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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
News article16 August 2023Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs1 min read

International Youth Day – young entrepreneurs move towards sustainability

International Youth Day banner

In 1998, the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, hosted by the Government of Portugal in cooperation with the United Nations, designated 12 August as International Youth Day. International Youth Day has been marked on that date ever since.

The event is aimed at bringing youth issues to the attention of the international community and celebrating young people’s potential in today’s global society. The theme for 2023 is ‘Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World’.

Nowhere is young people’s potential more clear than in the field of entrepreneurship. A number of young Europeans – including those on the EU’s Secrets of Success 33 Under 33 list, which showcases successful young entrepreneurs in order to inspire others to consider entrepreneurial careers – are demonstrating how this potential can be harnessed to boost sustainability.

Selling and educating

Teona Mango, from North Macedonia, is one example. She set up Beyond Green, an online business selling sustainable items such as shopping bags, phone cases, water bottles and candles. Teona aims not only to sell but also to educate by showing her customers the difference they can make by adopting sustainable lifestyles.

Another is Stavros Tsompanidis from Greece. His company, PHEE, makes bio-composite materials by upcycling natural residues like seagrass, coffee grounds and herbal tea leaves. PHEE’s materials can be used in architecture, furniture and interior design as renewable alternatives to fossil-based products.

Taylan Erol, from Turkey, aims to be an agent of change in the diamond industry by growing ethical, sustainable and affordable diamonds in laboratories. At its cutting-edge facilities in the Netherlands and Turkey, his company, Appsilon Enterprise, deploys advanced technologies to recreate the conditions in which diamonds form. The diamonds are used for high-tech applications such as optics, quantum computers and sensors, electronics and batteries, as well as jewellery.

Recycled eggshells

Founded by French environmental science graduate, Yacine Kabeche, Circul'Egg applies chemical-free processes to recycle eggshells. It transforms the outer shell and shell membrane into protein-rich ingredients and biomolecules that can be used in the nutraceutical, pet food, cosmetics and materials sectors.

Finally, Nima Tisdall, from Denmark, has established Blue Lobster, a digital platform that connects sustainable fishers directly with their customers, particularly restaurants. The company gives fishers incentives to adopt sustainable practices by cutting out intermediaries, thereby increasing the amount fishers are paid for their fish.

Promoting Enterprise - categories
  • EU SME Week
  • Supporting the Sustainable Transition
  • Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship
Promoting Enterprise - tags
  • SMEs
  • EU SME Week
  • European SME Week