3.8 Development of entrepreneurship competence
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One of the six key areas of the National Programme for Youth 2013–2022 (Nacionalni program za mladino) emphasises the importance of understanding entrepreneurship education and their relationship to social responsibility and the development of social enterprises. In terms of specific objectives, the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship education through school curricula is mentioned, but no actions are attached. In the key area 'Employment and Entrepreneurship' of the National Programme for Youth, it is considered a priority to ‘promote innovation, creativity, initiative, entrepreneurship (including social entrepreneurship) and self-employment among young people and underline the increasing importance of developing socially responsible entrepreneurial attitudes and knowledge.
There are three indicators relating specifically to entrepreneurship education:
- Proportion of new and emerging entrepreneurs by age group;
- Proportion of young entrepreneurs who have at least one employee in their company;
- Proportion of young people who are receiving education in the field of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship by gender
To implement these measures, different instruments/regulations were introduced in Action Plans. For instance, in the Action Plan 2016/2017, the following instruments/regulations were introduced:
- Service ‘All in one place’ (Storitve vstopnih točk ‘Vse na enem mestu’ (VEM)), which involves free support services for youths who decide to pursue an entrepreneurial career;
- University and social-entrepreneurial incubators that will conduct activities intended for youths who want to enter the world of entrepreneurship;
- National youth network for support in the field of social entrepreneurship;
- Innovative projects for youth employment and
- Activities to promote entrepreneurship among youths.
In the Action Plan 2018/2019, the following measures/instruments were introduced:
- Incentives for employment of youth, which also promote entrepreneurship among young people and equip them with entrepreneurial competences.
- University incubators (Univerzitetni inkubatorji), which target young people who want to become entrepreneurs and provide them assistance with the implementation of innovative business ideas.
- SPOT point services (Storitve točk SPOT), which provide free support services for young people that are planning to become or have already become entrepreneurs.
- Creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation for youth (UPI – Ustvarjalnost, podjetništvo, inovativnost za mlade), which promote innovation and entrepreneurship among young people.
- Incentives for young enterprises.
- Start-ups of social enterprises and youth cooperatives.
- Mentoring schemes for social enterprises.
In the Action Plans for Active Policy Implementation, the measure ‘promoting self-employment among youth’ was introduced (Spodbujanje podjetništva med mladimi) which was implemented between 2017 and 2019. This measure was intended to help unemployed individuals who would like to become self-employed. Projects promoting entrepreneurship among youths were funded by the ESS. The purpose of the project was to encourage activities for unemployed youths, promote innovation and creativity and support new ideas. Slovenia already has a broad strategy regarding entrepreneurship education and is currently developing a specific strategy. In the Action Plan 2020 (Načrt za izvajanje ukrepov aktivne politike zaposlovanja za leto 2020) it is stated that the measure is not planned for implementation in 2020.
Within the framework of the international project E3 – ‘Entrepreneurship Education for Youth Employment’ (Izobraževanje o podjetništvu za zaposlovanje mladih), a tender was launched for young people to develop social enterprises that can successfully and sustainably address social problems. E3 wants to contribute to fighting youth unemployment through providing youths with practical tools on Social Youth Entrepreneurship. Project’s aim is to train NEET’s on Social Youth Entrepreneurship, in which they might find interesting work opportunities, especially in social enterprise, a newly appeared labour market sector lacking HR which can employ society’s fragile members.
The following measures were adopted to support entrepreneurship (see the OECD working paper ‘Entrepreneurship support for the unemployed in Slovenia’):
- YES Start: The Young Executive Society (YES) organises the two-year programme YES Start for all unemployed people who have a desire to learn about entrepreneurship. The project provides them with an opportunity to develop business ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit. The programme is co-funded by the MGRT.
- Entrepreneurially into the World of Business (Podjetno v svet podjetništva): This project is designed to help highly educated unemployed individuals under 35 years of age start a business or become employed. It provides an allowance, entrepreneurship training and individual support through regional development agencies. Participants are hired as employees and receive a monthly salary of 798 EUR while they attend full-time training. Training and coaching are provided by staff in the regional development agencies and business consultants. Participants had access to a business advisory service for one year after starting a business. The project started as a regional pilot project but has been available nationally since 2013.
- ARTUS: This programme aims to help unemployed youth develop and implement creative and innovative projects. The pilot project was organised by the ESS, the Career Centre Maribor, the Centre for Civic Education in Maribor and Terra Parzival between 7 April 2014 and 20 May 2014. During the pilot, 12 unemployed youths attended workshops on developing business ideas to prepare for self-employment.
- KonektOn: The KonektOn entrepreneurship centre conducted a series of eight workshops in order to prepare unemployed youths for starting businesses. The workshops took place in May and June 2014 at the Centre for Vocational Guidance in Koper under the auspices of the ESS. In total, 17 unemployed youths with university degrees developed their business ideas, exchanged views and experiences and received advice. The workshops covered self-motivation, preparing business models, the value of collaboration, defining markets, communication and creative thinking. They were partly funded by the ESF under the Operational Programme Human Resources Development 2007–2013.
- EnterYOUTH: The Scientific Research Centre Bistra Ptuj is working with four other institutions, including the lead partner in Croatia, to promote entrepreneurship among youths and facilitate the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills to help youths identify and pursue business opportunities. The project included a total of 200 young people. It was implemented between February 2014 and January 2015 with a total budget of 221,179 EUR. The project was funded within the framework of the Instruments for Pre-Accession Assistance by the EU and the MGRT.
Entrepreneurship education is part of the Slovenian Operational Programmes 'Implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy' from 2014–2020. ‘Under the Priority Axis 10 – “Knowledge, skills and lifelong learning to enhance employability”, there is a Specific Objective 3 – “Promote flexible learning pathways and support high-quality career orientation for school-age youth at all levels of the education system”, directly linked to entrepreneurship education’.
The Basic School Act of 2007 introduced the objective 'development of entrepreneurial attitudes in terms of effectiveness, innovation and creativity' into curricula at both primary and lower secondary schools. The teaching guidelines for entrepreneurship were also integrated into curricula.
‘Entrepreneurship education is explicitly recognised as a cross-curricular objective for all subjects in ISCED 1-3 including school-based IVET, and is also part of other compulsory and optional subjects at different levels. In ISCED 1-2, the Basic School Act includes an Entrepreneurship education related objective and teachers in basic schools pursue this objective during lessons. The implementation of the updated subject curricula for basic schools started in school year 2011/12, including a competence approach (one of these competences is the sense of initiative and entrepreneurship)’.
A comprehensive approach to including entrepreneurship in school education will be developed in the curricula. Currently, entrepreneurship education is provided only in upper secondary schools in Slovenia.
The subject of entrepreneurship was included in curricula at the secondary education level to increase entrepreneurship among youth. It is compulsory for students in the Secondary School of Economics, and the course takes 315 hours to complete. It is a professional course that provides fundamental business skills, discusses the role of enterprises in modern society and helps develop students’ entrepreneurial competences, knowledge and skills in order to allow them to start their own business. It also motivates students to study business.
A course about entrepreneurial informatics is also offered in secondary schools. It is an optional subject, and its main purpose is to offer a wide range of knowledge and skills concerning different aspects business and information technology (IT), such as strategic planning, IT support, management, decision making and marketing. The fundamental competences that are obtained in this course are self-initiative and enterprising. The course takes a minimum of 35 hours and a maximum of 105 hours.
The ‘Youth Entrepreneurship Sandbox’ (Ustvarjalnik) allows young people to develop their first entrepreneurial ideas. The team helps them by providing mentorship and organising corporate events and clubs in Slovenia. Usually, business clubs are created in high schools and are run by young entrepreneurs.
The project ‘Y.business’, organised by the Ypsilon Institute (Zavod Ypsilon), enables young people between 20 and 30 years of age to gain competencies that they need in the modern business world and did not obtain during their formal education.
The project 'Y.startup', organised by the Ypsilon Institute (Zavod Ypsilon), offers support to young people with developing their own entrepreneurial idea.
Some individual entrepreneurial clubs operate within primary and secondary schools and provide courses and seminars. Young people usually want to strengthen their entrepreneurial competencies (e.g. business etiquette, communications) when they want to start their own businesses.
‘In partnership with the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth, the Youth Guild Association has set up a system tool (Nefix) intended for Slovenian young people aged 14 and older and used for recording learning. The main aim of the project is to ensure a uniform system of recording non-formal education. In parallel and in cooperation with Nefix, the Youth in Action national agency promoted Youthpass’ (see the Slovenian National report).
‘The web portal (www.talentiran.si) hosts the electronic version of the book in which users collect a record of their non-formal education in six different areas: active citizenship, work, summer work, student’s jobs for at least 60 days), organised forms of education, cams and voluntary work, time spent in foreign countries, other ways of acquiring knowledge skills and experiences. The main aim of the Web portal is to link up young people and stakeholders such as employers, policy makers and experts who can help to raise the employment chances of young people. The portal is promoted among employers (in profit and non-profit sectors) and NGOs’ (ibid.).
Model M 2014: This training programme was developed to help unemployed youths (up to 30 years old) with a university degree start a business or define a career path. The programme included an induction process and three training modules that covered business creation and different career options. The full-day workshops occurred twice per week for three months. The training was implemented by the Institute for the Development of Social Responsibility and the Career Centre of the University of Maribor and is co-financed by the Municipality of Maribor and the Maribor and Ptuj regional offices of the ESS. In total, 38 participants from the Municipalities of Maribor and Ptuj and their surrounding areas successfully completed the programme.
Other measures related to entrepreneurship education include the following:
- ‘Brave. Creative. Enterprising.’ (Pogumni. Kreativni. Podjetni.), a project supervised by the Institute for a Creative Society (Institute TiPovej!) that started in 2015 and is ongoing. It help young people acquire social and entrepreneurial skills while in secondary school. They also strengthen their capacity for self-realisation and develope creative thinking skills. The programme is supported by the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth and Office for Youth of the City of Ljubljana.
- 'YES Slovenia' (JA Slovenija), which was supervised by the Institute for the Promotion of Youth Entrepreneurship (Zavod za spodbujanje podjetnosti mladih), involves several programmes through which students develop a sense of entrepreneurship. Particularly, primary school pupils learn from the experience and become acquainted with the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.
- 'Promoting entrepreneurship and flexibility' (Spodbujanje podjetništva in prilagodljivosti), which was supervised by the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Training, was launched in March 2013 and lasted until October 2014. It promoted vocational education and training as ways for young people to learn about vocations as well as further education and employment opportunities.
- 'Opening Doors On My Own' (Vrata odpiram sam) was led by the National Institute for Vocational Education and Training. The programme promotes entrepreneurship in education, targeting young people. The project arose from the need for new employment opportunities, and it encouraged youths to search for innovative ways to prevent unemployment. There is a perceived lack of entrepreneurial skills, entrepreneurship and personal initiative among young people. The programme was evaluated in 2015. Teachers believed that, among all the entrepreneurial skills covered in the programme, students improved most in terms of teamwork and knowledge of business processes
- ‘Young and Entrepreneurial’ (Mladi in podjetni) was adopted by the MIZŠ in 2011 and was targeted towards those who left school early. The main aim of the programme was to renew and acquire new knowledge and abilities to identify individuals’ potentials and opportunities in the workplace. This was intended to increase the number of opportunities for youths in the labour market and encourage them to engage in the learning process. The programme was attended by three main target groups: those who left school early; youths who entered the labour market directly after the education and took low-qualified and unstable jobs and those with low educational qualifications (even if they completed primary education). The duration of the programme was 100 hours over 3 months.
‘The virtual classroom on self-initiative and entrepreneurship, run by the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training, provides some materials and guidelines which were developed within the scope of different projects and can help teachers of entrepreneurship education at upper secondary level (general and school-based IVET). Slovenia is still involved in projects aimed at developing teaching methods and materials’.
The Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training implemented the 'Opening Doors' project (Vrata odpiram sam), co-funded by the European Structural Funds and the state budget. This project involved the development of teaching materials.