Getting entrepreneurial spirit into our schools

The most important places for learning - including learning about business - are our schools. They are educating tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action therefore encourages schools to create space and attention for business themes in classroom teaching. The aim is to lead school students towards business life as early as possible. The website “Entrepreneurial Spirit in Schools” wishes to provide examples and encourage people to venture into business.

Support in the classroom

It is still rare to find business studies taught at German schools. But it is important for school students to learn how to think and act like an entrepreneur, no matter whether they go into business or not in later life.

To help teachers integrate business theory and practice into their classes in a stimulating way, the website offers information on projects and contact points, materials, and online training courses. Also, the Economic Affairs Ministry has developed practical teaching aids. The information and materials provide ideas for classroom teaching and entrepreneurship projects. For example, the website sets up contacts with business people, e.g. in business plan games like business@school or school bankers. Another practical classroom project could be to have school students set up companies and develop business ideas.

Information, games and projects for school students

School students themselves can use the “Entrepreneurial Spirit in Schools” platform to work on business topics. The site has a dedicated section for young people. It offers specially prepared information as well as, for example, the online entrepreneurship game “Be Boss” and business projects for school students to help them approach business topics in an entertaining way. A special highlight here is the Schüler-Business-Award, in which prizes go to the best business projects by school students in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

The group of initiatives

A large number of initiatives have been brought together under the umbrella of the Economic Affairs Ministry. The group of initiatives entitled “Entrepreneurial Spirit in Schools” consists of a number of projects and initiatives:

JUNIOR, business@school an initiative of The Boston Consulting Group, Jugend gründet, Deutscher Gründerpreis für Schüler, Schul/Banker, TheoPrax, Deutsche Kinder- und Jugendstiftung (Fachnetzwerk Schülerfirmen der DKJS, Lab2Venture), NEBS, Ifex, Ideen machen Schule, Achievers International, NFTE, Bildungswerk der Bayerischen Wirtschaft e. V., Wissensfabrik, cooperatives of school students.

The members of this group of initiatives aim to strengthen the culture of entrepreneurship in Germany and safeguard it for the future. To this end, they foster and develop entrepreneurial thinking and acting. Young people are particularly receptive to new ideas, and want to make their ideas happen. “Entrepreneurial Spirit in Schools” provides a platform for this.

The initiatives help teachers by

  • organising and managing competitions between school students, companies set up by school students and other business-related projects,
  • setting up contacts with the business community,
  • providing extra classroom materials,
  • organising talks and excursions.

The school students are encouraged

  • to be bold and creative, to learn about their own interests and abilities,
  • to develop and build social skills,
  • to assume responsibility in companies of school students,
  • to discover how business works in an exciting way,
  • to try out their own business ideas.

The “Entrepreneurial Spirit in Schools” initiative does not aim to make as many school students as possible feel that they ought to set up their own company in later life. Rather, the aim is to foster creativity, responsibility and social skills. Learning by doing.