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Entrepreneurship education matters

The recent EU report, “Entrepreneurship Education: The Road to Success”, cites multiple impact studies ranging from enhanced skills development to positive changes in school environments and increased teacher engagement to critical long term outcomes such as improved employability and higher rates of entrepreneurship.

The European Entrepreneurship Education NETwork (EE-HUB) is a network of leading stakeholders and experts dedicated to the creation of hub for entrepreneurship education which will spread the word and move the needle significantly on uptake of entrepreneurship education from “ABC to PhD”. There could not be a better moment for business, education, academia, NGOs and governments to be sitting at the same table. There is political momentum, economic urgency and there have been very positive results so far.

Two-thirds of EU governments have moved to include entrepreneurship education explicitly in the curriculum and actively encourage partnership with multiple stakeholders. The Nordic governments including Norway were first-movers and have been at it for more than a decade. Today they have the highest penetration rates in Europe and have invested in valuable research that others can benefit from. The private sector in virtually every European country is engaging more than ever with every age level in the school system, sharing know-how, people, resources and providing real-world opportunities for young people. We talk more and more frequently of “entrepreneurial universities and schools”. The Entrepreneurial Skills Pass (ESP) for 15-19 year olds has been launched with a strong line-up of institutions and companies behind it. The number of schools involved in entrepreneurship education is steadily going up, the number of teachers trained is increasing and, most important, the number of young people exiting the system with some entrepreneurship education behind them is growing year-on-year. In fact, entrepreneurship education is an example of one of the largest and most successful public-private partnerships in existence today.

While there are persistent and striking headlines that would seem to deflect our attention and money away from fundamentals like education, we should spare a thought for the potential that is in our classrooms today. We already know the ROI on that investment would be significant and we know what works. Let’s not hold back.

CEO of JA Europe

Tags: Entrepreneurship, Research