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Mainstreaming Student Entrepreneurship
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Europe needs more entrepreneurial citizens: creative, confident individuals who innovate to solve problems and convert ideas into value across enterprises, organizations and the public sector. Recent years have seen substantial growth in the number of VET institutions offering entrepreneurship education, but engagement levels are very low and programmes still focus on the “how to run business” aspects of entrepreneurship whereas entrepreneurship is now understood as a mind-set, a set of transversal competences of value to ALL individuals. The problem is that most of today’s cohort of teachers and trainers are unequipped to teach entrepreneurialism as a transversal skill across all subjects. In addition, the entrepreneurship support system is increasingly complex and those VET teachers/trainers whose students have promising start up ideas are often unsure how to cultivate this, or refer students for further support outside their own institution. The failure to widen and improve the scope of entrepreneurship education for young people in VET has immediate consequences, of import to all countries but especially those emerging from economic crisis, such as Spain and Ireland: it undermines the ambitions and employability of students, perpetuates youth unemployment, and limits opportunities for value creation for local and regional economic development. For these reasons, MASTER has been designed with a clear objective: increase the proportion of VET students acquiring an entrepreneurial mind-set and engaging in early stage entrepreneurial activity. We will do this by raising awareness and improving the pedagogic capacities of VET policy makers and educators, and facilitating improved collaboration with other actors in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. In order to achieve this we will carry out the following project methodology. will be involved in the each activity: - Develop a needs and opportunities analysis stating the case for an integrated, cross sector approach to student entrepreneurship education in the VET sectors. - Create 5 Regional Alliances to bring together 60+ stakeholders from VET, private and public sector to state the need and opportunities for student entrepreneurship in their particular region, map existing hard/soft entrepreneurship supports, learn from emerging best practice and devise individual and collective Regional Action Plans.- Develop and pilot test a multi-channel communication and capacity building campaign with 1500 VET teaching staff to provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to integrate aspects of entrepreneurship education into all subjects and disciplines. - Jointly develop a Student Entrepreneurship Support Toolkit and pilot at least 10 innovative entrepreneurship support activities across 4 HEIs. (Eg. Business plan competitions, one stop shop, mentoring, apprenticeship style entrepreneur training etc.) - Widely disseminate project outputs and findings to approximately 10,000 individuals via a multilingual project website and comprehensive dissemination strategy.The unique structure of the MASTER project provides a reliable means of ensuring ongoing, systemic improvements to increasing the proportion of VET students acquiring an entrepreneurial mind-set and engaging in early stage entrepreneurial activity, region by region. Thanks to improved entrepreneurship education in their colleges and institutions, more students will acquire entrepreneurial mindsets, making them more employable and students with start ups will be better linked to the wider entrepreneurship support system to gain focussed support to help push their startups forward upon completion of their course. VET institutions will gain new leadership positions in the entrepreneurship ecosystem and collaborative relationships with the business and VET entrepreneurship sectors thanks to the Regional Alliances. Overall, their teaching programmes will be strengthened, performance enhanced and they will enjoy increased reputation to recruit future students . On a local and regional level, the project will make a significant long-term impact to strengthening the local economy as student start-ups often stay connected to the VET College / region when their business started there. In addition cohorts of more entrepreneurial students will enter jobs in the region and drive intrapreneurship and innovation in the organisations they work forThe project has been designed to respond to a genuine need experienced by partner organizations and their counterparts in the vocational education, entrepreneurship support and economic development, all of whom have a vested interest in using the outputs and sustaining the impacts in the long term.
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