Developing entrepreneurship education is one of the key policy objectives of the EU institutions: in the actual context of high youth unemployment and economic crisis, skills such as entrepreneurship are essential in offering a good alternative chance to many young Europeans.
A new report published at the end of February by the European Commission analyzes how EU countries teach and promote entrepreneurship in schools. Considering that each EU country is responsible for its own education and training systems, but EU policy is designed to support national action and help in addressing common challenges. The report highlights the shortcoming that very few countries include entrepreneurship in schools education programs.
In the EU Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan it is written that “to bring Europe back to growth and create new jobs, we need more entrepreneurs”. We can highlight that entrepreneurship skills involve a full range of competences needed to adapt to a constantly changing economy and competitive job market. The EU Commission supports the development of entrepreneurship skills in the EU, also through concrete programs: notably it could be highlighted its education and training programme Erasmus+, which provides 450.000 traineeship opportunities until 2020 that support the development of entrepreneurship skills.
In the framework of reaching a Digital Single Market strategy for the EU, entrepreneurship seems now even more than ever useful to promote new jobs and innovation: a recent survey highlighted that countries such as Slovenia, Lithuania and Finland have the highest percentage of people who see themselves starting a business and this is highly related to activities in innovative start-up sector.
To complete this job market strategies by enhancing the possibility to start new entrepreneurship activities, there is also the need to strengthen investments and access to finance for new projects enabling small businesses to bring their ideas to life.
With regard to Italy, much more needs to be done.
On the 4th of March, the European Investment Fund and Fondo di Garanzia per le PMI have signed a COSME agreement, based on the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments.
This agreement is framed in the COSME Programme, the EU instrument aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises – running from 2014 to 2020 – with a total budget of 2.3 billion euro. Through this agreement, it will be allowed for Fondo di Garanzia per le PMI to support 1 billion euro of financing to 20.000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Italy over the next year.
This is a key part for giving life to the Investment Plan for Europe – launched by the EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker – providing 315 billion euro to help creating an investment friendly environment.
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