The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship is the national knowledge center and focal point for the development of entrepreneurship teaching at all educational levels.
National knowledge centre for entrepreneurship. Support including financial support to the development of entrepreneurial training and education initiatives. The Foundation also offers micro-grants to student entrepreneurs.
Collaboration between the Ministry of Higher Education and Science, Ministry of Culture, Ministry for Children, Education and Gender Equality and Ministry of Business and Growth.
The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship was established in 2010 by an inter-ministerial partnership between four ministries and on the basis of the then government’s overall strategy for entrepreneurship education. In 2012 the strategy was replaced by a new innovation strategy “Denmark - a nation of solutions” which has a set goal for the innovation capacity of all educational levels – a goal which the Foundation still operates to reach in 2016. Fueled by approx. 2.7m € of annual public funding plus several private sponsorships, the Foundation collaborates with ministries, educational institutions, private enterprises, organizations and startup ecosystems to inform, educate and inspire Danes to become entrepreneurs.
The Foundation’s success is measured based on these three core activities:
- Spreading entrepreneurship education: The goal is for pupils and students to meet entrepreneurship at least once at every education level. That is, at least once during (a) first years, intermediate level and final years of primary school; (b) upper secondary education; (c) and higher and further education
- Quality: The goal is to enhance the quality of entrepreneurship education. The Foundation assesses this by measuring the number of teachers who have been certified through a continuing or further education and training within entrepreneurship teaching.
- Catalyzing activities: The goal is to increase the knowledge about and create more catalyzing activities. A measurable indicator for this is to look at the number of students who start up their own business during, and shortly after finishing, their education.
The impact of the Foundation is measured each academic year. These figures are from the latest scorecard for 2014/15:
- +100.000 pupils from primary schools, +100.000 students from upper secondary education, and +38.000 students from further education participated in a course or program related to entrepreneurship.
- +2.500 teachers from primary schools, +1.700 teachers from upper secondary education, and +800 teachers/professors further training in entrepreneurship education.
Research and experience indicate that quality of entrepreneurial training is vital. To optimize benefits of entrepreneurial training you will need to focus on the skills of trainers and the pedagogical tools, but also on effect assessment, evaluation and testing.
Input indicators (skills of trainers and quality of tool, exams etc.) and output indicators (benefit and learnings of the individual student) are important - and hard to identify.
The success of the present efforts is a.o. due to the systematic approach based on analysiss and developments/improvements based on knowledge.
Background of policy, in the context of country’s situation, existing policy framework, etc.
The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship adds extra value to Denmark’s large and publicly funded well-developed educational system, which is freely available to all citizens, through courses, publications and programs designed for target groups across all educational levels. Thus, the foundation was set up to strengthen, facilitate and coordinate the development of pupils and students’ entrepreneurial skillset from primary school to PhD in order to increase the quality of future startups and, ultimately, create more prosperous ventures.
Private sector implementing partners, or other involvement
The Foundation is financed through a mix of governmental and private funds. The private funds come from a range of different sponsorships covering many different parts of the business sector and a wide range of large and small companies. Moreover, many individuals contribute with their competences and experience to the Foundation’s different activities, e.g. startups competitions etc.
The Foundation is a based on a board of management and a board of representatives, where business and industry, the education sector, and the trade unions are represented along with a Partnership for innovation and entrepreneurship in educations consisting of the Ministry of Business and Growth, the Ministry for Children, Education and Gender Equality, the Ministry of Culture, and the Ministry for Higher Education and Science.
The Foundations’ English website.
This document serves to describe how the Danish Government has organized its entrepreneurship efforts in order to reach all educational institutions in Denmark. Special attention is given to the kind of relationship which has been built across Danish ministries and between the Partnership and the Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship – Young Enterprise. The document can be used as a source of inspiration for other governments who would like to strengthen their focus on entrepreneurship education.