The Youth Start – Entrepreneurial Challenges project (2015-2018) was one of the largest projects ever undertaken in entrepreneurship education and evidence-based public policy. The project was coordinated by PEEP (Portugal) and represents a collaboration between the ministries of education of Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Slovenia. The learning program was developed in Austria (IFTE) and evaluated by FFE-YE (Denmark). The practice-oriented, student-centered approach was built to foster core competencies in young people, with the aim of improving their chances in the labor market and expanding their outlook on life.
The project is characterised by the following important innovations:
- Experimental entrepreneurship education that can be included in existing curricula
- A flexible, innovative, transferable and scalable program for self-regulated learning
- Scientific accompaniment during a field test with the aim of gathering evidence-based data as a basis for reforms in education policy
The Youth Start – Entrepreneurial Challenges project is designed to increase the students’ desire and ability to participate in entrepreneurial activities. We believe that it is through education that we can create a sustainable culture of entrepreneurship, changing the mindset of our students, parents and school communities. Through this project, we are testing the idea that this experiential educational program will increase the participants’ motivation to learn and engage in school activities and help develop their pro-activeness, creative thinking and a risk-taking attitude that will allow them to be more participative, active and responsible citizens while developing their full potential.
The project addresses the country-specific policy needs of a geographically diverse group of Member States that are at varying levels of policy implementation within the “progression model.” The intended systemic impact relates to introducing a rigorous experimentation protocol, creating new teaching methods, reforming teacher training, and giving students the entrepreneurial spirit through experiential challenges.