We always talk about the importance of education. We always consider ways of improving education quality. We all are aware of the vital roles of 21st-century skills. We all want a better future for the world.
In order to achieve these, we should let young people find their ways with their own life experiences. Opportunities should be created for them to discover and improve their entrepreneurship skills and schools should support those who build the world of the future instead of guiding. But how?
Building entrepreneurial mindsets and capacity among young people with digital insight is one of the highest priorities of the “rethinking education” agenda of the EU Commission. So young students have to meet with the world of business and entrepreneurship. Schools’ role is to create such entrepreneurial orientation linked to an open schooling perspective, in which the school and the students collaborate in real-life settings.
When it comes to Vocational Education and Training(VET), things get a bit more complex. Due to the “Work-Based Learning” model, VET centers already have connections with the business world. However, in terms of eco-systems of entrepreneurship, relations are not strong but mostly ad-hoc links. It is challenging for schools and teachers to create the needed eco-systems of entrepreneurial collaboration with the community.
Therefore schools and chambers should form an alliance. It is the best and most effective way to establish permanent entrepreneurial collaboration. With the project School Business Alliance for Digital Economy; it became real.
ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnership project School Business Alliance for Digital Economy is conducted by Aston University, Birmingham(UK) and there are partners from Turkey, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Spain.
Ankara Chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen (ANKESOB) and Ortaköy 80th Year Vocational and Technical Anatolian High School, which are the two Turkish partners of the project, came together. Teachers and students from Ortakoy and ANKESOB managers attended the meeting. The students were excited about their first step into entrepreneurship and business world. Students who were aware that they had a great opportunity to reveal their potentials were quite willing and happy.
ANKESOB’s experienced managers shared very valuable informations for young people. “On today’s entrepreneurship mindset, it is necessary to have people and generations who produce to the world, not only to the region. Everything started to be implemented on line-internet now. This is called digitalization, digital economy. In the project, we will plan a process that will cover a digitalization suitable for entrepreneurship, production, sales, and after-sales services. The most important point in the project is to widen your horizons. You should definitely develop yourself to facilitate the transition between disciplines and professions. There is a tendency towards the school system that has opened its doors to the outside and integrated with values outside. This project offers us important opportunities to learn what’s going on outside. Entrepreneurship is explained theoretically within the school, but its situation in practice is very different. With this project young entrepreneur who are futures businessmen have chance to experience issues like how to get capital, how to get support, legal infrastructure, etc.”
The students also expressed their requests from ANKESOB. They stated that their biggest expectation is to reach opportunities where they can develop their potential, produce values and carry those values to their country and the world. They pointed out that this project would be also very beneficial for the next generations as they knew the importance of putting many of the theoretical knowledge they had at school into practice by their own experience.