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As in many other European regions, the fostering of entrepreneurial skills and activities, especially among young people is seen as a way to drive economic growth. In order to support the success rate of start-ups education has become more prominent recently, particularly, but not exclusively, among higher education institutions. Yet, it seems that Europe still struggles to foster entrepreneurship in education and, to a certain degree, misses to unlock its students’ entrepreneurial spirit. It seems that even though entrepreneurial skills are considered important competences in today’s society, they are still not promoted enough, especially from an educational point of view.
In the context of the EU project ‘Embedding Entrepreneurship Education’, MCI Management Center Innsbruck (Austria) took the opportunity to contribute, together with its partners Univations (Germany), UIIN (Netherlands), University of Szeged (Hungary), Canice Consulting (Northern Ireland), and the associate partner the LaTrobe University (Australia), and made an attempt to develop innovative and interactive, practical-oriented teaching material for entrepreneurship education.
The structure of the Toolkit has been inspired by the EntreComp Framework, initiated and developed by the European Commission (Bacigalupo, Kampylis, Punie, & Van den Brande, 2016). The EntreComp has been developed as a comprehensive, flexible and multi-purpose reference framework that sees and explains entrepreneurship as a key competence for life-long learning. EntreComp focuses on the following three main entrepreneurship competence areas: Ideas & Opportunities, Resources, and Into Action, whereby each area contains 5 further sub-competences (Bacigalupo et al., 2018, 2016). The Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit has been structured according to the three main competence areas in the framework with specific modules (tools) developed to foster those core competences and the respective sub-competences.
The Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit may inspire instructors, lecturers, scholars etc. to develop new courses, programs, etc. on one hand or to enhance and extend existing courses and programs with specific tools and modules out of the toolkit. As interactive learning material, the Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit also focuses on practice. The practical orientation of the toolkit is realized through a problem-based learning approach, including learning by doing, real-life examples, case studies, role-plays, simulations and interaction. To foster university-business collaboration, especially the possibility to involve external actors, as regional entrepreneurs, start-ups and experts in the ambit of entrepreneurship, has been pursued. In this way entrepreneurship skills can be fostered through interactions with real entrepreneurs, laying at the same time the foundation for the establishment of fruitful links between academia and the business world.
1. Bacigalupo, M., Kampylis, P., Punie, Y., & Van den Brande, G. (2016). EntreComp: The entrepreneurship competence framework. JRC Science for Policy Report.
2. Bacigalupo, M., O’Keeffe, W., McCallum, E., McMullan, L., Weicht, R., & Price, A. (2018). EntreComp into action. Luxembourg.
This article originally appeared in University Industry Innovation Magazine 2018 Special Issue. Please find the full version of the article on p. 11
Desiree Wieser is a Research & Teaching Assistant at MCI Management Center Innsbruck, Austria, and a PhD student in Management at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. Her main research area focuses on higher education management.