For many years, the development and promotion of entrepreneurship education has been a key policy objective for the EU and Member states. In May and August of 2021, Muova piloted training materials for the Erasmus+-funded ParENTRepreneurs project. ParENTrepreneurs trains parents[i] to impart an entrepreneurial spirit and skills to their children.
The entrepreneurial spirit is innovative, flexible, resilient and creative. It embraces play, experimentation and problem-solving. The ParENTrepreneurs training aims to develop traits in children that will serve them well in their professional careers and life in general. Entrepreneurship skills are not always taught in school, and importantly, the ParENTrepreneurs training emphasizes the role a parent or guardian plays in their children’s development.
The project has gone through a pilot phase of testing the training materials in the partner countries. Modules are available now for self-study in English, Finnish, Italian and Spanish with free registration.
ParENTrepreneurs project features:
- Peer-reviewed materials
- Project takes a dynamic, user-needs approach
- Participatory approach involving target groups
- Innovative, interactive TTD methodology (Take-up, Transform and Design new solutions)
- Workshops follow principle ‘’tell me, I forget; show me, and I will remember; involve me and I will understand’’ to boost take-up
- Framework aligned with the European Commission’s Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (EntreComp).[ii]
- Four levels (foundation, intermediate, advanced, expert) of parents’ potential to become a successful facilitator
- Each competence is defined and explains hard and soft skills, attitudes and knowledge that pertains to the skill
- Illustrative practical experiences/ training actions to be applied to every day life in family context
- Project partners collected best practices from existing European projects and case studies of entrepreneurship education in non-formal learning environments to explore useful characteristics and how they have been successfully implemented.
ParENTrepeuners competences and pilot training:
From lending a hand in cooking a meal to learning how to compound interest on a bank account, children learn many life skills at home and moreover they are imprinted with their parents’ and caregivers’ attitudes towards learning life skills, interpersonal communication, perseverance, experimentation, ethics, etc. Allowing children to learn by doing, practicing, making mistakes and trying again, and again, helps children to develop independence, self-confidence, and resilience. ParENTrepreneurs modules build on competences relating to everyday parenting. Training activities help caregivers identify beliefs and parenting styles so that they can become more mindful of the messages they give their children and more consciously develop positive qualities, such as resilience, that will serve their children well throughout life. The flexible activities can be adapted to account for cultural and personal differences.
Piloting of the ParENTrepreneurs training was held in Finland in May and August 2021. Sessions were held on a video conferencing platform because the global COVID-19 pandemic prevented in-person group meetings. Even on this virtual platform, participants in May were able to connect and bond while self-reflecting and learning. The training in August had fewer attendees and was condensed from six meetings to two and did not allow time for the relationship-building that had developed organically, particularly in the English-speaking group, in May. Feedback in August from the one participant who attended both days indicated a desire to both have more time and to discuss with other parent-participants.
Participants in May 2021 gave feedback that they appreciated the opportunity to discuss their own parenting with other parents and to develop self-awareness and self-reflection. One participant wrote “The best part was the practical problem-solving model as well as discussions with others.” Another similarly wrote that the best part of a session was their “Self-realization as a parent. Sharing of experiences and suggestions from other participants.” (ParENTrepreurs Finland pilot training session evaluation form, May 2021)
In response to an evaluation question about the best part of the session, one participant singled out “The ‘Activities’. They are drawn from real life experiences of people and can be easily related to, thus making one think deeper about such things that are often seen as part of daily life and taken for granted.” (ParENTrepreurs Finland pilot training session evaluation form, May 2021)
One participant described that in a session “Theory and reflection were, in my opinion, well balanced.” Another liked “The multifaceted approach to the topic; seeing creativity as polar; the strong affect of time management on, for example, concentration and motivation.” Participants also praised the “Thought-provoking content” and “Questions that provoke discussion and thoughts.” (ParENTrepreurs Finland pilot training session evaluation form, May 2021)
ParENTrepreneurs training is delivered in 6 themed modules:
|(1) Parenting, Family dynamics and an entrepreneurial mindset
|Learning through experiences Financial Literacy Ethical & sustainable thinking including problem solving
|(2) Spotting opportunities to be entrepreneurial
|Spotting opportunities, Valuing ideas
|(3) Being entrepreneurial in everyday life to foster creative thinking
|Thinking outside the box (creative thinking) Planning & management
|(4) Yourself & others
|Self-awareness & self-efficacy Working with and mobilising others including coaching, mentoring and family life
|(5) Fostering Creativity & Innovative Ideas
|Creativity Motivation & perseverance
|(6) Practise daily problem solving and decision-making
|Problem solving & decision making Coping with uncertainty, ambiguity & risk
A Competence framework for key parENTrepreneurial competences, Training package on parENTrepreneurship education and Social Learning Platform have been created as intellectual outputs for this project. Still to come will be a Handbook for ParENTrepreneurs peer-to-peer scheme (training the trainers) and a Guide to validation and recognition of the programme.
The social aspect of parents sharing with one another proved to be a positive aspect of the May pilot training in Finland. Project partners’ next steps will include creating a handbook for peer-to-peer training so that parents and other caregivers who have completed the ParENTrepreneurs training can share the knowledge with others.
To learn more about the ParENTrepreneurs project and to sign up for the free training materials and open source, web-based Social Learning Platform, go to https://parentrepreneurs.eu/.
Disclaimer: This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] 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.
[i] Whenever the term parent is used in this project, it should be understood to include all individuals involved in raising children regardless of kinship.
[ii] First published in English as EntreComp: The Entrepreneurship Competence Framework ( http://europa.eu/!rq73WN) by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. European Union, 2016. Referenced on September 23, 2021.