Investing in education for entrepreneurship is one of the highest return investments policy-makers in Europe can make to support growth and business creation. Yet, according to a recent Eurobarometer Entrepreneurship survey three quarters of Europeans say that they have never taken part in an entrepreneurship course. The acquisition of entrepreneurial abilities also enhances the employability of our youth: according to recent research, 78% of entrepreneurship education alumni were employed directly after graduating at university, against 59 % of a control group of higher education students.
Entrepreneurial education and training to support growth and business creation is one of three key areas identified for immediate intervention by the European Commission´s Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan.
The Plan is a blueprint for joint action to revolutionise the culture of entrepreneurship and create a more supportive environment for entrepreneurs to grow and thrive. While a number of Member States have successfully introduced national strategies for entrepreneurship education or made entrepreneurial learning a part of curricula, more action is needed. Education should be brought to life through practical experiential learning models, real-world experience and the participation of entrepreneurs. Defined entrepreneurial learning outcomes for all educators are needed, to introduce effective entrepreneurial learning methodologies into the classroom. In the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan that it adopted on January 9 of this year the Commission invited Member States to ensure that the key competence "entrepreneurship" is embedded into curricula across primary, secondary, vocational, higher and adult education before the end of 2015.
Entrepreneurship education and Higher education
The role of higher education in entrepreneurship goes far beyond the delivery of knowledge to participating in ecosystems, partnerships and industrial alliances. With high-tech and high growth enterprises increasingly becoming a focus of entrepreneurship-related public policies, higher education institutions are an active component of the innovation policies of Member States. EU Higher education in entrepreneurship can boost high-tech and high growth companies by supporting business ecosystems, partnerships and industrial alliances.