HARIOLF-GYMNASIUM ELLWANGEN

 Partnerschule für Europa

 Bilinguale Schule

 voneinander - miteinander - füreinander

 

COMENIUS-Project "Promoting International Business Initative in the Youth"

Project Description (Summary)

Mix entrepreneurship, international trade, and foreign language learning opportunities. That is our project.

During the development of the association our students will set up and manage their own company. Pupils of the first partner will set up a mini company in their classroom whose initial contribution will be 10 €; in addition they will have to start commercial relationships with the mini-company created by the second partner.

The outcome will be the commercialization of the imported products in the local market. After this, the outcomes will be analyzed and benefits will be distributed between the members as if it was a real company. A percentage of the benefits, which should be decided between the partners of the company, must be donated to a NGO.

The commercial relationship between the two cooperatives will be developed in the following periods:

  • Start-up the company and design a good corporate image: logotype, estatute, organize the team, define tasks and share responsibilities, etc.
  • Communicate with their partner school (mail, facebook, web, blogs)
  •  Seek sources of funding.
  •  Design a catalogue of products.The catalogue will include typical products of each country; in this way cultural exchange will be potentiated. 
  • Negotiate, deliver and recieve orders. When the students will visit the partner country, they will carry the products ordered by the partner company. 
  • Sell imports. The students will request the authorities to sell the products imported in their local market.

 Analyse results and close the Company.

Motivation

Since 2008 Europe has been suffering the effects of the most severe economic crisis it has seen in 50 years: for the first time in Europe there are over 25 million unemployed. To bring Europe back to growth and higher levels of employment, Europe needs more entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a powerful driver of economic growth and job creation. However, since 2004, the share of people preferring self-employment to being an employee has dropped in 23 out of the 27 EU Member States. While three years ago for 45% of Europeans self-employment was their first choice, now this percentage is down to 37%. By contrast in the USA and China this proportion is much higher: 51% and 56% respectively. Moreover, when new enterprises are founded, they grow more slowly in the EU than in the USA or emerging countries, and fewer of them join the ranks of the world's largest firms.

Generally would-be entrepreneurs in Europe find themselves in a tough environment: education does not offer the right foundation for an entrepreneurial career, there is also a widespread culture that does not recognise or reward entrepreneurial endeavours enough and does not celebrate successful entrepreneurs, as role models who create jobs and income. To make entrepreneurship the growth engine of our economy Europe needs a thorough, far-reaching cultural change. We must work on ensuring that being an entrepreneur is an attractive prospect for Europeans.

Within this context we suggest a bilateral association project whereby pupils will approach to the business world. Surveys suggest that between 15% and 20% of students who participate in a minicompany programme in secondary school will later start their own company, a figure that is about three to five times that for the general population. Whether or not they go on to found businesses or social enterprises, young people who benefit from entrepreneurial learning, develop business knowledge  and  essential skills and attitudes  including  creativity, initiative, tenacity, teamwork, understanding of risk and a sense of responsibility. This is the entrepreneurial mind-set that helps entrepreneurs transform ideas into action and also significantly increases employability.

In addition, entrepreneurship is a key competence in the European Framework, and an action in both the recent Rethinking Education Commission Communication. The role of entrepreneurship as an instrument to improve employability levels is also stressed in the Annual Growth Survey 2013. A number of Member States have successfully introduced national strategies for entrepreneurship education or made entrepreneurial learning a mandatory part of curricula, but more is needed. Education should be brought to life through practical experiential learning models and experience of real-world entrepreneurs.  This is, indeed, the main target of our project.

The project included in this application will offer students the chance to develop, in a real context, skills and attitudes, such as initiative, decision-making, creativity and teamwork. At the same time they will become familiar with basic concepts regarding the creation and management of companies. Additionally, our project provides students with the chance to learn about and come into contact with institutions, entities and companies in their local area.

In short, setting up our project contribute to develop enterprising initiative, essential skill in the education of our pupils, due the fact that it implies the growth of qualities such as self-confidence, creativity, enterprising motivation and innovative sense. Undoubtedly these qualities will train our students to give a better answer to the specific interests related with their academic and professional future.

Project Objectives

The main objectives we would like to achive with the development of our project are:

  1. To promote entrepreneurship in Secondary Education with a strong international dimension, through the implementation of a set of knowledge, skills and attitudes.
  2. To provide the students basic knowledge in order to set up and manage a company through a real and practical experience.

  3. To give education a global dimension by encouraging cooperation between students and teachers who come from different international schools and reaching out to the local business community.

  4. To give an opportunity to communicate in a foreign language and learn about different cultures.

  5. To create a extensive international network of student-run mini-companies exchanging information, catalogues and products
     
  6. To develope learning environments in order to promote enterprise, creativity and innovation between students and teachers.
  7. To promote relationships between schools and companies, as an approach to the working world.
  8. To demonstrate that self- employment is an alternative to another kinds of work.
  9. To support initial and ongoing formation of teachers, trainers and another schools regarding these aspects.
  10. All these objectives try to give an answer to one of the most important current problems: unemployment, since our challenge is to contribute to lower unemployment rate in Europe by promoting self-employment.

Particularly concerning is the situation in Spain, where unemployment rate is the highest in Europe, whose youth unemployment rate exceeds 40%.

In order to achieve our objectives, we propose a methodology based on practical experience where students will have the opportunity to display a wide array of social, personal and business skills. The students will set up a real mini company with real money and will buy and sell real products. The point is to approach them as much as possible to a real commercial relationship between two members of the European Union. We seeks to turn students into the real protagonists of their learning so that they become active The main objectives we would like to achive with the development of our project are:

  1. To promote entrepreneurship in Secondary Education with a strong international dimension, through the implementation of a set of knowledge, skills and attitudes.
  2. To provide the students basic knowledge in order to set up and manage a company through a real and practical experience.
  3. To give education a global dimension by encouraging cooperation between students and teachers who come from different international schools and reaching out to the local business community.
  4. To give an opportunity to communicate in a foreign language and learn about different cultures.
  5. To create a extensive international network of student-run mini-companies exchanging information, catalogues and products
  6. To develop learning environments in order to promote enterprise, creativity and innovation between students and teachers.
  7. To promote relationships between schools and companies, as an approach to the working world.
  8. To demonstrate that self- employment is an alternative to another kinds of work.
  9. To support initial and ongoing formation of teachers, trainers and another schools regarding these aspects.

All these objectives try to give an answer to one of the most important current problems: unemployment, since our challenge is to contribute to lower unemployment rate in Europe by promoting self- employment.

Particularly concerning is the situation in Spain, where unemployment rate is the highest in Europe, whose youth unemployment rate exceeds 40%.

In order to achieve our objectives, we propose a methodology based on practical experience where students will have the opportunity to display a wide array of social, personal and business skills. The students will set up a real mini company with real money and will buy and sell real products. The point is to approach them as much as possible to a real commercial relationship between two members of the European Union. We seeks to turn students into the real protagonists of their learning so that they become active citizens at personal, community and professional level, enterprising people capable of generating ideas and turning them into action.

 

European Added Value

The European Union project came to be as an attempt to leave behind the military conflicts that arose in Europe at the beginning of the XX century. Nowadays, 50 years later the European Union has achieved goals that probably surpass the imagination of the masterminds behind the project.

Nevertheless, although a lot of formal progress has been achieved (single market, common institutions and same currency) most European citizens don´t feel part of the same community.  A present, too many cultural and economic differences persist and it is possible to argue that the Union is a project devised by and for politicians without taking people into account. Furthermore, it can be viewed as a mere artificial sum of nations in which each one just cares for its individual needs.

The proposal we put forward has the aim to get a group of 50 Europeans, between the ages of 15 and 17, to properly experience the meaning of being a European Citizen. 

The contribution our bilateral partnership makes towards the European integration has two main aspects:

     1. To check up and assess whether the Single Market is properly working or not:

From the first of January 1993, Europe has been a borderless territory in which free movement of goods, people, services and capital is guaranteed. Our students will evaluate the viability of this statement. Firstly, because one of the main tasks the students will have to engage in will be the exchange of products between the two associated countries so they can afterwards sell those products in the visited country. Finally, they will also be aware of to what extent the free movement of people is a fact, when they realize that they can travel across countries just with their Identity Card.

  2. Contribute to the Employment Creation in the European Union:

In 2012 the unemployment rate escalated in Europe to over an 11%. Countries like Greece or Spain have peaked over the 26%. Facts are worse if we look at the data concerning people under 25, for example in Spain unemployment for this age sector reached 55%. In such a harsh background, our proposal will encourage the entrepreneurship of 50 young Europeans. It will also create a small business which they will have to manage in order to gain money. Without any doubt, our proposal will provide our students an alternative to unemployment; self-employment.

To sum up, two specific contributions that will assist in the foundations of a better and closer European Union The European Union project came to be as an attempt to leave behind the military conflicts that arose in Europe at the beginning of the XX century. Nowadays, 50 years later the European Union has achieved goals that probably surpass the imagination of the masterminds behind the project.

Nevertheless, although a lot of formal progress has been achieved (single market, common institutions and same currency) most European citizens don´t feel part of the same community.  A present, too many cultural and economic differences persist and it is possible to argue that the Union is a project devised by and for politicians without taking people into account. Furthermore, it can be viewed as a mere artificial sum of nations in which each one just cares for its individual needs.

The proposal we put forward has the aim to get a group of 50 Europeans, between the ages of 15 and 17, to properly experience the meaning of being a European Citizen. 

The contribution our bilateral partnership makes towards the European integration has two main aspects:

  1. To check up and assess whether the Single Market is properly working or not:
    From the first of January 1993, Europe has been a borderless territory in which free movement of goods, people, services and capital is guaranteed. Our students will evaluate the viability of this statement. Firstly, because one of the main tasks the students will have to engage in will be the exchange of products between the two associated countries so they can afterwards sell those products in the visited country. Finally, they will also be aware of to what extent the free movement of people is a fact, when they realize that they can travel across countries just with their Identity Card.
  2. Contribute to the Employment Creation in the European Union:
    In 2012 the unemployment rate escalated in Europe to over an 11%. Countries like Greece or Spain have peaked over the 26%. Facts are worse if we look at the data concerning people under 25, for example in Spain unemployment for this age sector reached 55%. In such a harsh background, our proposal will encourage the entrepreneurship of 50 young Europeans. It will also create a small business which they will have to manage in order to gain money. Without any doubt, our proposal will provide our students an alternative to unemployment; self-employment.

To sum up, two specific contributions that will assist in the foundations of a better and closer European Union.

Impact

International cooperation between schools provides opportunities to be aware, discuss and compare different cultures, traditions and ways of thinking and doing.Nevertheless, enterprise education is about far more than encouraging young people to start their own business. Enterprise education is an opportunity to foster a specific mindset that can be potentially applied to the rest of their life, study and work. Our schools are aware of that, that is why we propose a bilateral association regarding entrepeneurship by which we expect to generate several impacts that we can classify in these areas:

For the students

Cognitions & emotions: Start-up knowledge, self-confidence, friendship, decision making, teamwork, solidarity.

Citizenship: Students learn about what the European Union is, what it does, how it works and how it affects individuals and companies. Single market, single currency, Schengen could be possible topics of discussion. Our project is a good opportunity to reinforce the sense of European citizenship.

Foreign language: Besides normal communication, students will design a phrasebook with entrepreneurship related terms in both languages.

Culture: From an entrepreneurial point of view a good knowledge of your partner culture paves the way for success. Identifying common interests such as music, food, leisure and spotting the differences are definitely good ice-breakers to build a strong partnership.

Environment: Environmental regulations and concerns may differ from one country to the other so there is plenty of room for discussion. Shipping products to faraway destinations poses a threat to the environment. Can we avoid it or minimise it? What about recycling?

Geography/History: Basic information about your country, area or town helps partners to know who you are.

Economy & Business: Cost of living, business culture, job search or start-up regulations.

For the organization:

Challenge: Our schools will cope with a challenge that will require new abilities development.  A shift in perspective: Our schools will change from a national point of view to an international point of view.

Collective international effort:. Setting up our association requires implication of all the members of the educational community, what leads to a coordination effort which undoubtedly will improve the way our school works.

 

Dieses Projekt wurde mit Unterstützung der Europäischen Kommission finanziert. Die Verantwortung für den Inhalt dieser Veröffentlichung trägt allein der Verfasser; die Kommission haftet nicht für die weitere Verwendung der darin enthaltenen Angaben.

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