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SEE forges ahead on principle one of SBA

The Small Business Act for Europe review published on 23rd of February 2011 highlighted the achievements and challenges that the SBA has experienced in the first two years. Of its ten principles, the first one specifically deals with promoting entrepreneurship through entrepreneurial programmes and national education systems. The review specifically states that one of the challenges still in front of the SBA is to put „the accent on training to ensure that education systems truly provide the right skills to start and manage an SME.”

Many of the member states have not yet created coherent national strategies to include entrepreneurship education, although Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK are notable exceptions, with Austria and Portugal moving in the same direction.

The situation in South East Europe is similar in many aspects:

Albanian Ministry of Industry and Ministry of Education have signed an agreement and are currently preparing conditions for development of a strategic approach to entrepreneurial learning.

In Bosnia, an EU funded project is fostering a national partnership, while at the same time preparing a draft of a national strategy.

Croatia founded a national coordination in 2007 called Education 4 Entrepreneurship (E4E) which has been active since and has been crucial in developing a national strategy in 2010 and a national curriculum framework. National developments in Croatia have also led to the recognition of a need to support regional cooperation for lifelong enterpeneurial learning (LLEL), and this led to the development of SEECEL, financially supported by the European Commission and the government of the Republic of Croatia.

Kosovo has a developed national strategy called “See opportunities and make them work” that is currently in implementation and is funded by EU funds. Kosovo has also developed a set of standards for qualifications in entrepreneurial learning that is fully implemented.

Macedonia has established a National Centre for Development of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Learning in 2009 with the cooperation of the Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Education, a draft of the national strategy is currently in works. Furthermore, EL is obligatory in both VET and general secondary education.

Montenegro has developed a national strategy in 2008 under the name “From idea to action”, and strong national cooperation is bringing the strategy closer to implementation, all supported by EU funds.

Serbia has established a national ministerial cooperation, and work is continuing on a draft of the national strategy.

Turkey has included entrepreneurial learning in all general documents pertaining to development of education, but entrepreneurial learning is not currently implemented at all levels of education.

South East European countries are therefore facing the same challenges as their EU counterparts, but are making steady progress towards systematic implementation of entrepreneurial learning inside national educational systems. Since national strategic approach to LLEL is a key aspect of principle one of the SBA, SEE countries have all focused on creating a coordinated national strategy for LLEL as a strong element in fostering competitiveness of small and medium enterprises. They have furthermore taken this approach one step further and have agreed to cooperate on a regional level and to share their experiences in order to encourage positive developments on a national level. SEECEL was therefore established as a means of facilitating all such developments and to promote all good practices and developments within the region and towards EU partners. Exchange of good practices between SEE and EU will enable all stakeholder countries to learn from each other and develop robust implementation systems.
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