Of the 30.6 million people who were self-employed in EU in 2013, only 9.6 million were women and 774 000 were youth. Eurostat and GEM data show that two-thirds of young people and women in EU believe they do not have the knowledge or skills to start a business. The report “Entrepreneurship in higher education, especially within non-business studies” confirms that the lack of entrepreneurship skills is one of the most significant barriers to business creation. It also emphasizes that the majority of entrepreneurship courses are offered in business and economic studies, so in fact most students have no possibility of taking part in entrepreneurial courses and programs.
Investing in entrepreneurship education is one of the highest return investments Europe can make, the Entrepreneurship Action Plan 2020 stresses.
There is a clear evidence that the gender gap in social entrepreneurship is smaller in social entrepreneurship than the one in traditional, commercial entrepreneurship, because women are generally more altruistic and socially minded than men, and are more likely to found or manage an enterprise that has a social mission. (“Woman’s Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation”, OECD, 2015).
OPEN MIND is an innovative project which brings top expertise from partners in five countries. It is complementary to other projects, carried out by the partners for ERASMUS and other funding programs.
One of the key benefits of this project is that it targets disadvantaged communities (women and young people, especially from non-business studies) that are to a large extent excluded from the entrepreneurship system. The gamified social entrepreneurship course will be available for free in 5 languages – English, Bulgarian, Greek, Polish and Turkish and will be tailored for the needs of students and female learners from diverse background. The gamification will provide a unique and memorable experiential learning environment, in which students will develop entrepreneurship knowledge and entrepreneurial skills and mindset at the same time.
As far as the partners’ research has shown – at the moment of application there are no other similar platforms for these target groups, using the same approach and methodology in the partners countries. Moreover, the expertise involved in this project is tremendous. Lead professors from five countries, coupled with representatives of business and new technologies will bring this project to a great successs.