Developments in entrepreneurship

Simone Baldassarri, Policy Officer for DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Having been working at European level for a number of years already to promote entrepreneurship education, we can see that things are slowly but constantly moving. Most countries in Europe have significantly increased their efforts in the area of entrepreneurship education.

Since the last decade, the former DG Enterprise and Industry (now DG Growth) of the Commission has developed expertise and a guidance role, taking a series of initiatives to encourage progress in this field. Past Commission’s reports and guidelines such as the Oslo Agenda for Entrepreneurship Education in Europe are still considered as a reference by key actors across Europe.

Since 2009 we focussed our efforts on supporting the implementation of national strategies in this area, through the organisation of high level discussions with policy makers and key stakeholders, and on preparing and training teachers (through a number of EU grants and thematic workshops). The Commission published in 2010 a progression model for entrepreneurship education, highlighting the necessary steps to implement a coherent strategy[1].

Policy makers and education leaders increasingly recognize the benefits that higher levels of entrepreneurial attitudes and skills can bring not only to the economy, but also to education and to society at large. Factual evidence of the impact of entrepreneurship education is presented in a recent study published by the Commission: "Entrepreneurship Education: A road to success"[2].

The Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan[3] includes a set of recommendations for the Commission and for the EU Member States. For instance, it asks Member States to offer all young people a practical experience in entrepreneurship before they leave secondary school, a recommendation which is also included in the Commission Communication on Rethinking Education[4]. Erasmus+ funding was made available to help countries implement that recommendation.

We see that many excellent initiatives exist today in Europe to help our students develop their entrepreneurial mindsets and skills. But this is not enough: the majority of young people are not reached yet. We need to make entrepreneurship education a common feature of our education systems, so that all students have the same opportunities. To that end, we need to learn from each other, from our best success stories, and to work more and better together. In the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan we committed to bringing together existing European and national expertise, and to help strengthening co-operation among countries. The European Entrepreneurship Education NETwork promises to be an important piece in the puzzle.

The ambition is that of supporting a network hub whose member organisations and experts will act as promoters of entrepreneurship education, helping to increase the exchange of information and good practice and to improve synergies between the many initiatives taken in Europe. There should be a strong focus on policy making, and on how to implement effective strategies at national and regional level.

I hope that this initiative will contribute to stimulating further progress across Europe, and that it will help us to work together to achieve our common goal: effective entrepreneurship education for ALL.


[1] Report “Towards Greater Cooperation and Coherence in Entrepreneurship Education”:




Category : entrepreneurship education Posted : 4 May 2015 13:20 UTC
About the Author
Simone Baldassarri, Policy Officer for DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

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