Entrepreneurship at school

Developing and promoting entrepreneurship education has been one of the key policy objectives of the EU institutions and Member States for many years.

When it comes to talking about entrepreneurship, usually the first things that come to mind are business and material things. That is why it is important to have a look at the European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (developed by the European Commission) as a reference framework to explain what is meant by an entrepreneurial mindset. This document considers the different skills that will help students to develop their entrepreneurial spirit. Entrepreneurship also requires imagination, ingenuity and adaptability, so creativity is central to developing entrepreneurial skills.

Entrepreneurship as a transversal skill is essential to shape the mindset of young people. It also provides the skills, knowledge and attitudes that are at the heart of developing an entrepreneurial culture. It is even more important for young people to launch and develop their own commercial or social enterprises becoming this way innovators in the areas in which they live and work.

The “sense of initiative and entrepreneurship” is one of eight key competences: “Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship refers to an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action. It includes creativity, innovation and risk-taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives. This supports individuals, not only in their everyday lives at home and in society, but also in the workplace in being aware of the context of their work and being able to seize opportunities, and is a foundation for more specific skills and knowledge needed by those establishing or contributing to social and commercial activity“.

Today more and more students want to run their own businesses. The reason to run a proper business can be different: seeking autonomy, financial security, and vocational flexibility. But even for those ones who do not want to take part in a business career (healthcare, education, art, public sector etc.), it is imperative to develop skills that prepare them to innovate, lead, collaborate, and persevere; that is why entrepreneurship is so important for all students.

Entrepreneurship helps students:

  • Develop innovative thinking
  • Guide through collaboration
  • Combine tenacity and trust

It also involves three key concepts: seeing opportunities, seizing opportunities, and creating value. Entrepreneurship education emphasizes setting up, starting, and running a business.

An entrepreneurial attitude means that one actively seeks new initiatives and recognizes opportunities. And learns how to seize these opportunities by transforming them into concrete actions. These aspects should be part of the entrepreneurship curriculum.

With entrepreneurial education, entrepreneurship is gaining a good position in education. Join forces and coordinate activities could be the key to the future. The national education system and entrepreneurship policies should be further strengthened. Entrepreneurship education can be offered at all levels, from primary or secondary schools to graduate university programs.