the situations they face in their daily work. On the project’s e-Learning Hub, you will find a number of online courses, webinars and video-lectures that will provide you with the tools and skills in areas as diverse as policy analysis and monitoring, project management, digital competences and web-design for CSOs. The project also offers a number of blended courses that combined online elements with face-to-face trainings to have an enhanced impact. Find out more.
Eastern Partnership European School
The Eastern Partnership European School in Tbilisi offers a two-year International Baccalaureate programme for pupils from all six Eastern Partnership countries, including Azerbaijan, with full scholarships paid by the European Union, including fees, boarding and travel home for holidays. But the number of places is limited – only 35 per year – so you have to meet certain conditions and pass through competitive process in order to apply. Since the launch of the programme in 2018, 145 students have received scholarships for the school, graduating with the IB diploma and going on to study at top universities across the world. The next cohort of students will be recruited to join for the 2024-2026 IB programme.
Vocational Education and Training
The EU supports Azerbaijan in strengthening the quality of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system by modernising institutions to deliver skills-based training suited to the needs of the labour market. Specifically, the EU-funded project, ‘VET for the future: development of VET providers’ excellence in Azerbaijan’, implemented by UNDP, opens up vocational training opportunities not only for young people who recently left high school but also for senior citizens wishing to obtain new qualifications and find work, as well as persons with disabilities. Among its activities, the project has established four career centres in Baku and Ganja, and plans to open another three by the end of the year, and developed free short-term inclusive courses in the professions of cook, confectioner, tailor, florist, stained glass artist, hairdresser, as well as social media marketing and programming.
In 2022-23, there were 23,340 places for 127 vocations in 66 vocational educational institutions in Azerbaijan. Find out more and apply on the government’s VET portal https://vet.edu.gov.az and search #SənDəPeşəyəGəl (‘JoinVET’), the hashtag for the social media information campaign about vocational training opportunities in Azerbaijan.
The EU’s Erasmus+ programme supports work placements or study periods abroad if you are currently enrolled in vocational education and training (VET). You will be hosted either in a workplace or in another VET institution abroad, with periods of work-based learning as part of your studies. You need to check with your VET organisation to find out if these opportunities are available to you.
The EU offers a wide range of study opportunities through the Erasmus+ programme, including student exchanges in European universities at bachelor, master and doctoral levels – the exchanges will be part of the programme you are following and can last between one term and one year. And your expenses will be covered! You can also apply for an Erasmus+ scholarship to study for a Master’s degree at top European universities.
For exchanges, visit the international relations office at your university – they will tell you which opportunities are available in your subject and will help you to apply.
For a Master’s degree, you need to check out the catalogue of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees, which lists the courses offering Erasmus scholarships in the upcoming academic year (there are 193 courses currently listed), then contact the university to apply for the course and scholarship.
The National Erasmus+ Office in Azerbaijan is there to help you with any information. You can check out their website for more information, email them at email@example.com or call them on +994 12 465 99 12. You can also visit their Facebook page.
Erasmus+ supports work placements and internships abroad for Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral students, as well as recent graduates (within one year of your graduation). But your traineeship must be relevant to your degree and, wherever possible, be integrated in your study programme, so check the opportunities with your university. Work placements can last between two and twelve months, and Erasmus+ grants are available to cover your costs.
College of Europe Scholarships
The College of Europe offers a large number of scholarships to university graduates coming from Azerbaijan and other countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy for post-graduate studies. Scholarships are also available for students from the Eastern Partnership countries, funded by the EU4Youth programme. Applications for the academic year 2024/2025 will open in October 2023.
What is disinformation? How can we avoid falling for it? How can we respond to it? EUvsDisinfo aims to help citizens develop resistance to digital information and media manipulation by increasing awareness and understanding of Russian disinformation operations. Using data analysis and media monitoring services in 15 languages, EUvsDisinfo identifies, compiles, and exposes disinformation cases originating in pro-Kremlin media that are spread across the EU and Eastern Partnership countries.
The project’s Learn platform also includes a selection of useful tools, games, podcasts and other resources to build or strengthen your resilience to disinformation.
The EU4Independent Media programme is active across the six countries of the Eastern Partnership. It offers online and face-to-face trainings for media professionals, on-the-job and individual mentoring to improve editorial content or enhance management and marketing skills, as well as develop new revenue streams and a better understanding of audiences. It also supports content production and networking.
Check the EU Neighbours east media opportunities page for latest information.
A number of free courses for media and communication professionals are available online:
Fact-checking in the era of fake news
Digital transition in the newsroom
Online media production – mastering the essentials
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