The EE-HUB experts embarked in a scope and search effort to bring Good Practices from across Europe in 5 main areas related to Entrepreneurship Education. With more than 60 such practices the EE-HUB experts analysed the common success factors of all the good practices. The success factors are at the basis of the policy recommendations that the EE-HUB will put forward to European policy makers, national policy makers and school representatives.
Working Group 1 – National Policies
- Governments need to establish EE as a priority and have a plan (visible, ABC –to - PhD)
- Learning objectives approved
- Allocate a budget – (infrastructure?)
- Mechanism for implementation (operator)
- Mechanism for evaluation
- Incentivize cooperation btw schools and businesses (private and public)
- Teacher training (initial, induction, continuous professional development)
- Engagement of national regional bodies
- Specific ecosystem initiatives (start-up eco)
- Political consensus (about the topic)
- Collaboration across ministries
- Measurable output/participation (penetration: ABC –to - PhD)
- Mapping activity, recognizing (monitoring)
- Content + resources (open platforms) - (entrepreneurial friendly infrastructure?)
Working Group 2 – Teacher Training
Critical success factors for teacher training activities:
- Leadership/Support from policies
- Can be personalised/adapted
- Sustainable in the long run
- Evaluated to show impact
Working Group 3 – Partnerships
Successful programmes should be:
1. "Entrepreneurship Friendly"
- Easy for individual entrepreneurs to engage with
- Easy for students to get entrepreneur lessons quickly
- Teaching entrepreneurship
2. Teacher Friendly
- Offers professional skills development for them - STEM friendly
- Can support other skills programmes in a school - Starter Friendly
- low barriers to entry o low time commitment - Scale ability
- Can be replicated, given funding
Working Group 4 – Entrepreneurship Education Ecosystem
First of all, it is important to emphasise that the specificity of the WG4 group is that it has a wide diversity of examples encompassing different kinds of “ecosystems” (at different levels of development), and different levels (from small scale “bottom-up” local partnerships, to “top-down” system-level changes within a region’s education system, as well as macro-regional cooperation between countries). Despite this, certain patterns can be discerned:
Preconditions for creating successful EE ecosystems:
- Local and regional identity: a common point was the fact that in many cases the locality/region had a strong sense of identity, and perhaps even wishing to show that it is self-sufficient and not dependent on “the capital” (examples: Swansea, Huddersfield, Catalonia, Wuppertal; …)
- Shared vision - recognising win-win benefits and sharing a commitment to change/progress: another common feature was that each ecosystem means linking together institutions that may not have had much formal contact before (e.g. schools, businesses, universities, authorities), and in order to do so there must a strong element of a shared vision, e.g. ; recognising the importance of change and improvement; recognizing the importance of the goal of entrepreneurship both to the whole community and to each participating institution.
- Social cohesion: closely linked to the point above, there must be a strong element of trust in order to connect the different players in the ecosystem.
- Organic process / modest goals: Another important conclusion it that the ecosystem does not need to have overly ambitious goals to start with-. Many of the ecosystems “started small” as bottom-up initiatives, (linking one institution with one business), and developed into something bigger.
- Individual drivers can be key: Linked to the point above, many of the ecosystems did not start with an explicit “strategy”. Several examples showed the ecosystem developed based on motivated and passionate individuals who wished to launch a new initiative.
Factors for successful delivery/implementation:
- Strong base of EE expertise in the given locality/region: a common feature among some of the ecosystems analysed was the fact that the locality or region had an existing expertise base for entrepreneurship education, e.g. a university with a strong entrepreneurship profile (Wales, Wuppertal); teachers with already formed entrepreneurship education skills (Norway).
- Enthusiastic practitioners: most of the good practices rely on working directly with enthusiastic practitioners (students, teachers, trainers, businesses).
- Leadership involvement: although the practitioner element is key, a common feature among many of the ecosystems analysed was the fact that there was strong support for the initiative and direct involvement from leaders – school leaders, local/regional authority leaders, ministries, etc.
Role of local/regional authorities - ambiguous findings: Finally, a discussion was held on the role of local and regional authorities. It was concluded that while these institutions can often play a crucial role in some ecosystems (as funders, initiators or supporters), entrepreneurship education ecosystems can also function perfectly well at the local or regional with minimal involvement of such authorities (e.g. in Wuppertal, the support of the authorities is more symbolic than substantial). In this sense, there is a case for arguing that
- We should not place local/regional authorities at the centre of the discussion in our working group, but as one of the stakeholders
- Stakeholders should always try and launch such initiatives irrespective of whether the local/regional authorities are fully on board.
Working Group 5 – instruments
To be a good practice an assessment tool has to:
- Has a strong international dimension (has already been tested and translated) or has potential to be implemented in more countries
- Has to be validated
- It has to focus on employability as one of the main outcomes
- Has a double function of: (a) Giving feedback to the target group (students, teachers, schools, universities) and (b) Provide data to EE practitioners to improve programmes and materials