How entrepreneurs are made - a Swedish success story
The Swedish region of Halland has managed to boost young people's interest in entrepreneurship in an exemplary way. The region received an award at last year's European Enterprise Awards for its work on training tomorrow's entrepreneurs.
The region of Halland, an association bringing together county and local authorities, has invested in developing the business environment of the region by training and motivating young people. Primary and secondary schools now offer entrepreneurship classes, students are given the chance to participate in business-like projects and numerous teachers are trained to pass on entrepreneurial skills, with activities from building a town skating ramp to learning mathematics in real-life situations at local companies.
From 2007 to 2010, a total of 2 500 teachers took part in the 5-day programme aimed at raising students' interest in entrepreneurship. The region also provided entrepreneurs, teachers and students with a common virtual forum for interacting with each other, planning lectures, organising practical training, talking to financial advisors, etc.
The result is that 44% of young people in the region aged 18-30 now want to become self-employed businesspeople, a record across the whole of Sweden. The number of new businesses in the region has risen significantly.
Since 2006, the annual European Enterprise Awards have been given by the European Commission to public authorities that best promote small businesses and entrepreneurship, mainly at regional and local level. This year's list of shortlisted projects will be published by the end of February. The winners will be announced on 24 May at the EEA ceremony in Budapest.