Entrepreneurship: Giving Young People A Sense Of Initiative And Creativity


Entrepreneurship (or “entrepreneurship”) can be mistaken for something that concerns only economic activities and business creation. And yet, it is much more than that. “Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship” is one of the eight key competences for lifelong learning defined by the European Union. It refers to a person’s ability to identify and seize opportunities, to move from idea to realization and to plan and manage processes to achieve goals. In this tutorial, you will find details about this key skill and how teachers can encourage their students to develop it.

What is entrepreneurial competence? 

It is important to emphasize and promote a broader understanding of entrepreneurial competence, which adapts to any context: education and training, employment and personal life in general.

EntreComp: The Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (the repository on entrepreneurial skill, 2016, in English) defines entrepreneurship as ”  a cross jurisdiction that applies to all spheres of life: from the ability to promote the personal development , through active participation in society, to enter or return to the labor market , whether as an employee or self-entrepreneur, and also to start a business ( that it has a cultural, social or commercial interest). 

EntreComp is the result of eighteen months of research involving experts from across Europe, to take into account the many different perspectives and developments of different countries. It consists of three areas of competence and fifteen competencies, as shown in the diagram below. It is intended as a framework to guide different people – teachers, policymakers, employers and others – and help them to assess the competence of those with whom they work and for which they are responsible.


Another enlightening publication, Entrepreneurship in Education: What, Why, When, How (from the OECD and the European Commission, 2015). This publication adopts a theoretical approach and analyzes current debates on entrepreneurship education.

How is entrepreneurship taught in Europe?

The Eurydice Education for Entrepreneurship at School in Europe report (2016) compares regions and their approaches. He also observes that more than half of European countries allocate European funding for both national and European entrepreneurship education. However, the study found generally low levels of participation in learning entrepreneurship at school and the need to deepen youth problem-solving skills. The report contains country comparisons of school results (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) as well as fact sheets.

Have you heard of the “Speed ​​Dates”, these minute connections between teachers and entrepreneurs taking place in Finland?

To take inspiration from this national initiative and others emerging across Europe, take a look at the examples of good practice selected by the E360 project (OECD and European Commission, 2015) presented here. on the School Education Gateway. The project focused on three specific areas: ideas and strategies to create a school for entrepreneurship, what an entrepreneurship training in the ideal, and how to promote an approach facing outward to ‘school.

How to integrate entrepreneurship education into my classroom?

You can start by exploring the Virtual Guide to Entrepreneurship Learning. Available in nine languages, this handy tool has been created for teachers in primary, secondary and vocational education. It offers more than 125 resources to inspire teachers and provide them with practical examples, best practices from different countries, self-assessment tools and policy guidance documents. This guide is the result of the Entrepreneurial School Project, co-founded by the European Commission and coordinated by JA Europe.

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eTwinning also offers very interesting resources: the publication ”  Developing student competencies through eTwinning  ” presents successful projects related to eight key competencies, including “initiative and entrepreneurship”. In addition, the educational tool entitled Young Entrepreneurs was initially designed as an eTwinning project, but it can also be run independently of eTwinning. This guide exists in 23 languages ​​and helps to develop entrepreneurial skills through practice by creating junior companies in a European context.

Finally, and in particular, let’s mention “Teacher 2020”: an entrepreneurship education, initiatives, and orientations, a manual that offers best practices on entrepreneurship training and details what makes them successful, to help other teachers replicate projects that work.

Share your experiences and find out more

If you work in a school and are part of the eTwinning community, you can join the Entrepreneurship in Education group. To give you a taste, check out this group’s webinar below about what it does to build resilience at school.

If you are a project manager, researcher, policymaker, or interested in expanding entrepreneurship education, you will have the opportunity to join the School Education Gateway’s Collaborative Space on Education for Entrepreneurship. entrepreneurship. This space will host discussions and webinars on various topics and will be a rallying point for different actors.

If you’re interested in the idea of ​​an online professional development course, take a look at Stimulating the Meaning of Initiative and Entrepreneurship in Your Students, funded by the European Commission. It started in February 2017 but the contents will remain available after. The following video gives you an overview of the kinds of ideas and approaches that are discussed:

Share your points of view and your ideas!

Start a discussion and post a comment online below (registration required). You can also suggest content here.

  • How do your students perceive entrepreneurship?
  • How are creativity and initiative taking place at your institution?
  • How do you see the role of parents, associations and local authorities? How are they invited to participate?

Also published on Medium.