Measures furthering entrepreneurial competences through non-formal learning (September 2020)
Over the years, EU Member States have committed to increasing the opportunities for youth entrepreneurship, as a way to facilitate school-to-work transition and boost employment. One of the core actions is promoting the attainment of entrepreneurial competences both in and out of school.
Non-formal learning is particularly effective in stimulating entrepreneurial attitudes. It fosters experiential learning through hands-on activities like enterprise simulation and job shadowing. As showed by a study conducted by the OECD, these activities are especially helpful in offsetting the fear of failing, a frequent disincentive among young people to embark in entrepreneurial ventures.
The map reveals that national authorities in the vast majority of countries have established measures to strengthen young people’s entrepreneurial competences out of formal education. Measures vary across countries. In some, entrepreneurial skills obtained in non-formal contexts can lead to qualifications. For example, in Turkey, students who follow entrepreneurship trainings can have their competences validated and receive and “Applied Entrepreneurship Training Certificate”. The certificate entitles them to apply for financial support to develop their entrepreneurial project.
Other countries focus on supporting hands-on training, for example by developing mock enterprises. This is the case of Czechia, where the National Institute of Education offers students in upper secondary vocational education the opportunity to manage a “practice enterprise”.
Providing financial facilitations to young people who want to combine education and entrepreneurship is also a common measure. The Flemish and the French Communities of Belgium have created the status of “student-entrepreneur”, which applies a favourable fiscal framework to students under 25 years establishing an enterprise.