Entrepreneurship Education

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7) Entrepreneurship Education in Europe: Fostering Entrepreneurial Mind-sets Through Education and Learning: (The Oslo Agenda)

Front Cover
European Commission

Date:  2006


The aim of the "Oslo Agenda for Entrepreneurship Education" is to step up progress in promoting entrepreneurial mind-sets in society, systematically and with effective actions. The Agenda is a rich menu of proposals, from which stakeholders can pick actions at the appropriate level, and adapt them to the local situation.

Key Findings:

The report provides a catalogue of initiatives that have implications for stakeholders working at different levels. There are organised into six areas for action.

1.Framework for policy development

This includes political backing through inclusion of EE by establishing a common EU framework integrated into existing EU monitoring, the launch of national and regional strategies, ensuring coherent funding and recognising career structures. 

2.Support to Educational Establishments

This involves improved integration of EE. programmes into the curriculum and their inclusion in Primary schools, encouraging curricular reform through piloting, comparison and sharing of practice based pedagogies and sustainable funding for activity in this area. Establishing university centres and research to access impact using common frameworks derived from successful programmes.

3.Support to Teachers and Educators

Teacher training in this area should be linked to national curriculum reforms and involve innovative methods that may include the world of work or mini companies. The extraordinary effort sometimes required by teachers in this area should be recognised at school level.  Support for teacher mobility to develop these skills may be supported by the Community Lifelong Learning Programme.

4.Entrepreneurship activities in Schools and in Higher Education

This includes embedding elements considered as entrepreneurial behaviour(curiosity, creativity, autonomy, initiative, team spirit) already in primary school education using age appropriate resources, raising awareness of enterprises and entrepreneurs with an emphasis on ‘responsible entrepreneurship’. This should build upon build upon children’s curiosity and the existing entrepreneurial skills.  Student skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship should be tested and recognised perhaps by an ‘Entrepreneurship Driving Licence’. Developing links with real companies and organisations as well as alumni and ensuring that disadvantaged groups are supported in exploiting these opportunities and developing these capabilities

5.Building links and opening education to the outside world

This includes enhancing the contribution of intermediary organisations dedicated to the dissemination of entrepreneurship activities within schools and universities, and to building links between education and the business world, encouraging the contribution of private partners in E.E. as part of their corporate social responsibility and supporting research to improve the educational contribution of businesses within schools. This would include the development of pedagogical abilities of entrepreneurs and business partners. Centre of Educational Expertise in E.E. should be recognised.

  1. Communicating Activities
    This includes awareness campaigns, regional and national awards and recognition of programmes that work well.

Focus of Study

The Oslo Agenda is an outcome of the Conference on "Entrepreneurship Education in Europe: Fostering Entrepreneurial Mind-sets through Education and Learning" –an initiative of the European Commission jointly organised with the Norwegian government  -held in Oslo  which followed the Communication from Commission on the same topic. The Agenda arises from the experience of Norway in developing E.E. (Norway Ministry of Education, 2008) but also from three E.U. ‘Best Procedure’ projects on E.E.

The Norwegian Model of Entrepreneurship competence

Norwegian Model

Authority and Credibility:

The Agenda presents ideas tabled in Oslo by relevant stakeholders from 33 countries but they do not necessarily represent the views of the European Commission. They have had some influence on EU and individual national policies.

Implications & Comments:.

The push for the increased awareness of entrepreneurs as role models within schools is an acceptance of the hero innovator model of entrepreneurship but this is tempered by the concept of ‘responsible entrepreneurship’ which could be more focused on collaborative action to enhance wealth in its broadest financial and cultural meaning.

The aim ‘Fostering Entrepreneurial Mind-sets’ is highlighted in this document. Thus E.E. is held to be something that must be taught at all phases of education.            

Bibliographic Information

European Commission. (2006). The Oslo Agenda for Entrepreneurship Education. Brussels: European Commission. URL accessed 28/02/2015 http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/files/support_measures/train...

Summary communication
URL accessed 28/02/2015