This category recognises initiatives at national, regional or local level that promote an entrepreneurial mindset especially among young people and women. The 2022 winner is the Project from Poland Entrepreneurial Kids by the Municipality of Lublin.
Entrepreneurial Kids is an economic education programme that supports creativity and stimulates entrepreneurial skills among children aged 6-10. The aim of the project is to shape entrepreneurial attitudes and develop among children the skills that will be sought in the labour market which, in turn, contribute to the development of their professional careers. The project is innovative not only in the region but also in Poland.
How did you first hear about the European Enterprise Promotion Awards competition and why did you decide to enter?
We learned about the competition for the first time from the website of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology in Poland. We felt that our project was unique and could become an inspiration for other institutions, and so we started looking for ways to present it to a wider audience.
How did you prepare your application?
The project is carried out in cooperation between the Lublin City Hall and the Maria Skłodowska-Curie University. The division of roles and responsibilities for the various components of the project, at a later stage, made it possible to comprehensively describe all the activities that we proposed for the project participants in the competition form. The role of the Lublin City Hall was, e.g., to coordinate work related to the recruiting and cooperating with business representatives, while Maria Curie-Skłodowska University was responsible for contacting the schools and subsequently conducting theoretical activities introducing our participants to issues related to entrepreneurship. Based on these inputs we very carefully filled out the form. Moreover, we attached various graphics and short videos related to our project to the application. We tried to describe the activities undertaken objectively and fairly and to highlight their strengths (such as their capacity for innovation).
What do you think made your application standout?
The application referred to the good energy of the project, its assumptions and achievements so far. It also took the international cooperation into account. Since the first edition, our project has involved strong cooperation between local government and academics as well as business communities, and a focus on practical competences that will give our participants the confidence to learn about their future careers. Educating entrepreneurship, stimulating creativity and inspiring action from an early age are tasks with which we identify and believe are a good direction for the development of our city. In addition, the international dimension of the project and the implementation of the project in Ukraine and some components in the UK, are elements that have completed our project.
What was it like to win the award?
Winning the award gave us a lot of motivation to act. We were glad that Entrepreneurial Kids project was appreciated at European level. We are pleased that the Commission shares our concern for the development of our youngest citizens, all the more so as entrepreneurship education and the acquisition of the so-called competences of tomorrow is a time-consuming and multi-stage process. Winning the award has also enabled us to establish new international contacts that can help popularize the project in other countries.
How has winning the award impacted your work so far?
We received many congratulations for the success of the Entrepreneurial Kids project in the international arena. The press wrote about our achievement as the result of our work, which increased our visibility. In addition, we received proposals for cooperation with other European countries as well as from cities from Poland, which are also interested in implementing the assumptions of our project. The implementation of the project and receiving the prize also influenced the professional development of, among others, the academics involved in the project, who thanks to it, were able to take part in competitions organised by the Polish Minister of Education and Science; on the other hand, the project provided an opportunity for representatives of the administration to break down stereotypes about the work of a civil servant.
What are your plans for the future?
We are currently preparing the jubilee 5th edition of the project. We are also planning a nationwide promotional campaign for the project this year and extending the project goals to other groups of Lublin residents. The Entrepreneurial Kids project is just one of the activities we carry out as part of entrepreneurship education, which is why we run the parallel projects ‘Student of the Future’ (“Uczeń przyszłości”) and ‘Entrepreneurial Youth’ (“Przedsiębiorcza młodzież”), which are dedicated to primary and secondary school students, creating a coherent system supporting the development of children and young people, in terms of competences necessary in the labour market. We hope our other projects will achieve similar success to “Entrepreneurial kids”. Furthermore, we will also continue the cooperation with Ukraine and we are in talks with other international partners to implement an idea of Entrepreneurial Kids project.
Why should others enter EEPA 2023? What advice would you give them?
European Enterprise Promotion Awards is a very prestigious competition, which can give you the opportunity to get noticed internationally. EEPA recognises not only large international projects, but also local initiatives that have great potential. The gala event provides an opportunity to network with new partners. It also provides an opportunity to learn about other interesting and valuable projects that could be implemented locally.
Let’s promote the entrepreneurial spirit!
Keep coming back to Promoting Enterprise for more EEPA 2022 winner testimonials and don’t forget to watch their winning moments on our YouTube channel:
Source: European Commission | News (https://bit.ly/3IY5ZlS)