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Education is a challenge for educators all over the world since it is questionable how learners can be educated to become responsible citizens in different areas, including in the field of social entrepreneurship. A special course called “Entrepreneurship Culture and Education” was introduced at the University of Szeged’s Doctoral School of Education in order to support international students in their understanding of the relationship between entrepreneurial competence, sustainability and civic education. This approach is in line with the aims of the PIETE Project, as the course intends to foster competences that can be further embedded into the educators’ everyday work lives, for example in their teaching practice, subject-related activities).

A flexible and transferable interdisciplinary learning programme with wide methodological tools were discussed. Finding a suitable methodology and adapting it into the school practice and teacher-training programme of a given country was also an integral part of the course. Forming attitudes based on students’ own experiences, mapping prior knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship education and education for sustainability were also the aims of the course. The course is based on a usable pedagogical innovation in everyday school practice applying the challenge-based methodology with existing materials and tools to develop children’s social-emotional skills.

The students examined the theoretical and practical basis of entrepreneurship education from different scientific viewpoints. International students analysed the curriculum of this area in their home country and explained the problems and possibilities for others. It was interesting to see that international students had much more positive image of entrepreneurs than Hungarians had. It was also an enlightening finding that most of the students highlighted the importance of female entrepreneurship.
One of the most important results is the sensitisation. The elements of entrepreneurial competence are incorporated into students’ everyday thinking, and they can apply them in their everyday life or they can transfer or extend them to another project.

Authored by Szabolcs Prónay, University of Szeged
Photo: Assorted Books on Shelf by Element5 Digital

Entrepreneurship skills are undeniably important for contemporary society, especially for teachers who shape new generations and have a great influence on their prospective career and quality of life. Although each year new entrepreneurship-related initiatives can be spotted in Poland, still not all teachers, teacher educators or students are lucky enough to participate in workshops or courses aiming at developing entrepreneurship-related skills. At a first glance one could think that such trainings are only for inhabitants of big cities and teacher educators from large, recognisable universities who seem to be more aware of their importance. It is, however, a misconception. We present you an example of an entrepreneurial municipialiy on a smaller size.
Wilamowice is a small municipiality of an urban-rural character around the area of Bielsko-Biała, where people mainly are employed at local factories, make their living from farming or work at Bielsko-Biała or other Silesian cities. The municipiality comprises the town Wilamowice and 5 villages: Pisarzowice, Dankowice, Hecznarowice, Stara Wieś i Zasole Bielańskie.
Local authorities and people organising the work of local teachers, thanks to European funds they skilfully apply for, create many opportunities for inhabitants of the municipality. Those opportunities revolve around the development of students and teachers and making the life of local people easier. Few examples of those initiatives are creation and participation in a project protecting people against digital exclusion thanks to which free Internet and hardware is delivered to some people. School in Hecznarowice, thanks to some teachers (including UBB graduates) and local authorities (especially the head of School and Kindergarten Management Association – Zakład Obsługi Szkół I Przedszkoli), created opportunities for kids from the municipiality participating in municipal assemblies, workshops connected with effective communication and public speaking. The workshop was carried out by a UBB employee who is the PIETE project partner and who made the participant aware of the importance of communication skills and other skills connected with Entrecomp. The young participants were very active during the workshop, they asked many questions with relation to public speaking issues and competencies important to become successful in professional life. It was apparent that young people want to develop and, if given a hand, they can be very determined and motivated to aim high and develop themselves. The meeting was fruitful enough to give rise to other plans connected with developing skills of the local people. In October 2020, a series of workshops for chosen teachers working in the area of the municipiality will be organised. Some of those workshops will again be carried out by UBB PIETE partner who will train the teachers with relation to public speaking, effective communication and stress management at work. At the same time the idea of PIETE project will be presented and key entrepreneurship competences will be elaborated on. This way teachers will become more aware of the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset and teach better and make young generations of municipiality students aware of competencies they need to develop.

As it can be seen, not only larger cities and largest universities can change the mindset of people and make their world better; also small villages, municipialities and smaller universities can inspire people to develop themselves and broaden their horizons. Thanks to the combination of opportunities created by local authorities, staff at HEIs and teachers and students willing to leave their comfort zone and plunge deep into lifelong learning the development is to be observed, no matter how big or small a given village, town or city is. So, answering the question asked in the title of the post, we must say that a person from a small town doesn’t have fewer opportunities if people involved in their education are open-minded and willing to develop and if that person is motivated enough. With the help of a good, open-minded teacher who is aware of many important competencies that should be trained by young people, one can achieve much, no matter where they live.

Authored by: Anna Wieczorek, University of Bielsko-Biala

The future needs smart solutions – and who could develop them better than the generation of digital natives?! To support them during the implementation stage of their digital ideas, the Univations GmbH and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) jointly offer a new initiative, the “Digital Talent Accelerator” (DTA). The project was established in 2019 based on a call for new digital initiatives l by the Ministry of Economics, Science and Digitalisation of the State of Saxony-Anhalt.

David Köhler, a studied cultural scientist and one of the three project officers that are responsible for DTA, has agreed to provide some insights into the initiative for this PIETE E-Zine:
“The main aim of the project is to raise awareness for the possibility of founding a digital start-up and to enable pupils to do so” David Köhler says. “Whether it is an app, a website, a VR application or a digital substitution plan for their own school, the participants are supported by coaches from the IT start-up scene in developing and working out their digital projects. They learn how to transform their ideas into a business plan and what steps it takes to put it into practice” he continues. DTA curriculum consists of four different “sections”. Two of them focus on IT (web-coding and app-coding), the other two concentrate on business management (business/finances and marketing/design). The pupils are entirely free to choose the section which they want to pursue.

The project addresses pupils in schools of Saxony-Anhalt, who are in 8th to 12th grade (age: 14-19 years). To add, the DTA project schedule runs in parallel to the overall school year plan of the participating pupils. The main motivation for pupils to take part in DTA is the possibility to implement their own project from an idea to a fully working prototype. “Also learning how to write a software program, to set up a marketing campaign or to create a corporate identity can be the motivation for a participation“ David Köhler adds.
In addition, the initiative offers a series of workshops for teachers: The main topics of these advanced trainings are digitization of education, the use of digital media, and the integration of digital topics and methods in the classroom. Teachers are informed about the chances of the digitalization and related business topics, so they can discuss these with their pupils.
In November 2019, the project started with its first round, which is divided into three interconnected phases: First, interdisciplinary teams develop and substantiate their start-up ideas from the digital environment at a boot camp (Phase 1). However, pupils without a start-up idea are also motivated to participate. In fact, DTA facilitates the forming of new teams and enables them to jointly design and specify new ideas on the spot. Further, all teams receive support from coaches and founders from the IT scene. Once completed, the specific idea sketch of each teams is submitted.

In the second phase, the submitted ideas are reviewed by mentors that prepare constructive feedback the teams may exploit to improve their concepts. Based on these evaluations an individual workshop program is designed for each team. Coaches and founders from the IT scene support the pupils in deepening their skills and competences, developing a prototype, and imparting the necessary knowledge.
The third phase is all about presenting the ideas, including prototypes, at the final pitch-event to an expert audience of representatives from regional IT and start-up companies. Finally, the best ideas are honoured and rewarded. In fact, the first full DTA round was successfully completed with such a closing pitch-event in July 2020. However, other than planned, the event had to be implemented virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis that evolved in the middle of the first DTA round.
When asked how the piloting of the project went during the times of COVID-19, David Köhler replied: “The first year was a big challenge. The kick-off event was held in the planned way, but all workshops and the final pitch-event were held online. This was foreseen differently. Despite these sudden changes, we were very impressed and relieved, that the motivation of the pupils was not harmed. They worked hard, had a lot of questions to the mentors and developed very detailed and promising business concepts and products”.

The digital pitch-event of DTA. Credits: Ulf Büschleb

The mentors, who support the participants with detailed feedback on their ideas and (business) plans, are specialised in various fields. There are founders of local start-up companies (e.g. 3DQR GmbH and DIE FRISCHEMANUFAKTUR GmbH), IT specialists who carry out coding-workshops for girls (e.g. codegirls.de), founding consultants (e.g. MLU Transfer and Start-up service) as well as representatives from science (e.g. Institute of Computer Science of the MLU) and politics (Ministry of Economics, Science and Digitalisation of the State of Saxony-Anhalt).
A dedicated mentor network will also support participating pupils in the next DTA round, from November 2020 until July 2021. “At the moment we are organising the upcoming events and are very glad to bring in the experiences from the first period. The online workshops worked out well, so from now on we will implement both digital and analogue workshops. This will also simplify the participation of pupils from rural areas” he says with anticipation.

The Digital Talent Accelerator is an initial step into the world of entrepreneurship. Participants, who subsequently want to start-up based on their DTA experience may seek direct service and consultation of established stakeholders in the region, such as the MLU Transfer- and Start-up-service. After piloting DTA in 2019-2020, it is expected to become an integral part of the extra-curricular learning opportunities landscape for Saxony-Anhalt pupils in each of the upcoming years.
Digital Talent Accelerator is carried out as part of the ego. Business start-up offensive of the State of Saxony-Anhalt and funded by the Ministry of Economics, Science and Digitalisation of the State of Saxony-Anhalt and the European Social Fund (ESF).

Want to know more about the project? Visit Digital Talent Accelerator or get in touch with the DTA Team (hallo@digitalent-gesucht.de)

Authored by: Sandra Bier & Florian Bratzke, Univations, cover photo: Unrau Fotografie

The COVID-19 pandemic reaching Europe in the spring of 2020 has created new challenges for the population of developed democracies at various levels. None of the Western societies have an age group which have not been affected directly or indirectly by the pandemic. Looking back on the happenings in the spring and summer of 2020, we consider that one of the defining characteristics of the events is certainly manifested in a general sense of stress and high level of certainty.

How much stress does the COVID-19 pandemic entail and who can be the winners of the current situation?
Stress and uncertainty have always been an integral part of the existence of humanity, what is more, during history the survivors of traumatising and demanding events have always been those who could quickly adjust to changing circumstances. The source of external stress and uncertainty affecting societies shows great diversity and variety (e.g. wars, threat, limited resources), and there are many among the older members of today’s population in Europe who have experienced outstanding historical occurrences or experienced and survived traumatising events. However, the population of today’s Europe does not include people who have direct experiential knowledge on the adequate management of a worldwide epidemic. In this respect, we can only rely on collective knowledge and historical experience, which definitely raises concerns.

We did not follow to what extent the pandemic dominated the media and mass communication channels in other countries during spring and summer, however, the messages communicated in the Hungarian media and the measurements implemented in spring (e.g. announcing the state of emergency, the television speeches of the Prime Minister, dedicated timeframes for shopping for the elderly, closure of borders, hospital visit ban, closure of kindergartens, schools and higher education institutions) clearly indicated for the citizens that times were difficult. We can establish without any exaggeration that in the spring period of 2020 the Hungarian mass communications and political discourse, deliberately or not, were strongly permeated by fear appeal.
At the same time, the degree of fear cannot be objectively assessed at an overall social level, as individuals are highly diverse; it is defined by habitus and stimulus threshold what a person considers as a source of stress. In the situation that has developed – today and in the near future – presumably the problem-solving strategies of the individuals who intend to be objective and assess risks rationally can be efficient. The “winners” will probably be those who can tolerate stress and uncertainty and who can maximise the “really important few” and let go of the “unimportant many” among their everyday tasks. If we think about it, it is actually about the efficient mobilisation of the skills of entrepreneurship competence. In this situation, those who already have an entrepreneurial approach and consciously make use of the application of this approach can have a step forward, i.e. as the Chinese saying goes, “Victory comes from finding opportunities in problems”.

How have higher education and teacher education changed and can change during and after the pandemic?
The discontinuation of the education based on personal presence took the institutions of Hungarian public education (primary and secondary schools) by surprise and most of them were unprepared. The schools responded to the switch to so-called digital education in quite a heterogonous manner. The teachers of certain institutions kept contact with the students in an asynchronous way, with the help of an intermediary platform for teaching materials, where the students were forced to solve the assigned exercises offline relying on themselves (and the support of their parents) and “upload” them within a deadline. The teachers of other institutions held real-time lessons in a virtual classroom in the framework of synchronous education, mostly through applying Zoom or Jit.si.
Similar solutions were used in the Hungarian higher education, including initial teacher education. Besides exploiting the possibilities provided by ICT, much depended on the attitude of the educators. The teachers considering humane aspects recognised it from the beginning that the students could not be expected to fulfil the requirements and tasks defined at the start of the university semester, while other teachers who were able to completely ignore the environmental effects argued that the students can actually be demanded more of because they did not have to concentrate on anything else but learning.
The above described examples are mostly extreme cases, in reality, actions are affected by a variety of external and internal factors (competences, personal values, beliefs), and the nature of the situation. Whichever approach educators and higher educational teachers apply in their work, we can claim that the pandemic considerably contributed to the enrichment and innovation of the methodological repertoire. It forced the teachers and educators less open to changes to make methodological modifications, while it enabled creative teachers and educators with an entrepreneurial approach to try new opportunities: the conscious application of this approach allowed solving unexpected situations more efficiently.
It can be concluded that COVID has posed new challenges for teachers and educators in teacher training. The challenges have emerged in an extremely complex way, which have entailed forming an unconventional way of life and applying new coping strategies. It can be generally established about the happenings of the past period that the individuals have tried to find a solution to the emerging situation alone or in professional communities. However, based on the interpretation of Bacigalupo et al. (2016), we know that an entrepreneurial approach means that the individual adapts to opportunities and transforms them to value for others as well, as it is easier to find good solutions to any kind problems collectively than individually. Presumably, the great challenge of the next period will be to prepare for that the virus will stay with us for an unpredictable period, thus professional communities, including the educators of teacher training, have to try to develop a new and safe framework for the (co)operation collectively.

Authored by: László Kinyó, Edit Tóth & Szabolcs Prónay, University of Szeged

Nowadays, people become more and more aware of the importance of certain skills in their professional and private life, such as the ability to manage one’s own time, communicate effectively, or have proactive life attitudes. It is not enough to merely teach young people about tangible topics, such as history, grammar of a given language, etc., but rather help them become proficient users of that language, reflect on history and to reflect and come to certain conclusions for the future and many more. Entrepreneurship education in its broad sense refers to many abilities and skills that are worth developing. There are some initiatives in the area, but still not enough; it is worth, however, to look at some good examples of entrepreneurship education aimed at youngsters in Poland.

Jasielskie Stowarzyszenie Przedsiębiorców (Jasło Business Association), thanks to the European Funds grant, made it possible for secondary school students from their area (School complex no 4 in Jasło) to get entrepreneurship-related skills. The initiative is a part of “Podkarpacki Ośrodek Wsparcia Ekonomii Społecznej” (The Podkarpacie Social Economy Support Association) which supports and coordinates a project with the same name. The objective of the project is to organize workshops for secondary school students in the following domains: planning skills (including professional planning software), setting up and managing one’s own business, forms of business ownership in Poland, typical mistakes connected with sole entrepreneurship. Each one of 60 afore mentioned participants will undergo a 12-hour workshop dedicated to the relevant skills development. Eventually, Jasło Business Association will launch an offer of a comprehensive workshop comprising three modules with the hope to boost economisation in the region in the long run. The financial contribution to the project is only 9000 PLN (around 2 093 euro), yet it gives a chance for a better professional life for 60 young people. Project partners are Hetman Tarnowski Fundation and the Tarnobrzeg Academy of Regional development.
Previously, Jasło Business Association offered other relevant workshops devoted to social insurance, labour law, data processing and storing, free workshops concerning fund-acquisition skills, etc.

The Association, in cooperation with School complex no 4 in Jasło, also piloted Entrepreneurship Academy aimed at creating a free, extracurricular educational offer connected with entrepreneurship education and vocational education among secondary school students who are at the threshold of life decisions concerning their future profession, establishing their own companies or looking for their first job. 100 secondary school students from school complex no 4 in Jasło participated in the project between January – June 2019. Local entrepreneurs and a professional trainer volunteered to carry out panel discussions revolving around the following topics: “sole entrepreneurship vs a company”, “what sole entrepreneurship entails”, “is sole entrepreneurship better than being employed?”, “is it possible to combine sole entrepreneurship with being employed?”, “the potential of Jasło and its area for new entrepreneurships and employees”, “phases of establishing and developing companies”, “typical mistakes made by young entrepreneurs”, etc.. There were also workshops organized as a part of the pilot study. During the workshops 3 areas were tackled: setting objectives and planning based on value matrix, SMART planning, planning based on Walt Disney.

The pilot study was successful: the participants and their teachers were of the opinion that it was very developmental and necessary. For that reason Jasło Business Association applied for a grant to make it possible for students of other schools to develop their entrepreneurship skills and help them get ready to enter the job market. The work of Jasło Business Association and their partners is an excellent example of entrepreneurship-related initiative for young people in Poland and can be treated by other cities and their authorities and local entrepreneurs as a benchmark.

Authored by: Maciej Mitręga, University of Economics in Katowice

The PIETE project will produce a number of outputs which will be of use to those working in initial teacher education, specifically with regards to entrepreneurship education. These resources are open for all to use. In 2020, despite the challenges that were faced during times of COVID-19, PIETE made great progress and produced quality outputs. Here we will outline the achievements of 2020,

In April and September 2020 two magazines were released highlighting entrepreneurship education initiatives across Europe. In these issues you can find a summary of the PIETE workshop that took place in Innsbruck, Austria; recommended books for school children related to entrepreneurship skills, and information on how to become an entrepreneurial school in Austria. These are just a few examples of the contents of our most recent biannual magazines

Initial Teacher Education Framework Report
The framework provides a basis to understand the functionality of Teacher Training Center (TTCs) in terms of institutional circumstances, curricular focus, and responsibilities of educators involved in ISCED 3-4 teacher development. It also allows the identification of areas in which elements of Entrepreneurship Education (EE) – as understood under the European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (EntreComp) – can be most efficiently and suitably integrated.

Entrepreneurship Education Capacity Building Compilation
This document seeks to provide practical guidance to institutions that also interested in “opening the doors” for entrepreneurship education within ITE. A practical and hands-on guidebook, it provides support to initial teacher education (ITE) institutions which consider the fostering of entrepreneurship competences development as an important educational asset. The European Commission’s EntreComp Framework is described; concepts that may serve as hands-on tools for organising awareness-raising workshops are outlined; and examples of workshops that were implemented by the PIETE consortium in Hungary, Austria, and Poland are summarised.

PIETE Teaching Compendium
By now, only a few teaching resources from the field of EE are explicitly designated for use within ITE programmes within the European higher education institution landscape. Thus, the PIETE Teaching Compendium presents a rather novel form of support for educators in ITE programmes. This output develops, tests and compares innovative teaching methodologies (i.e. multidisciplinary curricula, learner-centered, real problem based, etc.) that can be used to enhance entrepreneurial competence and mind-set development within higher education pre-service teacher development programs.

PIETE Videos
Six of our partners give insights into the PIETE project itself, its outcomes and its relevance and importance for teachers and students. The videos can be found on the PIETE website homepage. After watching these videos you will have a greater understanding of the project and why it is important.You will also get to see some of the partners and learn more about their roles in the project.

Since 2011 it is possible for schools in Austria to be certified as an Entrepreneurship School. What is the general idea behind it and how does the process work?

Based on the priorities set by the European Union, both the Austrian Ministry of Education and the Education Directorates see Entrepreneurship Education (EE) as a particularly important component of good school education. This priority is highlighted in a certificate, which aims to make the certified school more attractive, confirms its holistic approach of Entrepreneurship activities as well as their goal-oriented and long-term implementation in everyday school life. Currently 61 schools are certified, 23 schools are in the process of being certified.

The certification serves as a measure to ensure and increase the quality of EE, which is already anchored as a general educational goal in the curricula of all vocational schools. It confirms that in the school concerned, entrepreneurship activities are implemented systematically on all levels from students to teachers to parents to companies, from classroom management to school leadership. If EE is to be sustainable, it must be integrated in the school development process and be supported and lived by all those involved. Young people should be supported in becoming innovative, sustainable and critical entrepreneurs as well as intrapreneurs. Consequently, measures to promote entrepreneurial thinking are as much an integral part of the everyday life of an Entrepreneurship School as the steady drive for personality development and education to become a responsible citizen.

Before a school decides on certification, a survey of the status quo (e.g. school culture, attitudes, authenticity) must be conducted. It is essential for a successful implementation and certification that the majority of the teachers and the school management are behind the certification. Appropriate training events should ensure that the teachers are familiarized with the principles of EE. Finally, the school formulates the goals of the certification, specifies concrete implementation measures and defines responsibilities. An entrepreneurship steering group will be set up, consisting of teachers from the various departments and actively involving the school management. The team must include a business teacher and a general educator.

The certification of an entire school usually takes a year or more and includes criteria from the following areas:

A. Activities at the school
B. Basics for teachers
C. Organizational framework
D. Additional freely selectable optional criteria

Mandatory criteria from area A – Basic Level:
– Organization of an Entrepreneurship Day
– Exploration of a company or organization
– Participation in an external competition for business ideas
– Extracurricular study groups (initiated by teachers)
– Presentation of EE measures at the open-door day
– Training Firm/Junior Company
– Commitment to sustainability, based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
– Use of challenges from the YouthStart program (www.youthstart.eu)
– Working with digital tools

Mandatory criteria from area A – Advanced Level:
– Activities with reference to the Global Entrepreneurship Week (in November)
– Extracurricular study groups (initiated by students)
– Debating Club
– External additional qualifications of the students

Mandatory criteria from area B – Basic level:
– Basic training on the topic of EE
– Attendance of relevant seminars on the subject of EE
– Program for directors
– Internal school cooperation of those responsible for EE

Mandatory criteria from area B – Advanced Level:
– Teamwork of teachers
– Advanced training on the topic of EE
– Working with entrepreneurs

Mandatory criteria from area C – Basic Level:
– school mission statement
– website
– Documentation of entrepreneurship activities and successes
– Social media presence
– Involvement of student representatives

Mandatory criteria from area C – Advanced Level:
– Involvement of parents
– Public Relations
– Networking with graduates of the school

A complete list with detailed description of the criteria, their objectives and evidence is available from the responsible bodies (www.eesi-impulszentrum.at).

Authored by: Mario Vötsch, University College of Teacher Education Tyrol

Even though education in general is seen as one of the major catalysers of regional entrepreneurial potential, entrepreneurship education is largely undertaken in the selected programs and institutions associated with management and business development. Many Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programs in Europe, however, lack entrepreneurial competence development.
What if ITE decisionmakers open up their minds, looking a little bit more outside the box, and start to transfer what has proven to be successful in other higher educational contexts? The MCI – The Entrepreneurial School® – can serve as a prime example.

As the Entrepreneurial School ®, MCI is the first point of contact for numerous entrepreneurs and company founders for all questions concerning entrepreneurship. MCI supports students, graduates, employees, and partner organizations in their entrepreneurial activities and promotes the development of the skills required by successful entrepreneurs. Thereby it aims to provide comprehensive teaching of entrepreneurial skills.
At MCI, all study programs include a differentiated number of theoretical and practical courses in the field of entrepreneurship in their curricula, with two Master’s programs that are explicitly devoted to entrepreneurship. Curricula are supplemented with practical projects, international study trips, company excursions, symposia, workshops, and boot camps to foster entrepreneurship competence development.

Next to this, MCI offers extra-curricular education in the field of Entrepreneurship & Start-up. Within MCI’s executive education, courses and seminars are offered to sharpen the entrepreneurial spirit regularly. Moreover, with the digital badge program, the MCI starts off as a pioneer by awarding digital badges in the field of Entrepreneurship and Start-up Management. Digital badges are digital certificates for skills acquired outside the regular studies. During this program, students go through a series of interesting seminars, workshops, courses, and learning experiences within one year (e.g. identification of hidden entrepreneurs, collecting practical experience in a start-up, participation in a business plan competition, pitch training, etc.).

Furthermore, MCI regularly organizes lecture and discussion events that facilitate entrepreneurship topics and sensitize students to specific entrepreneurial issues (e.g. female entrepreneurship, etc.). Of particular relevance is the annual MCI Creativity Award, where students from all study programs (including incoming students) have the chance to demonstrate their entrepreneurial ideas. A jury of independent experts from various fields evaluates all ideas and the best ideas are awarded prizes.
Individual consulting and coaching sessions can be arranged with internal or external experts when students, employees, graduates but also partner organizations and companies need advice in entrepreneurship. Doing so, in cooperation with the major players in the Tyrolean entrepreneurship ecosystem, the MCI has successfully contributed to the establishment of numerous start-ups and spin-offs in recent years.

In the sense of a sustainable exchange of knowledge, research in the field of entrepreneurship is strongly promoted at the MCI and includes 1) Entrepreneurship Education, 2) Family Businesses Management, and 3) Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Marketing.

Although the aim of ITE is not to develop company founders – of course, entrepreneurial skills might be equally important for future teachers. While typical entrepreneurial founders develop new or enhanced products or services, prospective teachers are even challenged to develop edu-cated humans. Let’s be true, if that is not entrepreneurial, then what is?

Now the question is what can we learn from MCI’s approach and what can be transferred to the initial teacher education (ITE) context?
First, higher education institutions that offer ITE programs should recognize the importance of entrepreneurial skills for future teachers. The embracement of an entrepreneurial mindset at the school and institutional level is a first step in the right direction.
Second, instead of providing stand-alone and encapsulated courses in entrepreneurship a multi-disciplinary and cross-curricular approach should be the preferred way to foster entrepreneurial competence development. This can be done either by enriching existing courses and lectures with some entrepreneurial elements or by offering elective over-curricular courses to raise awareness about specific entrepreneurial issues.

Furthermore, ITE institutions should engage within the regional and national entrepreneurship eco-system and build up a fruitful network for a steady exchange. Institutional and in particular cross-institutional events and workshops can be very efficient here. They can be organized to sensitize students for entrepreneurship education, helping them to overcome inhibitions and prejudices about the topic. Even a business plan competition might be great to do so. The business plan competition can easily be transformed into a curriculum competition (e.g. designing the best curriculum) or a didactics competition (e.g. best lecturer) for a better fit to the ITE context.

Thinking outside the box, spin-offs might also be an interesting option for institutions in the ITE context. Spin-offs are not only limited to technological innovations, even more so they might path the way for innovative ideas and novel educational concepts! Also, research in the field of entrepreneurship education might help to expand horizons and enrich the quality of teaching and learning substantially, therefore is should not be neglected either.

Ultimately, however, it is not a matter of working through this list and implementing everything on bend and break. The aim is rather to provide food for thought and inspiration. If we want the next generation to have more entrepreneurial qualities, then educational institutions in particular should set a good example. And if they try just one thing on this list, they too have put their entrepreneurial potential to the test, leading by example.

Authored by: Desiree Wieser, MCI

Finland has been topping multiple rankings for many years in a row. When it comes to school education, the country attracted a huge interest around its successful results in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2000. It came first among 32 OECD countries in reading, third in science and fourth in maths, and has been hovering around the top countries since then. Here the success can be attributed to many things: timely policy shifts, teaching methodologies, etc. But one success ingredient of the recipe is undeniable – teachers with well-rounded skills and sound knowledge of their subject.

As the European Union sees entrepreneurial skills an integral factor contributing to the creation of welfare, the inclusion of entrepreneurship courses into the Finnish university curriculum for teachers doesn’t seem to be odd. University of Turku (further UT) is one of the first universities in Finland that made entrepreneurship training modules for pre-service teachers compulsory. Up till now, the entrepreneurship modules are offered to teacher students both as obligatory and elective courses. This year, UT offers a renewed 3-ECTS elective Enterprise Education in Basic Education that will allow students to embark on an exciting journey of entrepreneurial self-discovery.

Teaching + entrepreneurship: compatible?

According to Jaana Lepistö, Adjunct Professor at UT whose expertise revolves around Entrepreneurship and Craft Education, with the course Enterprise Education in Basic Education they are trying to achieve three main goals. First, students will unearth possibilities of applying operating methods based on entrepreneurship to teaching in basic education. They will see how entrepreneurial pedagogy can find its way and may be implemented in their teaching work in comprehensive schools. Second, teacher students will be structurally guided through the corpus of national and international research on entrepreneurial education so that they can form a pedagogical idea of how to put it into practice. And third, the elective course will allow students to explore entrepreneurship from different perspectives and see how they can engage in cooperation with various societal stakeholders and make use of them in their teaching.

What’s in the pack?

The elective course Enterprise Education in Basic Education has been modified several times during its existence to stay relevant to the demands of the modern school system as well as address its future challenges. Currently, the course comprises, but is not limited to, the following topics:
– entrepreneurial education terminology;
– basics of entrepreneurial pedagogy;
– methods of operation related to entrepreneurial pedagogy in comprehensive education;
– entrepreneurship as a social phenomenon;
– active participation and inclusion as part of the teaching work;
– school as a community and co-operation;
– development of the school organisation and school activities and societal challenges;
– contacts with parties outside of the school.

Modes of study

As many other courses, this elective includes a variety of lectures delivered by both the responsible course lecturer and external experts from the field. The course also suggests ten hours of group studies, six of which are school visits. During these visits, teacher students observe the implementation of entrepreneurship concepts in the classroom by their more experienced colleagues. However, a fair share of the course is required to be done individually. Like true entrepreneurs, UT teacher students submerge into the exploratory search of their own unique possible application of entrepreneurial skills. So far, this elective has been offered only in the Finnish language.

Though already being a highly prestigious professional field in Finland, teaching occupation keeps evolving into new phases what allows fully-fledged teacher graduates to safely experiment in classrooms with new methodologies.

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:

futurego Sachsen-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.

Website: www.futurego.de
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.

Website: www.junior-programme.de
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.

Website: www.jgz.siti.de
Contact: Dr.-Ing. Hannes König /Schüler-Institut SITI e.V.

Jugend gründet

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.

Website: www.jugend-gruendet.de
Contact: Marius Kunkis / Steinbeis-Innovationszentrum Unternehmensentwicklung an der Hochschule Pforzheim (SIZUE)

Ego. Sommerakademie

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.

Website: ego.hs-harz.de
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.

Website: www.gründerkids.de
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.