JA-YE Europe and 5 countries embark on impact research to mobilize entrepreneurship education in schoolsBrussels, 26 January 2015
“If half of the entire student population received practical experience in setting up a company while still in school, what would the individual and wider societal impact be? This is just one of the questions that will be addressed in this new three-year study”, says Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA-YE Europe, the largest provider of entrepreneurial education programmes in Europe.
JA-YE Europe will lead the new Erasmus + funded Innovation Cluster for Entrepreneurship Education (ICEE) project in collaboration with five Ministries of Education (Finland, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Flanders), three research institutes (Eastern Norway Research Institute, The Foundation for Entrepreneurship – Young Enterprise Denmark, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University in Croatia), and five national JA-YE organizations (in Belgium, Finland, Italy, Estonia, and Latvia).
A number of studies have already indicated the positive impact of entrepreneurship education. Young people who have participated have been found to be more likely to create new businesses later on and develop competences that make them more employable than those who have not had the same education. Setting up a ‘mini-company’ is regarded as one of the most effective possible entrepreneurial experiences available for schools.
The European Commission Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan says that every young person should have ‘at least one practical entrepreneurial experience before leaving compulsory education’. Currently it is estimated that only 1 in 10 children (10%) have access to an in-school practical entrepreneurial experiences. The ICEE project will analyse what is needed to reach EU policy objectives of 100% penetration.
The project methodology relies on fieldwork in twenty academic and vocational schools, in five European regions. Over two academic years, the project will trial the mini-company entrepreneurial experience at upper secondary schools at 50% penetration. And, using control groups, quantitative surveys, qualitative focus groups and interviews, a team of researchers led by Eastern Norway Research Institute will analyse the learning outcomes among participating students, the impact on the wider society, the role of the teacher and of the school, and the system effects of educators.
In-depth analysis of national strategies, contents and tools, teacher training and assessment will form the basis of ‘innovation clusters’ and hence contribute to the development of a ‘progression model’ that can explain how entrepreneurship education can be implemented from primary school to high school.
Starting on 1 February 2015, results will be published throughout the project, which ends January 2018.