The project SPIDE (Strategic Partnership for Innovation and Development of Entrepreneurship) represents a combination of already identified needs and potential in the field of education, innovation and entrepreneurship at HEIs from practical experience of the Consortium partners as part of the implementation of the project entitled “ISPEHE”, under the Erasmus+ KA2: Strategic partnerships programme, and the search for new innovative and creative ideas to improve collaborative efforts and efficiency of the transfer of knowledge in the fields of entrepreneurship and management.
The overall objective of the project is to enhance the utilization of innovative approaches and practical cross-sectional methods, thus increasing the quality of the educational programmes at HEIs, by improving thematic international collaboration of HEIs in the fields of entrepreneurship and management.
The specific objectives of the project are:
- To increase practical learning and skills of the target group members, by supporting and integrating the Career Centers, that will merge efforts of skills build-up for increased understanding of entrepreneurship, market principles, competencies in business management and knowledge that will enable them to implement potential business ideas on the market.
- To empower the target group members in the area of entrepreneurship and management by providing them with a simulated virtual environment, establishing a connection between practical and theoretical learning
- To improve the quality and efficiency of educational best-practices at the partnering HEIs
The project’s core is based on two main components: Developing an International Career Center for Entrepreneurship (ICCE)- through activities, workshops, sharing of best practices and Intensive Study Programmes for staff and teachers; and Creating a Business Simulaion Software (BSS) – an innovative IT solution providing practical teaching and learning experience to students.
Adding value to current efforts, the proposed project addresses the following needs: strengthening the link between HEIs particularly in experience and knowledge-sharing, establishing joint innovative educational practices aiming to raise practical knowledge of target group members, providing cross-section thematic workshops enhancing the practical knowledge of target group members, creating functional innovative solutions to optimize the efficiency of the already implemented educational practices at each partnering HEI.
The target group consists of: current students at undergraduate and postagraduate level at the respective HEIs, teaching staff at the respective HEIs, business sector (in particular start-ups and small enterprises), staff involved at the Career Centers at each institution.
The proposed project is aligned with the goals of the “EU Agenda for the modernization of Europe’s Higher Education Systems for improving the quality and relevance of higher education and linking higher education, research and business -2011”.The project directly addresses two of the 5 EU 2020 headline targets:
- Increasing the employment of 20-64 years olds through specialized workshops and ICT solutions, that increase their self-employment capacities
- Decreasing the level of school drop-outs by promoting new and improved interactive teaching methods, and encouraging active students to pursue higher education (secondary and tertiary)
The project directly addresses two of the ET 2020 four common EU objectives:
- Improving and increasing the efficiency and quality of education and training
- Enhancing creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship
The project results and outcomes will aid to the achievement of the following benchmarks from the ET 2020:
- the rate of early leavers from education and training aged 18-24 should be below 10%;
- at least 40% of people aged 30-34 should have completed some form of higher education;
- the share of employed graduates (aged 20-34 with at least upper secondary education attainment and having left education 1-3 years ago) should be at least 82%.
The project components and activities are structured in a manner that requires international cooperation throughout their implementation. Since one of the key aims of the project is to create innovation driven educational practices, and establish and foster an entrepreneurial culture among target group members, transnational cooperation is key in enforcing this approach and broadening its impact. In addition, being in part a continuation of a previously successfully implemented project, an existing and successful previous partnership is key to ensuring the quality of the implementation of the activities remains the same.