Entrepreneurial Skills Pass – A brand new European Three Star Best Practice Example of Entrepreneurship Education

Author: Friederike Sözen, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO)

The Entrepreneurship 2020 Actionplan of the European Union is a blueprint for decisive action to unleash Europe’s entrepreneurial potential, to remove existing obstacles and to revolutionise the culture of entrepreneurship in Europe. ONly if a large number of Europeans recognise an entrepreneurial career as a rewarding and attractive otpion will entrepreneurial activity in Europe thrive in the long term.

The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich/WKO) and JUNIOR Achievement Young Enterprise Europe have taken joint action to co-develop the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass. It’s objective is to achieve even better results in their efforts to make a difference concerning the entrepreneurial mindset, skills and competences of Europe’s youth. On the long run the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass is designed to have a positive impact on employability and self-employment.

But how do we know if a project really has an impact and is changing students‘ mindsets?
What exactly is a good/best practice example? And are there any criteria and who is setting the rules?
How can we reach excellence in entrepreneurship and enterprise skills?
These are some of the crucial questions the European Training Foundation in Turin is working at – in order to develop a guideline for
good practice peer reviews for further use in European member states as well as in pre-accession countries.

Back in 2013 a pre-project prototype of the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass – in those days still a simultaneous training of the Austrian Chamber’s Entrepreneur’s Skills Certificate and the Mini Company Programme of JA-YE – was already successfully presented at a good practice peer review workshop on entrepreneurial learning organised by the European Training Foundation/ETF in Turin. The prototype had already been rated positively by the reviewers back in 2013

In March 2014 Friederike Soezen of the Austrian Chambers was the nominated expert fort he ESP project and invited once more to present the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass as an outstanding example of entrepreneurial training in a virtual peer review workshop session by the European Training Foundation.

The peer review process consisted of a 20 min presentation of good practice followed by a structured interview and dedicated questions by 3 groups of peer reviewers, all of them  being Entrepreneurship experts from either European Member States or preaccession countries – via „Go to meeting“. The questions focused on topics such as Training Needs Analysis, clients of the training programme, Learning Outcomes, Training Methods, Use of Materials, Pre-assessment and exit assessment of trainieees, flollow-up tracking of trainees, Methods of evaluation, PR means, Improvement cycles and Social media. The session ended with a round of open questions from peers,  a feedback round and concluding comments of peers to good practitioner.
The Entrepreneurial Skills Pass scored high in all relevant types of questions as quoted above and was unanimously given the
highest possible score as a Three Star Best Practice Example on Entrepreneurial Learning.



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