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Malta has no specific national strategy for the development of entrepreneurship competence and of an entrepreneurial mind-set among young people.
The National Youth Policy: Towards 2020, features an action plan on supporting youth in employment and entrepreneurship. Many of these activities within the action plan are training opportunities and individual supports such as coaching and mentoring. Also, the National Curriculum Framework (2012) lists ‘Education for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation’ as one of six cross-curricular themes that are deemed to be crucial for the education of all students. This therefore calls for entrepreneurship education to be infused throughout the curriculum of mandatory schooling and proposes a whole school approach to fostering an entrepreneurial mind-set.
The University of Malta (UoM) aims to foster socio-economic development in Malta by transforming entrepreneurial initiatives into real-world activities, such as the creation of enterprises. Entrepreneurial education (EE) at UoM aims to promote entrepreneurship in general, and also more particularly seeks to foster a knowledge-intensive entrepreneurial culture, i.e. the process of transforming scientific advancements into marketable goods and services. Entrepreneurial education is integrated into the curriculum through curricular and extra-curricular offers.
Courses and study units such as ‘Entrepreneurship and Business Venturing’ and ‘Entrepreneurship and Innovation’ are taught at the Department of Management within the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy, and the Edward de Bono Institute, as part of a Masters programme in ‘Creativity and Innovation’ at the University of Malta.
The Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation (CEBI) at the University of Malta offers a Master programme in ‘Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship’ which is an intensive training programme (ITP) for graduates. It is taught in four week-long bursts over two semesters, using traditional teaching methods such as lectures and seminars. The programme consists of seven study-units, and mentored feasibility and business planning projects.
The Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business together with the Ministry for Education and Employment offer the Entrepreneurship Through Education Scheme, which provides funds of up to €5,000 to schools and colleges wishing to implement projects related to entrepreneurship education, such as training programmes for teachers and school-based mini-enterprises.
Maltese schools and colleges may also be eligible for the National Enterprise Support Awards (NESA), which are held every year by the Ministry of Economy, Investment and Small Business to reward entities which support entrepreneurship and enterprise growth. NESA winners receive cash prizes of up to €48,000. These financial incentives open up opportunities for local service providers to collaborate with schools and colleges in promoting entrepreneurship education. For example, St Nicholas College was the runner-up in the 2012 NESA Awards and used the funds to collaborate with The Edward de Bono Institute at the University of Malta to publish a book entitled Fostering Entrepreneurship through Education: A Handbook for Teachers (Baldacchino & Pulis Xerxen, 2013).
Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology has introduced entrepreneurship as a core subject to students from the various institutes who are following Level 4 courses with the intention to eventually spread it to other levels. It also set up its own Entrepreneurship Centre using four units available at the Kordin Business Incubation Centre (KBIC), as an incubation centre for students with entrepreneurial ambitions.
The Ministry for Economy, Investment and Small Business in collaboration with the Ministry for Education and Employment issues an annual scheme called Entrepreneurship through Education that gives a grant to secondary education institutions to fund projects related to entrepreneurship education. The scheme aims to address the promotion of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial qualities through education, by sponsoring projects submitted by educational institutions through a competitive call for proposals.
Take Off is a non-formal education initiative which compliments the degree courses that related to entrepreneurship at the University of Malta. Take Off works closely with Malta Enterprise and Business First acting as a business incubator that gives young people the know-how, tools and mentoring to turn a good idea into a great business. The aim is to help young people achieve their true potential by growing a truly sustainable enterprise. Take Off helps budding entrepreneurs to start-up, grow and sustain their commercial or social enterprise through provision of training programmes ranging from short courses for those new to business, in any business sector to more intensive courses for programme for businesses seeking significant finance and international growth; guidance and mentoring through a network of mentors, guides and coaches drawn from the University of Malta and the Maltese business community that give practical, hands-on support and guidance and also financing through seed funding by a network of public and private funding organisations that provide the people and resources needed to fund the venture.
A book called Fostering Entrepreneurship through Education: A Handbook for Teachers (Baldacchino, L. & Pulis Xerxen, S. 2013) was distributed to all schools in Malta. The book consists of almost 200 suggestions, activities and strategies for embedding entrepreneurship across the curriculum at all levels of compulsory education.
As part of its recent restructuring, the Faculty of Education at the University of Malta has set up a Department of Technology & Entrepreneurship Education which caters for Initial Teacher Education for subjects related to the area of Entrepreneurship Education.
Continuous Professional Development courses on entrepreneurship education are organised in Malta and are available for all teachers up to upper secondary education level, including school-based IVET teachers. Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA – YE) Malta also plays a role in the development of CPD in the field. No Continuous Professional Development activities on entrepreneurship education form part of the official undergraduate or post-graduate education courses given by the University of Malta, which is the only gateway to qualified teacher certification at this level. However, Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA–YE) Malta may be invited to provide Continuous Professional Development activities for educators to familiarise themselves with the JA – YE Malta educational programmes on offer, as well as with methodologies to implement entrepreneurship education activities in classrooms.
Various schools and colleges have obtained funds through the Entrepreneurship through Education Scheme to provide training for teachers as part of their continuous professional development. These programmes however are not mainstreamed and take place on the initiative of particular schools and colleges.