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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Education & Training for Entrepreneurship

Europe needs more entrepreneurs, more innovation and more high-growth SMEs. This is why it is necessary to stimulate the entrepreneurial mindsets of young people. The important role of education in promoting more entrepreneurial attitudes and behaviours is now widely recognised.

Entrepreneurship refers to an individual's ability to turn ideas into action. It includes creativity, sense of initiative, innovation and risk-taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives. The entrepreneurship competence includes therefore transversal skills and attitudes as well as more specialised knowledge and business skills. In a broad sense, entrepreneurship should be considered as a mindset that supports everyone in day-to-day life at home and in society, and provides a foundation for entrepreneurs establishing a social or commercial activity. Entrepreneurship is a key competence for lifelong learning, as defined in the 2006 European Framework for Key Competences.

Education for entrepreneurship is already high on the agenda in most EU Member States. A wide variety of programmes and activities exist across Europe. However, there is a need of promoting these initiatives more systematically. The European Commission is committed to promoting education for entrepreneurship at all levels, from primary school to university and beyond.

Many initiatives have emanated from the European Commission over the past decade. These pages include information on projects, collections of good practice, policy documents, reports and studies. This information is organised around thematic areas or major initiatives launched by the Commission.

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