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YEDAC final conference engages participants from all over Europe

In the years since the first steps and kick off meeting, the YEDAC project has developed into a concrete set of tools and models to strengthen the student’s sense of entrepreneurship in lower secondary schools. During the time, European schools in six countries have tested the model and now it is ready to inspire politicians and schools all over the EU.

Entrepreneurship education is all about stimulating the student’s ability to take initiative, develop ideas, and create new products/services of value to others. Integrating entrepreneurship in the daily education in schools prepares the students for a future consisting of more competition for jobs and a higher demand for creativity, initiative and entrepreneurial spirit. This is the core of the YEDAC project, and this is what the policy recommendations will continue to carry out in the future.

The YEDAC final conference – the final presentation of the results

The final conference of the YEDAC – Young Entrepreneurship – Developing in Action – project was held at the South Denmark European Office in Brussels. The conference was an important step towards the final dissemination of the results and findings of the YEDAC project, in order to strengthen entrepreneurship education across Europe:

  • Our tools make it easy for teachers to integrate entrepreneurship in the ordinary teaching. Many schools across Europe are not experienced in doing that, and our tools show a way to proceed, explains project manager, Helle Munkholm Davidsen from University College Lillebaelt – one of the project partners.

The results of the YEDAC project and the published versions of the Teachers Toolkit were presented at the final conference, and met by a great deal of positive feedback:

  • It is highly important to supply the students with the opportunity to be innovative already in the primary schools. This might state positive effects on the social and economic challenges which Europe is facing, and so we ought to unfold entrepreneurship education in the rest of the European schools, states member of the European Parliament, Jeppe Kofod.  

The interest towards the YEDAC final conference was overwhelming and the limit for attendees was reached two weeks prior to the final conference. During the event, the atmosphere in the fully booked South Denmark European House was marked by the expectations and contributions from the 50 distinctive participants and speakers with varied European nationalities, representing several different regional and national institutions and organizations.   

The policy recommendations; how to teach students to take initiative

During the panel debate at the final conference, the issue of European student’s capability to take initiative was discussed in the open forum. Entrepreneurship is not a part of the daily schedule in a great deal of the European schools, which means there are no motivational appeals for the students to take initiatives on their own. Due to the traditional mindset of teaching, there is a lack of creative space for the students to be innovative and independent, and so we need schools that leave the old employee culture behind. The 15 policy recommendations from the YEDAC project have been formulated in order to support the framework for entrepreneurship education. They cover recommendations such as integrating entrepreneurship in national curricula across Europe, and support of the schools experimenting with entrepreneurship education.

The reference group for future visions

In order to engage and inspire policy makers across Europe, the YEDAC project has settled a reference group consisting of experts from all partner countries. The members of the reference group will continue to carry on the YEDAC policy recommendations in relation with the visions defined prior to the final conference:

  • Entrepreneurship education is still something new in many countries, but we need to develop our schools in this direction. My hope is that the experiences from the YEDAC project can inspire both schools and politicians across Europe. It is beneficial for the students, and we need more entrepreneurs to make Europe competitive, says Aulis Pitkälä, Director General of the Finnish National Board of Education, Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland, and member of the YEDAC reference group. 

The members of the reference group will therefore strive for implementing entrepreneurship education in contemporary European schools in the future, and they will carry on motivating the students to engage in innovative thinking and entrepreneurships. In that sense, the YEDAC project will continue to develop in social and personal learning in the European educational system.

Pictures from the final conference:

 FC collage Collage2


Read the full programme from the YEDAC final conference here.