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Major research initiative to measure impact of entrepreneurship education

Brussels, 05 June 2015

Over the next two years a research project led by JA Europe, will test the impact of 50% penetration of entrepreneurship education among students (aged 15-20) in 5 countries across Europe. Students from 20 schools in Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Italy and Latvia, will participate in the ‘mini-company’ programme and gain a practical entrepreneurship experience. Using control groups and quantitative and qualitative research methods, the Innovation Cluster for Entrepreneurship Education (ICEE) project will analyse student learning outcomes and societal impact.


Led by JA Europe, the project includes Ministry partners from Belgium (Flanders), Estonia, Finland, Italy and Latvia, and the respective JA organizations of each country. Research is being led by the Eastern Norway Research Institute in collaboration with The Foundation for Entrepreneurship – Young Enterprise Denmark and Josip Juraj Strossmayer from the University in Croatia.

On 3-4 June, the ICEE kick-off conference gathered over 70 partner representatives and European policy stakeholders to discuss the next steps of project implementation. The 2-day conference included speakers from both the European Commission and European Parliament. Rodrigo Ballester, Member of Cabinet for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport at the European Commission expressed his support for ICEE, recalling “entrepreneurship education can play a crucial role in developing soft skills,” an important know-how for all working environments.

Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA Europe shared, “Entrepreneurship education has progressed so very far in the last decade. If we don’t push hard on increasing penetration rates at school level, and set more ambitious goals in national strategies, we won’t achieve the critical mass necessary for long-term socio-economic impact. In a way, this project about the legacy of thousands of civil servants, teachers and school directors who have been frontrunners. Their work has led us here and I am confident that this research will give us insights we have not had before.”

ICEE also aims to develop a best-practice ‘progression model’ illustrating the implementation path of entrepreneurship education from primary school to high school, resulting from in-depth analysis of ‘innovation clusters’. The developed path will reflect the in-depth analysis of ‘innovation clusters,’ which includes national strategies, content and tools, teacher training, and assessment.

Closing the conference, MEP Silvia Costa, Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) for the European Parliament, offered her support for the project by saying that she would consider the outputs of this project and JA Europe initiatives in upcoming Parliament activities surrounding entrepreneurship education. She continued by saying, “We are in a new generation of policies and have to deal with very large unemployment and lack of skills – we need to take this opportunity, because if not now when?”

ICEE project results will be published on a rolling basis until the project’s close in January 2018.


About JA Europe

JA Europe is Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes, reaching 3.2 million students in 39 countries. JA Europe brings the public and private sectors together to provide young people in primary and secondary schools and early university with high-quality education programmes to teach them about enterprise, entrepreneurship, business and economics in a practical way. The JA Company Programme is recognised by the European Commission Enterprise Directorate General as a ‘Best Practice in Entrepreneurship Education’.


For further information, please contact:

Veronica Mobilio
Senior Manager for Education Development
JA Europe
+32 2 893 4432

Marie Hargitt
JA Communications
+32 2 893 4436

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