A couple of weeks ago I visited Lüneburg, Germany, an ideal place to celebrate a very special kick-off meeting. The fact is that on July 29th, 2017 I received a really good news: a strategic project within the Erasmus+ programme was approved. Finally, I was going to work on a topic that I’ve been defending for a long time and where I’ve been taking small steps. It would mean more work, yes, but the topic deserved a special toast.

Do you want to know why? Go on.

Some years ago, a colleague of the University of Meppel in Stenden, The Netherlands, Wilfred van Eisden, asked me if I’d be interested in being a part of an international network promoting entrepreneurship. You can imagine that my answer was, without any doubt, affirmative. The network Wilfred was talking about is ILITE (International Learning and Innovation in Teacher Education).

Since that conversation was hold, a series of meetings with the goal of presenting a “strategic partnership” within the Erasmus+ programme took place. To give you an idea, those partnerships are transnational projects whose goal is to prepare and transfer innovative internships and to promote cooperation, learning among equals and the exchange of experiences at European levels. There we were: 7 countries working together to achieve a project about entrepreneurial education at university level, especially for students of the Primary Education Bachelor’s degree or, in other words, for our future primary teachers. “It” looked good.

The last joint meeting celebrated at the University of Deusto, Bilbao, last February 2017 was, without doubt, a crucial moment. Coordinated by our German colleague and leader of the project, Corinna M. Dartenne, we made decisions and saw that the project that was born as an idea in 2014, had enough weight and interest to be presented to the European Commission.

Obviously, that meeting was followed by many e-mails, other meetings and national and international calls to define the project and work a lot with the objective of getting the right shape to present it to the Commission. In that last moment, Corinna’s work was decisive.

That’s how EIPTE (Entrepreneurship in Initial Primary Teacher Education) was born.

Well, on the last weekend of November 2017 the little “big” family consisting of colleagues of 6 countries (Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Lithuania, Sweden and Spain) met. We are going to be working together during the following 3 years to develop a project, our challenge, with a clear goal:

To  increase the number of institutions of higher education that develop the entrepreneurial education and/or improving the quality of the entrepreneurial education programs during the initial training of the primary teachers.

In order to get it, we will offer, among other things, a platform with different tools for the institutions to include entrepreneurial education in their syllabus.

In addition to the daily tasks aimed to the development of the intellectual outputs specified on the project, we will celebrate:

  • Transnational meetings among the collaborators of the project
  • Intensive programmes for learner – future primary level teachers, the main protagonists of the project. The students will be able to enjoy approximately a week-long specific programme about entrepreneurship that will allow them to exchange points of view, to see different ways of carrying out entrepreneurship or talking and debating with subject matter experts. And all of that in an international academic environment.
  • Multiplier events. Programmes whose goal is to share the intellectual outputs of the project with a bigger public than the one of the project itself.

What do you think about this initiative?

I admit that I’m delighted with it.

Oh, by the way, when, before coming back to Bilbao, I was walking around Lüneburg streets for the last time I found a beautiful store that had caught my eye before. I went in and I found Maike Bollow, it’s CEO; yes, because Maike had just opened the store 3 days before. It wasn’t “just” a store, it was a place to give visibility to entrepreneurs. A nice farewell, emotionally charged, with enthusiasm and where the belief in entrepreneurship is alive.

I wish you a wonderful Christmas and happy holidays.

I will come back in January, but until then be happy and enjoy your family and friends.

Translated by María Ubierna Quintanilla and supervised by Arantza Arruti.


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