Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship are among the eight key competences for lifelong learning which are listed in an EU recommendation from 2006. In Austria, self-employment is an attractive option for many, though it does not have the status that might be expected. To increase self-employment in Austria, the Ministry of Economy and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, with support from the Ministry of Education, launched the nationwide project Female entrepreneurs visit schools in September 2017. The project aims to show young people how exciting and interesting self-employment can be.
As part of this project, successful female entrepreneurs visit schools as ambassadors to enthuse young people about entrepreneurial careers. They tell them, based on their own example, which opportunities entrepreneurship opens up and what can be achieved with entrepreneurial spirit. A website has been created to bring the relevant parties together: female entrepreneurs can express their interest in taking part in this project and interested secondary school teachers can indicate their wish to invite a female entrepreneur as a role model for their class. Participating female entrepreneurs are supported in their work with a guideline for their classroom presentation, comprising ideas and suggestions (such as presentation templates). The schools pay no costs for this service.
Teachers are provided with exercises and short videos on entrepreneurship and the process is rounded off with the web app Do you have entrepreneurial spirit? Finally, pupils are given the opportunity to find out if they have entrepreneurial spirit: using a self-appraisal tool, they are confronted with different situations from the everyday lives of female entrepreneurs.