Entrepreneurial challenge for young people on a safe online world in Slovenia

At the 16th Dolenjska Entrepreneurship Challenge, young people from the south-east part of Slovenia became youth ambassadors and took on the challenge “Online world - our safe world”. Keep reading to learn more about the initiative.

Date 2024-06-26 Author Slovenian Safer Internet Centre Section awareness Topic advertising/commercialism, cyberbullying, media literacy/education Audience children and young people, parents and carers, teachers, educators and professionals
A group of young people in Slovenia participating in the challenge

Young people these days are growing up using digital tools and online platforms daily. Their personal online experiences are very valuable, as they provide first-hand information about what challenges they face while using the internet. Youth panels give the Slovenian Safer Internet Centre an opportunity to hear the perspective of young people and take it in consideration when planning educational and awareness raising activities. But most importantly, youth panels give young people an opportunity to become active (co)creators of awareness raising activities for their peers or other interested public.

Youth panel with young prospective entrepreneurs

The Slovenian awareness centre SAFE.SI and Zavod MISSS established a cooperation with the Novo Mesto Development Centre, and together prepared an entrepreneurial challenge for young people from south-east Slovenia titled “Online world - our safe world”. The aim of the challenge was to brainstorm ideas and solutions by young people, promoting safer and more responsible online habits. 

At the first Youth Panel meeting, youth panellists discussed relevant online issues and received recommendations for all necessary steps to carry out the entrepreneurial challenge. A further 3-week period was set for market research of the chosen online issues and for developing products ideas whose purpose was raising awareness and online safety of different target groups.

At the final event, which took place in the Novo mesto Development Centre, four creative teams of young people from Dolenjske Toplice Elementary School, Stopiče Elementary School, Grm Agricultural School and Biotechnical High School and Novo Mesto High School presented their entrepreneurial ideas to the committee.

Entrepreneurial ideas of youth panellists 

According to research results and also according to their own opinion, teams highlighted the most critical online issues: 

  • Screen time;
  • Online bullying;
  • Online advertising;
  • Awareness raising and educational activities.

In order to address the online issues listed above, youth panellists have come up with several web application ideas that offer solutions for:

  • blocking excessive (harmful) online advertising;
  • encouraging children and teenagers to adopt positive online habits and develop self-control of screen time;
  • creating a safe digital environment for the youngest (minor) internet users;
  • informing and raising awareness among young people about online safety, offering online courses, videos and online chats;
  • preventing offensive and violent communication and preventing online bullying and abuse;
  • sharing experiences of online bullying and finding information about finding help and reporting.

A group of four young panellists doing a presentation

The added value of the Youth Panel

In addition, participating in the entrepreneurial challenge developed teamwork, decision-making and communication skills for participants, which were necessary to finalise ideas and achieve the desired results.

Credit for the high-quality final results of the entrepreneurial challenge also go to the school mentors, who encouraged and guided youth panellists along the path to make their ideas a reality.

Youth panellists proved that young people are skilled online users, but at the same time they are well aware of the online risks they are exposed to. Above all, by creating attractive solutions for young people, they showed that they are very important co-creators of preventive content, which would certainly raise awareness among young people and ensure them a better and safe digital environment.

A group of four female youth panellists presenting during the challenge

Find out more about the work of the Slovenian Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.   

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