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Addressing youth drain


What’s the problem?

The quiet coastal city of Pärnu, Estonia turns into a bustling resort town in summer. The economy of Pärnu largely depends on the tourism and service industries. Unlike Estonian cities like Tallinn and Tartu, the city is home to very few companies that offer (highly skilled) employment year-round. This causes a problem, however, for the generation of school-age youth and students living there. They are driven out of the city in summer by a rental market that favours tourists, and move to other cities after graduation seeking learning opportunities and employment outside of the service industry.



What’s the solution?

Co-Võrk aims to convince more companies of Pärnu’s potential as a city for them to expand or relocate to, by creating an information portal for these companies where they can find analysed big data (e.g. potential employees, market research) and services (e.g. real estate, recruitment) about Pärnu and access to a local agent who personally guides them through their process and communication with local officials.



  • Online platform
  • Data analytics
  • Personalised services



  • Business development
  • IT & big data
  • Service delivery



  • Local entrepreneurs (agents, IT)
  • Companies
  • (potentially) local authority (economic development department)



  • Stimulating companies to settle in Pärnu
  • Creating employment opportunities for local youth


How is the solution innovative within the local context?

Combining the research that companies have to do before settling in a city into one state-of-the-art platform and service is a completely new phenomenon in Estonia. It addresses one of the root causes of the youth drain issue, namely a lack of employment in the city.



The team has developed a business model which should in the future become profitable, with potential to scale to other cities. For the start-up phase, they are exploring international (European) grants and national or local start-up funding to finance the development of their digital platform.


Stage of development

  • Developing digital platform
  • Assembling service package
  • Researching data for market analysis



This innovation was developed during a co-creation process facilitated by Pärnu Community Fund and Forwardspace and supported by the Social Innovation Community.