In May 2021, the Policy Learning Platform is organising a trilogy of 30-minute webinars. Spread over three consecutive weeks, the miniseries puts the spotlight on the development of an entrepreneurial spirit from an early age. 

Youth entrepreneurship I: Fostering an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age

On 4 May, the Policy Learning Platform organised the first 30-minute webinar of its youth entrepreneurship miniseries. This session highlighted interesting initiatives that facilitate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills in primary and secondary school students in East Flanders, Belgium.

Webinar recording and presentations 

Introduction to the topic and Policy Learning Platform services by Mart Veliste.

Presentation by Sarah Levecque from the European Council of East-Flanders and partner of the START EASY project with the participation of Ianick Vandaele, secondary school education coordinator at Vlajo.

 Key learnings 

  • It is important to stimulate students during their entire school education to be creative and develop their talents. Thanks to coaching trajectories, such as the ones presented in the session, students are far better equipped to realise their entrepreneurial dream.
  • Programmes aimed at young students should focus on developing their entrepreneurial skills – having guts, taking risks, being responsible and developing self-esteem – and not on entrepreneurship per se. The focus should be on skills that will benefit the youth no matter which career path they take. The skills give them extra leverage whatever they choose to do in the future as an employee or an entrepreneur.
  • It is difficult to track the impact of one specific programme on whether a young person becomes an entrepreneur or not. It is always a combination of various programmes that make the student realise that they have an entrepreneurial dream.

Youth entrepreneurship II: hackathons and vocational education

On 11 May the Policy Learning Platform hosted its second youth entrepreneurship 30-minute webinar. The session focused on an innovative Spanish contest that promotes an entrepreneurial mindset in vocational students.

Webinar recording and presentations 

Introduction to the topic and Policy Learning Platform services by Mart Veliste.

Presentation by Anne Furphy from the Official Chamber of Commerce of Seville and E-COOL project partner with the participation of Juan Jesús Arrebola and Anna Bednarska

Key learnings 

  • Entrepreneurship programmes that work with school youth need to work closely with teachers. However, the programme managers should provide easily accessible support to teachers to ensure their commitment and motivation. A programme seeking to boost the entrepreneurial spirit of students should not be an extra burden on the teachers.
  • It is important not to only work on the creation of companies but also on changing the mind-set and entrepreneurial skills of vocational students.
  • Student entrepreneurship programmes should be aligned with innovation and sustainable development goals of the region to be relevant for the overall development of the local economy and to raise awareness of the most pressing challenges and issues.

 

Youth entrepreneurship III: challenge-based innovation

On 18 May, the Policy Learning Platform held the last 30-minute webinar of its youth entrepreneurship miniseries! During the session, our experts and speaker had a discussion on programmes that create entrepreneurial opportunities for university students and strengthen the cooperation between entrepreneurs, universities, and research institutions.

Webinar recording and presentations

Introduction to the topic and Policy Learning Platform services by Mart Veliste.

Presentation by Piet Boomsma, former Manager of the Knowledge Alliance Rhine-Waal, and partner of the KISS ME project.

Key learnings 

  • In case of challenge-based ideation events where challenges of real SMEs are at the centre of activities, business cases should be prepared well in advance to recruit students.
  • For subsidy schemes for young enterprises, it is important to keep in mind the simplicity of applying. In addition, guidance should be provided, and unnecessary bureaucracy avoided.
  • Reviewing the results of a project that ended a few years ago, i.e. conducting an ex-post analysis, can reveal the true impact of projects. It is especially true for entrepreneurship support measures such as subsidy schemes because it takes years to develop products for the market. Such impact of funding instruments cannot always be captured immediately after the project.

List of documents shared by the speaker, Piet Boomsma.

 

Credit: Photo by Baim Hanif on Unsplash