Entrepreneurship: Ideas @ Work is the title of our project. We feel this title clearly represents our goals for this project (to develop entrepreneurial skills and initiatives among our students) and our vision as to how to achieve them (putting our collective imaginations and creative skills to use). One of the most urgent tasks for EU governments has been to fight the rising levels of unemployment, particularly among young people. The European Commission itself states that ‘EU businesses need to become more competitive through talent and innovation.’ We believe that this attitude of enterprise needs to begin at the root; in our schools. In order to tackle this growing epidemic of youth unemployment, we believe it is reform in education that will ultimately lead the path of progress to a brighter and more prosperous future for our young people; this idea was our inspiration for this project. Our project is based upon the ideal of ‘Entrepreneurship.’ We aim to introduce our students to a variety of relevant skills that will enable them to think creatively and instill in them the confidence needed to thrive in the 21st century labour-market. Mindful of being over-ambitious, we have narrowed our focus down to what we believe are the most important and reachable expertise: technology, language, business know-how and social competencies. Our goal, as teachers, will be to introduce and further these skills step by step through-out this project; which will be illustrated in our final project product: an ‘E-Book on Entrepreneurship.’ The ultimate goal of our students will be to put these skills into practical use and set-up a mini-company from scratch, which they will unveil in a formal and public setting at the last meeting. One of the most important elements of this project proposal is the effort to combine expertise with education. We have planned to invite stake-holders to formally participate in our project in order to mentor our students in these areas of business and entrepreneurship. These stake-holders are professional people in business such as entrepreneurs; as well as, career-advisors, psychologists and other highly skilled professionals. Our team consists of eight partners: Austria (coordinator), Portugal, Poland, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Estonia and Romania. Five of us have collaborated very successfully in the past on a Comenius project; this strong relationship that we hold to this day will benefit us greatly in the new project. Our experience will mean that we can take the new partners into the fold and support them in the project activities; creation of relevant and invaluable work-shops, presentations, management of student team activities and tasks and the ‘E-Book’ for example. I will wrap up this project summary with a quotation from Robert F. Kennedy that we feel sums up the essence of our project perfectly: “Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, they send forth a tiny ripple… These ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls…” This project is not setting out to make waves (like inventing a methodology that is completely new), we aspire to make ripples: enough of a difference in our team, in our schools, in our communities that will hopefully; open minds and alter attitudes with regard to the education of Entrepreneurship. This is the time for development, for creative thinking and about all, for positive action.
The Imagination @ work Team