Coming up with innovative ideas, solving problems creatively, acting independently, convincing others, working in teams, having fun in performance: developing entrepreneurial skills is important for young people and a pre-requisite to get along in todays’ as much as in the future world of work. However, how does one manage to integrate Entrepreneurship Education at schools? How can the power of developing an entrepreneurial mindset become accessible and tangible for pupils?
In fact, most schools in Saxony-Anhalt struggle to provide in-house learning opportunities that allow pupils to gather entrepreneurial experiences. To make up for the latter, a network of distinct entrepreneurship education initiatives in Saxony-Anhalt (namely Unternehmergeist macht Schule) offers schools professional support. Through their educational offers pupils get a chance and support for the development of business models, the production of prototypes as well as the practical implementation of business ideas by establishing real student companies (Schülerfirmen). Additionally, they act as intermediaries between schools and companies from the regional business eco-system to support early career orientation as much as to ensure practical relevance of early start-up efforts. Here is an overview of present initiatives and their operational focus within the state of Saxony-Anhalt:
In the pupil competition futurego Sachsen-Anhalt, pupils develop a business idea right up to the finished business concept and illustrate it with the help of a prototype and video. In workshops and individual coaching the necessary knowledge is imparted. Each competition cycle lasts one school year and can be both – integrated into the lessons at school but also be carried out by pupils during their spare time.
Contact: Sandra Bier / Univations GmbH
For more than 20 years IW JUNIOR gGmbH has been helping pupils to found their own companies. In addition, they offer student-friendly materials, comprehensive advice, supervision and assurance of pupil companies, organize national and international events and provide contacts to schools and companies throughout Europe.
Contact: Corinna Brandt / IW JUNIOR gGmbH
Junggründerzentrum Sachsen-Anhalt 2.0
The student institute SITI e. V. (registered association) in Havelberg has many years of experience in promoting pupil companies with their own products. The Junggründerzentrum (youth founder centre) makes these experiences available to interested pupil companies in Saxony-Anhalt in central training courses or individual coaching sessions. Thus, the networking of pupil companies of different schools is to be made possible by common products.
Contact: Dr.-Ing. Hannes König /Schüler-Institut SITI e.V.
The aim of the nationwide online competition “Jugend gründet” (Youth founds) is to inspire pupils and apprentices for the topics of innovation and start-up. The task is to develop an innovative business idea, to complete an online business plan and to prove in a high-quality business simulation through sustainable entrepreneurial activity in the ups and downs of the economy.
Contact: Marius Kunkis / Steinbeis-Innovationszentrum Unternehmensentwicklung an der Hochschule Pforzheim (SIZUE)
The “ego.- on tour” initiative addresses secondary school pupils who want to learn more about starting a business and entrepreneurship in general. This is done through one-day workshops at schools. At the end of the workshop day, participants get the chance to qualify ego.- Summer Academy at Harz University of Applied Sciences where specific entrepreneurial knowledge is deepened through the co-creational workshop formats and planning games in 3 consecutive days.
Contact: Benedikt Kisser / Hochschule Harz
The project GRÜNDERKIDS (founder kids) advises and qualifies pupils and teachers from Saxony-Anhalt on their way to launch a (pupil-)company. Also, the Gründerkids team supports running pupil-companies with (business) training, company meetings, individual guidance in corporate governance issues. Moreover, Gründerkids strengthens country-wide networking among pupil companies as well as with stakeholders from the regional economy.
Contact: Claudia Köhler / Gemeinnützige Deutsche Kinder- und Jugendstiftung GmbH
By collaborating in the joint network “Unternehmergeist macht Schule”, the activity range and distinct features of each of the available entrepreneurship education initiatives in the state can be well coordinated. What is more, the catalogue of existing offers can be well assessed by teachers, principals and pupils, as the networks online presence presents fundamental information about each initiative. Operationally, the participating initiatives exploit the network to regularly discuss how entrepreneurship education offers, incl. continuous professional development for teachers, can be improved for schools. After all, the dynamic environment educational institutions are exposed to in today’s rapidly changing world also need to be considered in the entrepreneurship education offers of any external provider.