Embedding EntreComp in Belgium
Entrepreneurship doesn’t only apply to professional life. Quite the opposite, it is a competence for life. Creativity and new ways to accomplish things are essential, whether it is a personal matter, a social issue or giving shape to a business idea. In other words, entrepreneurship is when you act upon opportunities and ideas and transform them into value for others. The value that is created can be financial, cultural, or social.
EntreComp helps deliver that. A framework that focuses on what entrepreneurship is all about through key competences. Designed and developed by the European Commission in 2016, EntreComp is a tool shared and used not only across Europe but around the world. In Belgium, for instance, the impact that EntreComp has is remarkable, as it is reaching target groups in education and beyond. It has attracted the attention of professionals and a large number of attendees at various workshops that have been organised through European projects. Digital Firefly partner Bantani Education is an entrepreneurial education non-profit based in Belgium, here they explore some of the ways that EntreComp is being embedded at home.
The Belgian perspective
Belgium is somewhat unique among European countries in that public services are largely split between the French-speaking and Flemish-speaking communities, along with a smaller German-speaking community. Both Wallonia and Flanders have already begun to implement entrepreneurial education and the EntreComp framework on a local and regional level in different ways. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting projects and companies are developing these key life skills.
Entrepreneurship in Wallonia
The Government of Wallonia has designed strategies to strengthen the creation of businesses and to support the development of entrepreneurship in Wallonia. Specifically, the deploying digital pedagogy in work-study training project aims to improve the quality of work-study training by strengthening the digital skills of learners and trainers with access to equipment, support and resources.
Besides education, SOWALFIN is a government-funded agency that supports the access to finance to MSMEs and self-employed entrepreneurs coordinates a project to strengthen collaboration in the context of business creation and rely on EntreComp.
Finally, as part of the EntreComp Europe project, the EntreComp Belgium Community for French speakers has been established SPW Emploi-Formation, to share practices and events as well as to bring together different actors of the entrepreneurial education environment in Wallonia. You can join the community, as well as the other regional EntreComp communities on Facebook.
Entrepreneurship in Flanders
Entrepreneurship and EntreComp are also taking root in Flanders, the Dutch speaking region of Belgium. Flemish Young Enterprise (VLAJO) is an organisation that pursues the mission in Flemish schools, colleges and universities to develop talent creatively by encouraging students to recognise and develop their strengths, and build bridges between education and business by familiarising students with entrepreneurship from a young age in preparation for the labour market. VLAJO developed. CompassMe, a digital evaluation tool that makes it possible to map students’ entrepreneurial competences. The growth-orientated evaluation tool was developed with simplicity in mind, making it easy for teachers at all levels to adapt in their classrooms.
Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) is a government agency, charged with implementing the economic and enterprise policy in Flanders, the Dutch speaking region of Belgium. It helps companies with the startup of their activities, the grow and continuity of their business, but also with the search for the right location, information on permits, financing, investments in innovation and ecological technologies, and other topics. VLAIO is already using EntreComp competences across its various programmes.
At Thomas Moore University in Mechelen, the concepts are embedded into various courses at an institutional level. One of the key players in this is Filip Burgelman. Originally trained in architecture, he gradually discovered that designing education became his most important motivation, to create things as a professional . His currently focuses on designing learning tracks on entrepreneurial competences, but also virtual mobility, lifelong learning, future employ ability skills and the Sustainable Development Goals.
A model to replicate
Digital Firefly looks to identify and address the challenges teachers and educators face in developing entrepreneurial competences in post-pandemic education, taking a special consideration for digital tools and resources. The strategies at various levels in Belgium offer a view into the successful implementation of EntreComp on a regional level, something that the project partners will hope to achieve as the project continues towards training and support for teachers and educators.
Do you know of any projects or organisations that are actively working with EntreComp or entrepreneurship? Why not send us an email to let us know more.
Written by Maria A. and Megan R.
Bantani Education, Belgium