EEE Project: An innovative approach to foster Entrepreneurship Education in Europe

Entrepreneurship is a hot topic for its contribution to employability, regional growth and innovation. Given the abundance of information and youth entrepreneurship initiatives, Univations led the partners in reviewing academic research, policy documents and first hand experience to identify specific needs and innovative solutions.

HEI enterprise support has traditionally centred on infrastructure for high potential startups with R&D or tech backgrounds. These have been useful, but it is now known that entrepreneurship has much wider scope, for start ups and also for intrepreneurship – solving problems and creating value in any employment setting. Evidence also shows that many high profile, “top down” or infrastructure models have failed, and that actors should create entrepreneurship ecosystems around local conditions and engage the regional private sector from the start. Partners’ own experience with previous projects shows that HEIs can become catalysts by engaging with other actors, but that they benefit hugely from guidance in this matter.

What does EEE Project brings unique in entrepreneurship education?

The EEE project employs a bottom up approach that empowers university staff, and creates sustainable relationships for HEIs and other actors in the entrepreneurship ecosystem to work together. The most innovative elements of the project are:

  1. Inspiring leadership and training-the-trainers: All our project outputs are focussed on inspiring HEI managerial and teaching staff to adopt a catalyst role and raising their ability to effectively teach entrepreneurship, across all faculties and schools.
  2. Regional ecosystem approach: The project builds and strengthens links between academia, business, government and intermediaries to create a stable entrepreneurship ecosystem which both allows them to i) respond to the unique context of each region’s economy and society and b) provides quality support for students in HE and helps them transition to external support as graduate entrepreneurs.
  3. Action-based approach: Promoting the involvement of the business sector and societal stakeholders in education programs at the HEI thereby fostering university-business collaboration.
  4. Standardisation and scaling up approach: The project will develop a toolkit to support the creation of further student entrepreneurship initiatives based on the experiences gained in the alliances

Project Activities

The two-year project aims to perform the following activities to generate the three Intellectual Outputs (IOs):

  1. Establishing Regional Alliances in three regions: Halle (Germany), Innsbruck (Austria), and Szeged (Hungary) (IO1): The Alliances will involve representatives of organisations from the fields of HEI, enterprise development ecosystem, and regional development, who will attend at plenary and bilateral meetings to share knowledge and identify best practice support structures and education objectives, direct learning through specific materials and group discussion, and generate regional Action Plans committing each stakeholder to individual and collective activities to mainstream entrepreneurship education in Higher Education.
  2. Implementing a Communication and Capacity Building Campaign (IO2): Through targeted communication, teachers and trainers in HEI institutions and societal stakeholders will be exposed to up-to-date information, which will help them overcome any misinformation about the role of entrepreneurship education, and through communication and best practice, they  will gain the knowledge and skills needed to integrate the entrepreneurship mind set into the teaching of subjects across all disciplines.
  3. Developing and implementing the Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit (IO3): Students, lecturers, companies, and other relevant stakeholders will participate in the Student-Business Projects and Social Entrepreneurship Program applying problem based learning and fostering university-business collaboration and university – NGO collaboration, to widen the knowledge and improve the skills of graduates and academic staff.