Making a sustainable future for North Ostrobothnia together - the entrepreneurship education model has been renewed

The changing operational environment and working life also require changes in education. Sustainable development will be a critical determinant of competitiveness. Digitalisation creates opportunities for new entrepreneurship and internationalisation requires companies to operate in different cultures. These trends mean that education must also take increasing account of sustainable development, digitalisation and globalisation. The ESF-funded VÄKEVÄ project created a renewed model for entrepreneurship education that incorporates these trends into its objectives.
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Entrepreneurship education is supporting learners of all ages to acquire working life skills and entrepreneurial skills. The model for entrepreneurship education in North Ostrobothnia was updated in cooperation with the whole region, taking into account regional specificities. The regional workshops highlighted the desire to develop the vitality of North Ostrobothnia through entrepreneurship education: strengthening entrepreneurial skills and entrepreneurial capabilities helps young people to see opportunities in their own region.

The vision of the renewed entrepreneurship education model was: a sustainable future for North Ostrobothnia is made together. Sustainability, digitalisation and internationalisation are cross-cutting themes and have been integrated into all entrepreneurship education measures. The renewed model includes common objectives, common recommendations and guidelines, school level specific competency targets and tools to achieve the objectives.

The common objectives are:

1. Building a sustainable future through entrepreneurship education.

Entrepreneurship education is the content and methods through which learners of all ages learn to build a sustainable future for themselves and others. Entrepreneurship education is linked to many aspects of education, teaching and training, so the first aim of the renewed model is to integrate entrepreneurship education more and more strongly into sustainability, digitalisation and internationalisation.

2. Entrepreneurship education strengthens knowledge identity and entrepreneurial and working life skills.

There is something in everyone. Skills for entrepreneurship and working life are reinforced throughout the learning pathway. Identifying personal strengths, areas for development and interests is at the heart of this theme. The second aim of the model for entrepreneurship education in North Ostrobothnia is to continue and develop the valuable work that has already been done to build a solid pathway to competence and entrepreneurship education.

3. Entrepreneurship education is about creating an entrepreneurial culture together.

This objective also emphasises the importance of working together. Entrepreneurship education is a common cause and part of the value base. An entrepreneurial culture means a culture in which every member of the community is encouraged to develop their strengths, acquire skills and try new things. The third common objective of the renewed model is to continue to build an entrepreneurial culture at both provincial and school level.

4. Identifying, sharing and exploiting good practices and policies

Entrepreneurship education at different school levels is carried out using a wide range of practices and approaches. However, there are common overarching themes and objectives. There are many materials available on entrepreneurship education, but it is more effective when done together and through networks. The fourth objective is to support collaboration, networks and a culture of sharing good practice.

The revised model also includes recommendations for action and tools to implement them. At the heart of these recommendations is the creation of a seamless pathway from one school level to the next, taking into account the learner's personal development of entrepreneurial and working life skills as a continuous learning process.

The website brings together the new provincial recommendations for entrepreneurship education and the school level-specific competency targets.

Writer: Suvi Tulonen, Project Researcher, M.Sc (Admin.), Kerttu Saalasti Institute, University of Oulu, MicroENTRE® microentrepreneurship research group