The Enter.Mode project aims to take European entrepreneurship education a big step further by developing and testing a state-of-the-art model to entrepreneurship education, that invites different levels of learning. It will stimulate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills of higher education teaching staff and company staff and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and related skills to higher education students.
Building a state-of-the-art model to entrepreneurship education
Globalisation has increased the pressures on economies to compete and innovate, and a vibrant base of creative and innovative entrepreneurs is critical to being able to meet the challenges of globalisation as well as to take advantage of the opportunities that arise from it. Entrepreneurs create employment and welfare, and thus play an important role in the economic and social well-being of European citizens (European Commission 2015). However, the level of progress towards entrepreneurship education in Europe is still very low and highly variable. Only a minority of European countries have well developed strategies. While some EU countries over the past years have progressed pretty well, such as Germany and Ireland, there is a number of countries that still lag behind EU targets for entrepreneurship, such as East and South East member states (Eurostat 2017).
Research has stressed the fact that entrepreneurial mind-set and skills rather than a personal characteristic, should be seen as assets that can be developed through learning and experience (Drucker 1995, Gorman et al 1997, European Commission 2015). Thus, the European Union has set as a strategic objective to enhance creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship at all levels of education and training (Education and Training 2020).
Entrepreneurial mind-sets and skills are of particular importance to graduates of European higher education institutions, since they are key agents towards the development of the European knowledge economy, foster innovation and boost economic development. They therefore need to be equipped not only with specific knowledge and skills of their area of study, but transversal creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial skills.
This may include:
- developing personal attributes and skills that form the basis of an entrepreneurial mind-set and behaviour, such as creativity, sense of initiative, risk-taking, autonomy, self-confidence, leadership, and team spirit,
- raising the awareness of students about self-employment and entrepreneurship as possible career options,
- working on concrete enterprise projects and activities
- providing specific business skills and knowledge of how to start a company and run it successfully.
- Awareness raising on the importance of internship for higher education students in general and for building entrepreneurial skills
- Development of HEIs–companies partnerships for the promotion of entrepreneurial education of higher education students, during their internships
- Capacity building of higher education teaching staff and companies’ trainers, to organise entrepreneurial learning and support the acquisition of related skills and competences, by the students that participate in internships
- Development of entrepreneurial mind-set, skills and competences to higher education students, during their internships
- Developing an integrated model of entrepreneurship skills acquisition that invites different levels of learning, using online serious game
- Building a community of practice, that allows for developing common practice, sharing good practice and socializing newcomers into existing business communities
- Developing learning analytics that enable us to track learning progress and adapt the Enter.Mode program to personal and organisational needs
The project partnership consists of 14 organisations from 8 countries, 5 universities, 5 companies, 2 research organisations, one association of companies and one European network of higher education institutes.