Making Students More Enterprising, Does it Work?

A large variety of initiatives are striving to stimulate the sense of entrepreneurship in students in secondary education − but do all these well-intentioned projects really make sense? The Effecto study from the Flanders DC Knowledge Centre at Vlerick Business School shows that these initiatives do indeed have an effect, although this can be further increased with small interventions. Moreover, other factors also play a definite role in stimulating entrepreneurship.

From Learning-Enterprises to Festivals

How do you sharpen the entrepreneurial sense in young people? In various ways, says the Effecto research report from the Flanders DC Knowledge Centre at Vlerick Business School. Organisations like Vlajo, Unizo and VKW offer a large variety of projects, each with its own approach and target audience. The mini- and learning-enterprises, in which students set up their own business, are among the most familiar. Then there are simulations that have youngsters manage a virtual company. Students also have the chance to visit a company or have a business leader come speak to their class. Not all initiatives deal directly with business enterprise, by the way. TMF Stressfactor, for example, has students organise a festival.

These projects reach a large percentage of the students in Flanders: four out of five schools participate in one or more of these initiatives. No less than six initiatives have achieved a penetration level of over 10% of the schools: Mini-enterprises (an initiative of Vlaamse Jonge Ondernemingen - Vlajo), Ondernemer voor de klas (Class Entrepreneur) (VKW), Dream-Day (Dream), Jieha (Vlajo), Oefenfirma (Practice company) (Cofep), and De wereld aan je voeten (The world at your feet) (KVIV). Schools offering technical and vocational training participate most often in these initiatives.

About Flanders DC

Flanders District of Creativity is the Flemish organisation for business creativity. It was founded by the Flemish Government as a non-profit organization and enjoys broad support. Flemish businesses, academics, and public institutions use Flanders DC as a platform for cooperation and for building a more creative region. Creativity is the key ingredient in making companies more successful and in helping regional governments fuel a healthy economy with more jobs.

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