ETF considers entrepreneurship as more than running a business. It’s about creating value across society, including generating good jobs and building stronger economies. Following guidelines from the European Commission, ETF sees the education and training system as an important potential to develop an entrepreneurial mindset in the wider drive in supporting its partner countries meet up to the challenges for more competitive and inclusive economies.
Given the entrepreneurship drive is fresh territory, ETF works closely with its partner countries, the European Commission and its networks in the EU countries, promoting policy learning and good practice exchange. Particular attention is given to how entrepreneurship is integrated into curriculum, teacher training and assessment. A highlight of our work is the annual ETF Entrepreneurship Award conferred by the European Commissioner Thyssen to the school or training centre from an ETF partner country with the most inspiring entrepreneurship developments.
Secondly, improving business performance in ETF partner countries requires more developed skills as they work towards more open markets. Better performing businesses not only generate income for the national exchequer but they also create jobs. Better intelligence on SME skills gaps and weaknesses is a key factor within ETF’s work to ensure a better fit between demand for skills and training provision. Improved SME skills intelligence features within ETF’s monitoring of how each country is accommodating the human capital provisions of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA).
The SBA is a key EU policy reference for ETF work on entrepreneurship and enterprise developments. ETF undertakes regular policy reviews in partner countries and makes recommendations for next-step developments. Particular attention is also given to how training both supports women’s entrepreneurship but also wider development of women’s businesses. Alongside the SBA policy reviews, peer-reviewed good practice provides evidence as to how policy is being implemented. It also provides a reference for policymakers and the training community on what works well.
Overall, ETF sees human capital as both a contributor to, and a product of, entrepreneurship and high performance SMEs. Our support to partner countries in building the policy-enabling environment to develop more entrepreneurial and job-creating economies is a core feature of our strategy.