3: Enhancing Entrepreneurship Education and Skills Development

3: Enhancing Entrepreneurship Education and Skills Development

Entrepreneurial skills centre around attitudes (soft skills), such as persistence, networking and self-confidence on the one hand and enabling skills (hard skills) on the other hand, including basic start- up knowledge, business planning, financial literacy and managerial skills. Effective entrepreneurship education policies and programmes focus on developing these entrepreneurial competencies and skills, which are transferable and beneficial in many work contexts. The aim is not only to strengthen the capacity and desire of more individuals to start their own enterprises, but also to develop an entrepreneurial culture in society.

Policy Objectives

Embed entrepreneurship in formal and informal education

Policy options (recommended actions):

  • Mainstream the development of entrepreneurship awareness and entrepreneurial behaviours starting from primary school level (e.g., risk taking, teamwork behaviours, …)
  • Promote entrepreneurship through electives, extra curricular activities, career awareness seminars and visits to businesses at secondary school level
  • Support entrepreneurship courses, programmes and chairs at higher education institutions and universities
  • Promote vocational training and apprenticeship programmes
  • Promote and link up with entrepreneurship training centres

Develop effective entrepreneurship curricula

Policy options (recommended actions):

  • Prepare basic entrepreneurial skills education material
  • Encourage tailored local material, case studies and role models
  • Foster interactive and on-line tools
  • Promote experiential and learning- by- doing methodologies

Train teachers

Policy options (recommended actions):

  • Ensure teachers engage with the private sector and with entrepreneurs and support initiatives that bring entrepreneurs to educational establishments
  • Encourage entrepreneurship training for teachers
  • Promote entrepreneurship educators’ networks

Strengthen the institutional framework

Policy options (recommended actions):

  • Designate a lead institution
  • Set up an effective coordination mechanism and clarify mandates
  • Engage with the private sector and other stakeholders
  • Ensure business-like service delivery

Partner with the private sector

Policy options (recommended actions):

  • Encourage private sector sponsorship for entrepreneurship training and skill development
  • Link up business with entrepreneurship education networks
  • Develop mentoring programmes
Checklist of key questions
  • Do national curricula recognize entrepreneurship as a subject? Is it integrated across other disciplines?
  • Do policies promote key entrepreneurial skills’ training in schools including both attitudes and enabling skills?
  • Do policies recognize the specific needs of youth, women and other target groups?
  • Are entrepreneurship training programmes offered outside the formal education system? Do these programmes address low-literacy groups and those in rural areas?
  • Are there policies for introducing more interactive and experience-based teaching approaches in the educational system?
  • Are schools engaged with business practitioners and local entrepreneurs?
  • Has entrepreneurship been explicitly recognized as an objective of the national curricula for vocational, technical and commercial school of secondary level?
  • Have provisions of specific training and incentive for teachers been introduced?
  • Do curriculum designers develop local case studies and entrepreneurship course materials to be used in the classroom?
  • Are academic institutions encouraged and supported in providing training, counselling, diagnostic and advisory services to early-stage entrepreneurs?
  • Is extracurricular entrepreneurial activity promoted (e.g. student activities, business plan competitions, business development programmes, etc.)?
  • Have national entrepreneurship educators’ networks been established to facilitate the application of programmes?
  • Is private sector funding leveraged for entrepreneurship education?
  • Are there mentoring and coaching available to develop entrepreneurs’ skills?
Indicators to measure effectiveness

Possible indicators

  • Share of secondary schools offering entrepreneurship programmes/extra-curricular activities
  • Share of technical/vocational schools offering entrepreneurship programmes/ extra-curricular activities
  • Number of annual spin-offs from universities/research programmes

What they monitor

  • Availability of entrepreneurship education
  • Success of higher education institutions in enterprise-relevant research and in commercializing results of research