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Cross-Border Virtual Entrepreneurship (CBVE)

Conventional universities have difficulties in effectively responding to the lifelong learning paradigm A great number of conventional universities are still in the strategy of educating traditional students in the age category of 18-25. To delineate this development would imply that a vast number of potential (lifelong) learners will not be reached. Demographics and global competition however make the necessity of reaching those learners very clear With the number of learners outside the traditional cohorts to increase, the need to act on the development of their skills is of vital interest to the long-term competitiveness of the Union. Open and distance teaching universities are strong in this field. They render years of experience in deploying flexible approaches to reach different categories of learners Virtual Entrepreneurship Curriculum Embedding (CBVE) is to lever this experience. CBVE is a collaborative action by an established European consortium to urgently address the skills of the lifelong learner in a way that fits the needs of the contemporary learner. CBVE is dedicated to serve priority skills of interest: entrepreneurial. . In this proposal we refer to entrepreneurship as the process of exploiting opportunities that exist in the environment or that are created through innovation in an attempt to create value. It mostly refers to the creation and management of a new business venture by an individual or a team. Entrepreneurship is forwarded high on the agenda of the European Commission]. This is not without reason: SMEs in Europe constitute almost 99% of all enterprises and two thirds of all employment i.e., 75 million jobs Entrepreneurship though, is not limited to new business or start-ups alone. It also includes intra-organisational out-of-the-box thinking i.e., innovative intrapreneurship and associated risk taking, properties which contribute to the long-term competitiveness of especially large organisations. The main objective of CBVE is to enhance the professional skills of students by lifelong open and flexible learning approaches, with a specific focus on the development, extension and expansion of entrepreneurial skills. CBVE is to pilot entrepreneurship as prospective part of the curriculum for students not (longer) part of traditional cohorts. CBVE addresses the training of trainers as well, i.e. the upgrading of entrepreneurial skills of the academic staff involved. CBVE has a clear operational focus on cooperation between higher education institutions and relevant stakeholders in the field: Regional Entrepreneurial Networks, Chambers of Commerce, …This has been acknowledged to be a major lifelong learning priority By developing pedagogically-rich learning content and recruiting non-traditional learners, CBVE directly engages the stated target group and offers them a unique opportunity to lever entrepreneurial training. Such learners also benefit from third-party engagement and interaction through stakeholders outside the university, when being confronted with an assessment on their proposed business ventures. A main benefit for the learner is the value added which is created in his or her portfolio concerning acquired entrepreneurial competence. In the end, the learner is better equipped for successful business start-up, as well as for innovation inside traditional companies. In all, the prospects of (self and/or wage) employability increase. Besides for learners, CBVE holds an upright institutional benefit for both open and distance teaching universities and for conventional universities. It fills the blank spot for the open and distance teaching universities where traditionally the investments in education, training and (external) networking for entrepreneurship are few. It fills the blank spot for the conventional universities where traditionally no flexible entrepreneurial learning approaches are included for reaching students outside traditional cohorts.

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