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Principals are the best ambassadors for Entrepreneurship Education in European schools

Minna Melleri, EE-Hub Director

While more and more students across Europe have a hands-on experience while at school, many still do not have the opportunity. Headmasters and principals play a key role in the uptake and development of entrepreneurship education within their schools and the broader education systems. Recent research from Finland tells us what tools and methodologies make a difference.


The more trainings, the better

In their study about head teachers managing entrepreneurship education, Ruskovaara et al. (2016) explored the background characteristics of principals. The results suggest that the management of entrepreneurship education is dependent on the training received, irrespective of the principal's gender, business experience or work experience. This shows that we can improve entrepreneurial practices through training principals rather than waiting for younger generations to take over. The principals’ role as entrepreneurial education promoters significantly increases from primary to secondary school, when activities are more structured.

Networks, tools and methodologies

A study by Hämäläinen, Ruskovaara and Pihkala (2018) looks into the  Principals Promoting Entrepreneurship Education: The Relationship between Development Activities and School Practices.   

The findings reveal a positive effect of principals’ training for entrepreneurship education on the development of entrepreneurship education. Providing principals with models, tools and information on available resources has a direct positive effect on their efforts to develop entrepreneurship education.

The importance of collaborating with businesses

Research by Kaarina Sommarström, Elena Ruskovaara and Timo Pihkala (2017) on company visits as an opportunity for entrepreneurial learning shows that depending on the way company visits are organised, the learning possibilities are vast. For example, when students plan, design and implement the entire company visit, the entrepreneurial learning potential is significant.

All these findings, including additional research from Hämäläinen, Ruskovaara and Pihkala stress the importance of increasing the quantity of training in entrepreneurship education for educators and especially principals.


These articles are available in the Entrepreneurship Education Monitor, an initiative from the EE-HUB. The EE-HUB is an  expert network bringing together European and national governments, businesses, NGOs, researchers and educators to collaborate and share knowledge on entrepreneurship education.

Category : EE-HUB.EU Posted : 3 February 2020 13:41 UTC
About the Author
Minna Melleri, EE-Hub Director

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