Project Description

The current perception of the value of Entrepreneurship Education has evolved over time. In its early stages of development, Entrepreneurship Education focused on a narrow interpretation of the concept of entrepreneurship, according to which entrepreneurship is exclusively identified with the talent, intelligence and innate abilities of the entrepreneur. Today, the term “entrepreneurship” is not limited to the role of the entrepreneur, the founder of a business, but includes all managers and employees of businesses and their skills, thanks to which a business or an organisation, not necessarily a for-profit one, can develop, innovate and grow, contributing to the positive evolution of macroeconomic and social indicators. However, even today, there is a lack of documentation and a great heterogeneity (content, categories of beneficiaries, etc.) between the various programmes of Entrepreneurship Education offered, which prevents the development of a coherent and methodologically reliable research effort, hampering the teaching work of both university and school teachers.

From the other side, in today’s globalised knowledge economy, business and entrepreneurship are a key driver of economic and social transformation. As we reach the end of the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, the global economy has been disrupted by recent developments in elevated inflation fueled by spiraling energy and commodity prices. This situation negatively affects both the economy and society of every country in the world. Hence, we are in a transitional situation in which the necessary attention must be given to Entrepreneurship Education and innovation in order for societies to recover faster, which should be directed towards green and social development.

According to global statistics, “executives” of student “businesses” are three times more likely to become real entrepreneurs and create their own jobs than children who have not participated in similar programmes. Thus, taking all the aforementioned into consideration, the Green & Social StartUps project aims to develop innovative educational materials around green and social entrepreneurship, tailored to the needs of our time, with elements adapted to the post-covid era and the increased technological and environmental demands, as both technology advances and climate change accelerates at breakneck speed. More specifically, the project will investigate the needs that exist both at the level of Green and Social Entrepreneurship Education on secondary education as well as at the level of society. In addition, it will develop suitable and innovative educational material for teachers and a virtual entrepreneurship education programme for students. Finally, in order to motivate every student, an inspiring series of success stories of entrepreneurs who have succeeded against all odds will be developed.

The overall mission of the Green & Social StartUps project is to develop useful educational material to broaden students’ professional horizons, bringing them in contact with the valuable elements of Entrepreneurial Education and the professional world itself, as well as with the essential elements of green and social entrepreneurship, in order to understand the needs and requirements that prevail.

Thus, the project’s specific objectives are:

• to discern the needs that exist today and the image that is emerging in the post-covid era, in order to strengthen school education in forming an entrepreneurial mindset in students in order to meet the increasing demands of the times. To achieve this, a detailed research of what could fill the gaps that exist regarding green and social entrepreneurship at the secondary school level will be conducted.

• to boost confidence and empower teachers to teach green and social entrepreneurship. To achieve this goal, the project will develop a training programme that will help teachers to thoroughly understand and implement all elements of the project.

• to develop students’ knowledge of green and social entrepreneurship so that they develop valuable knowledge and skills for later life. To achieve this goal, the project will create a school curriculum that will be based on green and social entrepreneurial training resources and the development of a virtual entrepreneurial environment, in which students will develop their own businesses.

• to encourage all students to build their confidence around their future professional life, with a specific focus on people who feel disempowered, such as students from remote or rural areas, with financial difficulties, with low grades or even girls who feel that entrepreneurship is practiced more by men. To achieve this, the project will develop an inspiring series of real-life business success stories of people who were not taken for granted success in the first place.

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