Rising unemployment, particularly among young people is a pressing problem faced by all European governments. Increasing employment among young people is an important priority.
Due to this fact, as well as because of serious economic crisis in Europe, entrepreneurial spirit and business awareness have become even more important among students. We have found that students in secondary vocational education (and others as well) need to increase their entrepreneurial skills to be able to think obout working in their own businesses. On the other hand – to establish a successful company it is necessary to integrate knowledge from different fields in order to achieve the common goal. These are business and marketing skills, industrial and graphic design and manufacture of the product – production. These three fields have to work hand in hand. The reality in partners’ school systems is that we have skilled experts in each area – educated in different programs – with no or very random contacts with each other and lack of global knowledge of how to start their own business.
In this project we will combine three different fields of school education working together (production, marketing, design) to achieve the common goal of commercial success. The goal is to create high-quality and useful products which are commercially interesting, beautifully designed and have a potential on the market.
Of great importance is also the fact that students need current practical knowledge that can be obtained only by experts working in companies. We will develop and upgrade curriculum also by integrating learning from experts working in the business on different areas. We want to include in school education cooperation and integration of different disciplines/programs and inclusion of case study learning from experts on the market with a common goal – to create commercially interesting products.
We want this to be included systematically, not just random. That´s why we will develop new/upgraded curiculum – NET – ENT (Networking for Entrepreneurship).
By Networking we mean:
– interaction between the different schools, school programs
– linking education with the labor market
– networking and exchange of experiences from different EU countries (NET – ENT INTERNATIONAL)
– establishing networks between students and teachers of different programs …
which can lead to successful entrepreneurial ideas, at the time of schooling and latter on.
The future is in teamwork – together everyone achieves more.
In order to do this innovative methods in education are needed – new approaches to teaching and learning. Teachers are the ones who can stimulate and encourage students. Therefore we will educate teachers/trainers and experts as well. Teachers will be trained to change their teaching methods and meet with different challenges. They should establish supportive relationship, be professional, inspiring and support students throughout the project from the early steps (identifying problems or customers’ needs – idea – problem solving) through progress monitoring until the goal is reached. Teachers will no longer appear only in their traditional role but will become mentors/coaches/trainers using innovative methods in the class and including mentors from companies where necessary as well as teachers from other schools/programs.
Students will benefit from entrepreneurial learning by developing collaborative planning, by understanding essential integration between different areas/programs to create commercially interesting products and start successful business, as well as essential skills and attitudes such as creativity, initiative, tenacity, teamwork, resilience, understanding of risk and a sense of responsibility (transversal key competences).
This entrepreneurial mind-set will help students to put ideas into action and become self-confident in order to meet needs of the real market. It will help them to be more enterprising, competitive and innovative, thus becoming more employable which is crucial in achieving the objectives.
Another benefit of participating in this project is to recognize the importance of cooperation between different areas to produce a successful product. Also at the time of schooling they will gain the necessary connections enabling them to open their own micro or small companies easier (early networking).
Copyrights: NET-ENT project