Major research project on entrepreneurship education publishes its findings

Image: alphaspirit / Shutterstock.com

A major project which helps to understand how school education can support the development of entrepreneurship has recently been completed.

The Innovation Cluster for Entrepreneurship Education ran from 2014 to 2018 and has published its final report.

It analyses the impact of entrepreneurship education on students aged 15 to 20 during a 27-month field trial using ‘mini-companies’ in twenty academic and vocational schools across five countries (Belgium, Finland, Italy, Estonia, and Latvia). Additionally, it explored complementary areas such as approaches to teacher education and assessment.

Image: http://icee-eu.eu/the-research/ja-companies.html

The main findings are that:

  • The amount of time spent on the programme (mini-companies) is important: students spending more than 100 hours had significantly higher scores (project management, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, teamwork, school performance) than those with lower involvement.
  • There is no negative impact from high programme activity: introducing the programme into the school for a whole year did not prevent students from achieving in other areas.
  • Students and teachers gave positive feedback on the programme method and learning outcomes: students appreciated the hard work involved and the autonomy and responsibility they had. Teachers noted the wide range of learning outcomes and increased motivation, amongst other benefits. The relationship between teacher and student also shifted in many cases to be more cooperative and respectful.
  • Enthusiastic and competent teachers play a crucial role: teachers require more training to feel competent in leading a programme such as this. Governmental support and support from teacher education institutions is needed.

This project was supported by the European Commission as an Erasmus+ ‘Policy Experimentation’ (Key Action 3). In these types of projects, different actors come together to try new things and learn from each other under the leadership of high-level public authorities. They gather evidence for future decisions about education.

You can find out more about the project and download the report at http://icee-eu.eu/