8.6 Developing entrepreneurial skills through culture
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The 2003 Lithuanian National Education Strategy explicitly noted the importance of entrepreneurship and cultural education, cultural and social competences essential for a young person to become an independent, active and responsible person who is willing and able to learn and create a life of his own and life of society, which is one of the first signals in the EU of this kind.
At the primary education level in Lithuania, entrepreneurship and cultural activities are integrated within social sciences (i.e. “world discovery”) and also as part of the natural sciences; both of which are compulsory subjects. Nonetheless, the integration of entrepreneurship within core subject areas demonstrates a very high level of commitment to entrepreneurship teaching in Lithuania and ensures that a large number of young students are introduced to entrepreneurship (see Supporting Youth Entrepreneurship in Lithuania, OECD 2015).
At secondary level, “Economics and Entrepreneurship Education” (grades 9-10) is a compulsory subject in the Lithuanian curriculum. Entrepreneurship is also integrated into several compulsory subjects such as social sciences and maths, sciences, technology and ICT. In upper secondary education, entrepreneurship is integrated in compulsory subjects (social sciences and maths-sciencestechnology-ICT) and is also an optional subject. Entrepreneurial attitudes and skills are developed through critical thinking, problem solving, ability to present one’s activity and active teaching methods. Also most programmes in secondary schools co-operate with Junior Achievement and through this co-operation, students learn core business management skills (see Supporting Youth Entrepreneurship in Lithuania, OECD 2015).
Junior Achievement Lithuania (JAL) is a non-profit organisation of which the mission is to train youth in developing a free-market spirit, understanding of business and economics, leadership, entrepreneurship and initiative skills. Apart from building an entrepreneurial culture, the organisation helps to consolidate trust in entrepreneurs within society. JAL has a clear division of their programmes in: financial literacy (economics, investment competition, and computer simulation), career development (shadowing an employee, leadership) and entrepreneurship (company and start-up programme, summer camps, business competitions for students of grades 9-12.). The programmes on entrepreneurship aim to promote students’ capabilities such as: creative thinking, teamwork, solving of real problems and accountability to achieve their goals. They have evaluated these programmes observing that JAL graduates are better prepared for work, get easier a promotion and more often create their own business. In addition, Junior Achievement has prepared entrepreneurship textbooks and has trained approximately 3 000 teachers (out of 40 000 teachers). Relative to other EU and OECD countries, this is a high proportion (see Supporting Youth Entrepreneurship in Lithuania, OECD 2015).
There is a general consensus that the vocational training (VET) system needs improvement in Lithuania. This creates an opportunity to improve entrepreneurship training in VET because work-based learning (including apprenticeship type VET organisation) can be used to provide experience learning about business management and entrepreneurship through active learning. This active learning could also contribute to career guidance and play a significant role in helping VET students identify opportunities that they could pursue after completion of their studies (see Supporting Youth Entrepreneurship in Lithuania, OECD 2015).
In Lithuania, entrepreneurship is generally not included in higher education programmes outside of business schools. The National Programme for Higher Education 2013-2020 focuses on the importance of developing job-specific competences in research and educational institutions and on career guidance to help students make a conscious and informed choice of the study and career paths. Implicitly this would include entrepreneurship. However, in practice there is little evidence that higher education institutions are systematically promoting and supporting entrepreneurship (see Supporting Youth Entrepreneurship in Lithuania, OECD 2015). Higher education institutions are autonomous and have a mandate to develop their own teaching entrepreneurship and cultural education programmes. It is therefore challenging to systematically embed entrepreneurship in higher education because this would require buy-in at an institutional level.
Moreover, the Action Plan for Entrepreneurship for 2014-2020 includes measures to increase the competences of teachers, especially those of vocational education. Entrepreneurship training outside of formal education is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour.
The Lithuanian Entrepreneurship Action Plan 2014-2020 aims to create a national network of business consultants under the responsibility of Enterprise Lithuania which would be expected to improve the quality of training and consultancy services. Junior Achievement is the most important organisation in providing entrepreneurship training outside of formal education in Lithuania. It adapts international practices to the Lithuanian context, stimulating entrepreneurship through initiatives such as company programmes where students manage their own firms for one year, assuming risks but with lower requirements than normal companies. It also offers simulations, summer camps and innovation camps. In addition, a number of business associations are active in supporting youth entrepreneurship through mentoring, business counselling, delivering seminars and hosting internships to help youth acquire entrepreneurship and cultural skills and develop industry contacts. INVEGA, a public loan guarantees institution established under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy, operates one of the most important entrepreneurship supports in Lithuania, the Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund, which provides micro-credit that includes a training offer to financing recipients. Business training (up to 72 hours) and business consultancy (up to 50 hours) are provided to clients by Credit Unions. Youth (up to the age of 29) are one of the key target groups of this programme. 46% of clients are youth and they receive 36% of the micro-credit.
In order to implement Lithuania's Progress Strategy “Lithuania 2030” , The National Progress Program 2014-2020, one of the tasks of which is to promote the development of the cultural and creative industries, with arts and culture related innovations, cross-sectoral development of these innovations and cultural export. To achieve this, the need to promote creativity is highlighted through promoting and the introduction of new products into production, improve access to culture and the arts products and services, as well as creating financial incentives for entrepreneurship in the areas of cultural and creative industries development promoting distribution across borders, supporting the development, use and promotion of new products and services and cross-sectoral cooperation. It should be noted that by 2020 it is planned to pay more attention cultural development and creativity in the regions. The Program for the Development of Regional Development for the period 2012-2020 also aims at "creating conditions for creativity in the regions" the full range of personality development, cultural diversity, dissemination and accessibility as a regional social the basis of economic progress, to develop civic self-awareness, fostering regional excellence and attractiveness.
In Lithuania, several institutions provide financial support for artists and culture through funding programmes: the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Council for Culture, the Press, Radio, and Television Support Foundation, the Film Centre, and the Lithuanian Culture Institute.
The Ministry of Culture allocates the biggest share of state financing for culture through direct institutional funding. It also implements a range of special programmes designated to support various fields of culture: the Programme of Libraries Development, Programme of Lithuanistics Traditions and Heritage, Funding Programme of Projects Implementing Initiatives to Preserve Historical Memory, Programme of Partial Compensation of the Cost of Dissemination (Venue Hire) of Professional Performing Arts Projects, Programme for the Partial Funding from the State Budget of Professional Performing Arts Institutions that Are not National, State or Municipal Theatre or Concert Institution (see chapter 3.3 for more about the last two programmes). The Ministry, in cooperation with the Lithuanian Film Centre and Lithuanian Culture Institute, also coordinates the participation of Lithuania in EU funding programmes Creative Europe and Europe for Citizens.
Other institutions – the Lithuanian Council for Culture, the Press, Radio, and Television Support Foundation, the Film Centre, and the Lithuanian Culture Institute – implement financing programmes and allocate funding through calls for tender. Their budget consists of appropriations allocated by the Ministry of Culture.
The Lithuanian Culture Institute implements the Translation Grant programme. The Press, Radio and Television Support Foundation implements 6 funding programmes: 1) periodicals of culture and art; 2) national periodical press; 3) regional periodical press; 4) national radio and television broadcasting, 5) regional radio and television broadcasting; 6) Internet media. The Lithuanian Film Centre allocates subsidies for the development, production and distribution of Lithuanian films and international co-productions.
The Lithuanian Council for Culture implements the greatest number of funding programmes and allocates the biggest share of programme financing. The Council implements two types of financing measures: funding of projects by cultural programmes or arts fields, and funding of individual grants for artists. Financing of arts fields includes projects of architecture, design, visual arts, photography, interdisciplinary arts, theatre, music, dance, circus, and literature. Projects funded by the arts fields programme have to be targeted at the following activities: 1) professional creation and its dissemination in Lithuania and abroad; 2) events; 3) accumulation of information (archiving, documentation) and its dissemination; 4) publishing; 5) professional criticism and analysis; 6) networking and mobility; 7) co-production. Cultural programmes financed by the Council in 2019 were the following: Periodical Events of Amateur Arts, Cultural Education, Artists’ residences in Lithuania, Strategic Funding for Artistic Organisations, Memory Institutions, Civic Education, Cultural Heritage, Ethnic Culture, Strategic Funding of International Events, Cultural and Creative Industries, Protection of Copyright and Related Rights, and Creative Initiatives of Communities.