Small businesses in European regions – step by step

… is the title of our new Erasmus+ project. Now, there is good news: our project proposal has been approved, and four schools from Noto in Italy, Suchy Las in Poland, Eskilstuna in Sweden, and Leer in Germany will have the opportunity to carry out this project together.

To see what it is about, here is the project summary:

12- to 16-year-old pupils at four European schools offering high standards of education will be encouraged to discover the world of economics from the situation in their region to a European scale. In the course of a three-year project conducted by four schools from Poland, Germany, Italy, and Sweden they will not only widen their sense of economic processes, but also develop personal and social competences beyond the scope of curricular activities, as well as gain a wider perspective of processes on a European and global scale. Additionally, working on this project, a sense of togetherness in a common European home will be created.

We intend to carry out a project that aims at enhancing the understanding of economics as being one of the most influential factors in their own lives as well as those of regional and national populations, even reaching a European dimension.

In view of this, the integration of economics into secondary school education offers opportunities to enhance key competences particularly of young people, such as the understanding of economic processes, foreign languages, ICT and digital skills, as well as social skills, such as personal initiative, ability and willingness to work in a team, perseverance, and respect for cultural and economic differences. These objectives are to be seen in the context of the ET 2020 strategy to support and advance these key competences for European citizens.

The project comprises six stages from the discovery of processes in the pupils’ living environment, a SWOT analysis of this, and creating a business plan, to designing a simulation on the opening and running a small business, the evaluation of this, and, finally, producing and distributing a guidebook on this procedure.

The project activities will be monitored constantly and evaluated during each phase, ensuring a progress congruent with our objectives and plans, and the intermediate findings will be made available on a project website. Two transnational project meetings will ensure the proper conduct of the project activities and form the base for appropriate evaluation and report activities.

Means of communication will be established using eTwinning, in particular allowing for an access to the intermediate and final products at all stages and for a forum in which the pupils can communicate their ideas and findings.

With the outcomes of our project we intend to create an awareness for the opportunites young people have on regional and global markets and provide incentives for them to follow further education to gain better qualifications, to widen their skills, to protect them from decisions about leaving school prematurely and by doing this, to lower the unemployment rate of young people in the regions and, thus, all over Europe.

This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.