8.6 Developing entrepreneurial skills through culture
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Kainuu vocational College (Kainuun ammattiopisto) is a vocational upper secondary institution that offers education in six different fields, one being studies in the field of culture. Education is organised in several municipalities in north-east regions, mostly in region Kainuu but also in the city Vantaa in south of Finland. From the beginning of the school year 2015-16 the institute has carried out entrepreneurial learning pedagogics called the Entrepreneurship College (YritysAmis) originally developed during a project funded by the European Social Fund. The students work for real clients, the idea being that whether or not they decide to become the owner of company, it is a useful way of gaining the knowledge required to achieve the qualification, but also what is needed to succeed in working life, in general. There are companies inside the structure of the vocational institute itself offering learning spaces, or in some cases, learning can happen with real companies externally, by studying a web course, in contact teaching in a classroom or by establishing one’s own company as a part of the JA Company Programme.
The Development Centre Opinkirjo organises an annual contest for entrepreneurship (Yritys Hyvä), which has attracted some 1,500 young participants yearly. Taking part entails describing one’s own entrepreneurial idea by writing, videotaping, drawing, songwriting or doing something else. One category that is taken into account in the evaluation is whether the idea brings added value related to culture and cultural life. Over the years, for example, music, music videos, musicals, movie productions and other form of designs have been realised as a part of the contest. The contest is organised into separate groups, respectively targeting pre-primary education, basic education, upper secondary education (general and vocational) and for those learning to be teachers. The contest observes the curricula of schools and educational institutions especially from the multidisciplinary learning modules and transversal competences perspective such as cultural competence, interaction and self-expression, ICT competence, working life competence, and entrepreneurship, as well as the participation, involvement and building of a sustainable future.
More information on developing entrepreneurial skills of young people see Youth Wiki/Finland 3.8 Development of Entrepreneurship Competence.
As described in the Strategy for Cultural Policy 2025, one of the target areas for cultural policy are ‘Creative work and production’ and the aim is that: 'The conditions for artistic and other creative work will be better, and there will be more diverse ways to produce and distribute creative works.' When it comes to the development entrepreneurial skills of young people through culture, one example of this kind of approach is the StepDemo grant by the Promotion Center for Audiovisual Culture, (in Finnish, known as AVEK). The aim of the grant is to encourage young people to employ their cultural knowledge and skills in order to create added value and apply new perspectives to the creative economy. Either a concept or demo can be supported for persons under the age of 29 in the games & music scene. The grant was made available for the first time in 2017, the amount of which was approximately 100 000€, while in 2018 more than 140 000€ was shared amongst 20 projects, games mainly. Such support is issued from the subsidies granted to the centre by the Ministry of Culture and Education.