Entrepreneurship Education in Europe

Developing and promoting entrepreneurship training has been one of the main policy goals of the EU Member States and institutions for many years. In fact, in the current context of youth unemployment, economic crisis and rapid change in the economy and society, possessing transversal competences such as an entrepreneurial spirit is essential to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and attitudes that are vital for the development of an enterprise culture in Europe. However, not all EU Member States are at the same stage; while some have already made a commitment to encourage entrepreneurship education, others are barely starting.

After Eurydice’s 2012 Report, this year’s Entrepreneurship education at school in Europe  analyzes the most recent progress made in this area in Europe.

This study provides more detailed and up-to-date information about learning strategies, programmes and results, while covering new areas such as the financing of programmes and the training of teachers. The report focuses on primary and secondary education, and on the Professional Training of the 33 countries participating in the Eurydice network.

But what is entrepreneurship education? The report defines it as the education of young people to develop the skills and the mentality to be able to turn creative ideas into entrepreneurial action. This is a key competence for all learners, which supports their personal development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employability.

Among the key points which the report highlights are the following:

  • Countries are at different stages of development as regards entrepreneurship education policies.
  • The specific strategies in this area are concentrated in the north of Europe and the Balkans region.
  • Employability is the common goal of all strategies in this type of training.
  • The results of learning linked to entrepreneurship education remain fragmented and are still not a strategic priority.
  • It is still necessary to develop stable funding streams throughout Europe.
  • While entrepreneurship education is increasingly recognised in primary education, it continues to be more common in higher secondary education.
  • More than half of the countries have very few or no guidelines on teaching methods for this type of education.
  • Entrepreneurship education is rarely part of initial teacher education but it is more common in continuing professional development.
  • Until now, no country has completely brought this type of education into the mainstream curriculum.