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Partners' Meeting in England - March 2015

The 'Best Practices in Teaching Entrepreneurship and Creating Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Europe' project – part of the Erasmus+ programme – held its second international meeting in England during the second week of March. A total of eleven representatives from the four partnering organisations, The Edward de Bono Institute from the University of Malta, Youth Business Poland, Global Entrepreneurship Week Poland Foundation, and Peace Child International (the UK-based organisation which hosted the event) attended the three-day meeting. Representatives visited nine unique British enterprise initiatives.

The first day of the event involved a sit-down meeting at Peace Child International (PCI) headquarters. PCI representatives first acquainted partners from Poland and Malta with England’s entrepreneurial environment, educational system and key national initiatives that foster job creation, skill-building and enterprise support for young people. Following this introductory presentation, partners discussed the requirements and standards for this project’s final publication and established tentative timelines for deadlines and future meetings.

On the second day of this meeting, the participants went to Cambridge to visit five initiatives, the Future Business Centre, Social Incubator East, The Cambridge Regional College Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, Cambridge University Judge Business School Centre for Social Innovation, and Cambridge HUB. The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy offers young people vocational education (BTEC courses) in enterprise and entrepreneurship and is based in an actual business environment (the Future Business Centre). It applies a ‘learn by doing’ approach with students attending classes, having work placements and setting up their own business. The Judge Business School focuses on education and research in social innovation and social ventures. It also collaborates with The Future Business Centre, which offers business advisors, workspaces, and networking for social enterprises in the area. The Social Incubator East, which is based within the Future Business Centre, incubates social enterprises in the east of England. Our representatives were able to meet some of the Centre’s social entrepreneurs. Cambridge HUB works with students around Cambridge to encourage them to get involved in social enterprise and other activities.

On the final day of this meeting, the representatives went to London to meet with Enabling Enterprise, Rockstar Mentors, RBS’s Inspiring Enterprise and Citrus Saturday. The partners met with the founders of these initiatives for roundtable discussions and presentations. Enabling Enterprise focuses on bringing entrepreneurial and employability skills into public schools around the country by training teachers in its unique framework. Rockstar Mentors connects new entrepreneurs with highly successful business people for expert advice and mentoring. Thanks to subsidies from the British government, Rockstar Mentors is also able to provide free training and mentoring services to young entrepreneurs and has opened a hub for startups that offers a more cost-effective mentoring approach.  In the afternoon, partners visited representatives from RBS’s Inspiring Enterprise programme, which offers funding to organisations that trains potential entrepreneurs as part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility. It also offers one-to-one sessions to aspiring entrepreneurs. The last initiative visited was Citrus Saturday, a growing global initiative run through University College London in the UK, which encourages children and young people set up lemonade stands to learn about business. Citrus Saturday provides these kids with the training and tools they need as well as information for potential organisers.



What the participants say

The meeting in the UK was intense and exciting.  We had the opportunity to witness nine different initiatives over two days. As educators and participants in national collaborations promoting entrepreneurship we were eager to learn and network with other organisations involved in disseminating entrepreneurship. The initiatives encourage an entrepreneurial mindset with different groups – from young learners to aspiring entrepreneurs. We were particularly impressed with the focus on ventures with a social vision as opposed to an exclusive preoccupation with profit-making.  


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