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Entrepreneurship education

Entrepreneurship education

Entrepreneurship is a skill that can be learnt. You don't have to be born an entrepreneur to run a successful business. You can become one by developing an entrepreneurial mind set and skills. As Europe needs more entrepreneurs creating jobs, it's necessary to support this type of education in all EU countries. The main objective of the European Commission is to promote entrepreneurship education and stress its importance at all levels from primary school to university and beyond.

What is entrepreneurship education?

Entrepreneurship education prepares people to be responsible and enterprising individuals. It helps people develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to achieve the goals they set out for themselves. Evidence also shows that people with entrepreneurial education are more employable.

The European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework proposes a shared definition of entrepreneurship as a competence. The framework develops 15 competences along an 8-level progression model and proposes a comprehensive list of 442 learning outcomes.

Why is entrepreneurship education important?

Young people with entrepreneurship education are more likely to set up their own companies. Up to 20% of students who participate in a mini-company programme in secondary school will later start their own company. That is up to five times higher than in the general population. Businesses started by these students are also more ambitious.

How to learn to be an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurial mindsets and skills can be:

  • effectively built only through hands-on, real-life experiences, and project work;
  • taught across all subjects as a separate subject or combined with another;
  • important for ‘intrepreneurs’ who fulfil the role of entrepreneurs, leaders, and innovators within a group or organisation;
  • promoted beyond educational institutions to businesses and the wider community.

Key issues and challenges for entrepreneurship education in the EU:

Commission actions and support to entrepreneurship education

Education policies are the competence of EU countries but the Commission acts as a catalyst and a facilitator to support:

  • making entrepreneurship education a basic feature in education systems;
  • sharing of ideas, knowledge, experience, and best practices among countries, stakeholders, and practitioners;
  • developing models, common instruments, and projects with a high added value at EU level.

More on the Commission actions

More on projects and studies on entrepreneurship education