What impact do mini-companies have on students, schools and society as a whole? How to increase the amount of students who participate in mini-companies? What kind of hindrances and drivers can we identify?

Eastern Norway Research Institute (ENRI) will the next three years be leading the research part of the project ‘Innovation Cluster for Entrepreneurship Education’. In this education policy experiment, 20 secondary schools in Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Italy and Latvia will participate in a 27-month field trial using mini-companies. Mini-companies, also called pupil enterprises, are cited as highly effective practical entrepreneurial experiences for School.

European Commission

The project is assigned by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ program. The main partner in the consortium is Junior Achievement – Young Enterprise Europe (JA-YE) and they are responsible for the practical implementation. About 270,000 students participate annually in the Company Programme. 14 partner organizations cooperate in the project, and ENRI will collaborate with Strossmayer University in Croatia and the Foundation for Entrepreneurship-Young Enterprise in Denmark on the research bit.

ENRI has conducted twenty national and international projects on entrepreneurship education over the past decade. The research group of ‘Innovation Cluster for Entrepreneurship Education’ will be led by Research Professor Vegard Johansen. He is a leading European scholar in this field, having published more refereed works than any other on entrepreneurship education in secondary education.

Entrepreneurship education

“The approval of the project is a great acknowledgement for the practical work of JA-YE, and it is a great recognition for the research on entrepreneurship education done at ENRI. ENRI and NIFU has just finished a five year research project that investigated the results of the Norwegian national strategy on entrepreneurship education, and one of the aims was to look at learning outcomes from mini-companies. Conducting studies in five countries and using a robust research design, we expect to learn more about the impact of mini companies”, says Johansen.

‘Innovation Cluster for Entrepreneurship Education’ starts February 1st 2015 and runs until 2018.

Norway takes part in the EU programs for research and innovation (Horizon 2020) and education and youth (Erasmus+). These programs are important tools for the quality of European and Norwegian research and education. The total budget for Erasmus+ is 15 billion euros over 7 years (2014 to 2020).

Learn more:

Vegard Johansen and Liv Anne Støren recently published a book called Entreprenørskapsutdanning i Norge (in Norwegian).

Link to a selection of articles by Vegard Johansen.

You can read more at ICEEs site here.