Academic journal article American Journal of Entrepreneurship

Activities and Programs of Entrepreneurship Education in Spain

Academic journal article American Journal of Entrepreneurship

Activities and Programs of Entrepreneurship Education in Spain

Article excerpt


Entrepreneurship has been posited as a principal factor in the innovation, creativity, initiative and socio-economic growth of a country. It can be understood both as an innovative and creative aptitude or disposition in daily life, or as the specific concept of enterprise creatioa Europe has now made a commitment to entrepreneurial education with the idea of fostering what has come to be known as an "enterprising" or "entrepreneurial" culture.

In 2000 the European Council adopted the objective of becoming the most competitive, dynamic and sustainable economy in the world, based on more and better jobs, as well as better social cohesion. Subsequently, the European Charter of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) was published, whose first point of action was education and training in competencies that favor initiative, innovation, change and entrepreneurship (Eurodyce, 2012).

In 2003 the European Council published it Green Book on Entrepreneurship in Europe and created the European Program to foster entrepreneurship based on five basic pillars whose contents were to be developed by member States. The five pillars included: promoting an entrepreneurial outlook; encouraging as many people as possible to become entrepreneurs; orienting business owners towards growth and competiveness; improving the flow of financing, and creating an administrative and regulatory climate more favorable to SMEs. According to the European Commission's Europe 2020 report on strategy, the idea today is to continue along these lines of socio-educational action and financing (Eurodyce, 2012).

In the specific case that concerns us here, it must be said that Spain has heeded the EU orientations and implemented a national plan to support entrepreneurship from the Ministry of Industry and in collaboration with different bodies and entities (Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia & Cámaras de Comercio, 2007). The State Office for Small and Medium Enterprises is developing a program to improve the existing offer of services addressed to SMEs and entrepreneurs, emphasizing greater specialization and reinforcing cooperation and coordination among different schools. The policy thus affects both the creation of businesses and improvements in competitiveness. Included in this program are areas of training and promotion of resources to support entrepreneurs. The sources of financing aim to support: entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs, and social entrepreneurs. Although these projects are positioned on the national level and not all of them promote education and training as a goal, they do illustrate that there is widespread socio -pohtical awareness that entrepreneurs must be assisted within the Spanish context.

Given that Spain is a state divided into Autonomous Communities (Figure 1) to which a good part of educational authority has been transferred, the aim of this study is to analyze the educational programs relating to entrepreneurship within these communities. The study focuses mainly on the ones that are developing these programs most intensely. Each Autonomous Community decides on its own educational offer and, therefore, they promote different areas that they consider basic in education and reserve the option to foster certain skills over others.


General education in Spain is structured as follows: early childhood (0-6 yr. olds, non-compulsory), primary (6-12 yr. olds, compulsory), secondary (ESO, 12 to 16 yr. olds, compulsory). The next level is post-compulsory secondary education, which includes different lines that are independent of each other but which all demand an ESO diploma for access: upper secondary (2 years), vocational training, professional art & design school, and upper level sports education.

Fundamental Law 10/2002 (Ley Orgánica 10/2002) posits as its main objective the sequential introduction of an enterprising attitude as part of the objectives and contents of the different educational levels. …

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