3.8 Development of entrepreneurship competence
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The Youth Strategy 2015-2020 (a legal document adopted as a Government Decision no. 24/2015) included development of entrepreneurial skills and youth entrepreneurship among its main objectives. As presented in other sections of the Youth Wiki, the strategy was not supported by an action plan allowing systematic implementation of the strategy, monitoring and evaluation, the implementation was not fully systematic and there are no evaluations on the achieved results. A youth strategy post 2021 was not adopted until March 2022 and no dedicated strategy for youth entrepreneurship is planned.
Entrepreneurship education is organised and regulated in the formal education system only at the secondary level of education, being a mandatory class for some secondary education specialisations, for pupils being 16-17 years old. However, analysing the curricula one can observe that the focus is on competences and skills and less on the attitudes that young entrepreneurs should have or should acquire.
At the level of higher education, all the major universities in Romania offer business classes, including an introduction to entrepreneurship. However, given the cultural traditions prevailing in the Romanian university system, the greatest impact stems from the separation between theoretical and practical knowledge, the former being considering superior to the latter. This is reflected not only in the content of courses but also in the teaching methodology, which is almost exclusively based on lectures with less consideration for the active role of students.
Analysing the presentation of university courses on business, including entrepreneurship education in Romanian universities, based on the information published online by the Universities (websites of 10 biggest universities in Romania have been analysed), one can note three aspects that characterize entrepreneurship courses:
- they are present almost exclusively in economics and management faculties;
- their main focus is on the start-up of new businesses;
- their main aim is to transfer knowledge and skills to the development of the business plan.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports launched, in 2017, a large project of entrepreneurship training, targeting 200 young people in 8 counties: Bihor, Covasna, Dâmbovița, Giurgiu, Iași, Satu Mare, Teleorman and Vrancea.
In 2020, the Ministry of European Investments and Projects launched a grant scheme, supported by the European Social Fund, encouraging students to become entrepreneurs. The fund – Innotech Student – awarded the first grants at the end of 2021.
The Romania HUB programme, an integrated training program, which provided students, entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs, information, support, technical assistance and counselling, as well as an institutional framework for developing entrepreneurial capacities and increasing the competitiveness on the local and international market of small and medium enterprises was opened until 2017.
In order to support educators (teachers and youth workers) in developing skills for entrepreneurship education, Romania is promoting the implementation granted by Erasmus Plus programme. No systematic information is provided on the number of teachers or youth workers benefiting from training projects in the field of youth entrepreneurship within Erasmus Plus. After participation in trainings on entrepreneurship education, the multiplication phases depended on teachers’ willingness and motivation to transfer the methods of non-formal learning in class and to promote entrepreneurship among young people.
No other top-level national Romanian initiative has been launched for the educators’ support in entrepreneurship education.