News archive - Learning about entrepreneurship in primary and secondary schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina

As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, in cooperation with the European Training Foundation and the RS Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises organised a conference on entrepreneurial learning in Sarajevo on November 17, 2011.

The conference was designed to raise awareness regarding promotion of entrepreneurship in education as a means of improving competitiveness and boosting employment opportunities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This takes place in the context of broader EU support for initiatives that will help Bosnia and Herzegovina implement EU policies on lifelong entrepreneurial learning. A draft BiH strategy on entrepreneurial learning has been prepared, in which special attention is given to teacher training.

Vesna Puratić, from the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs Sector for Education responsible for the draft strategy, explained that the entrepreneurial learning strategy has been sent to the BiH Council of Ministers for adoption. It was drafted with financial support from IPA 2007 in the amount of 500,000 Euros and it offers a framework for action in the education sector, the business community and civil society.

"In partnership with the BiH Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations,  we have agreed with the education authorities that entrepreneurship will be taught  in primary and secondary schools cross-curriculary ,” Puratić said.

Although she said the current strategy does not envisage that entrepreneurship would be taught as a new school subject, she said that the entrepreneurship as a topic of education has been  introduced only in secondary vocational schools but it would now be introduced in elementary schools and gymnasiums as well.

Anthony Gribben, Head of Economy and Entrepreneurship at the European Training Foundation, said that Global Entrepreneurship Week had made it possible to promote entrepreneurship among 10 million people in 120 countries.

“The inclusion of entrepreneurship in the education system from elementary through high school to university education is crucial for the development of entrepreneurship,” he said, stressing that it is not possible to produce enterprising young people unless teachers dedicate more attention to the subject and receive the support that they need in order to teach it effectively.

"During this conference we were able to identify a significant problem, and that is that children of entrepreneurs are not ready to take over the family business when their parents retire," Gribben said.

Because of the difficulties which they face in their own businesses, parents often discourage their children when it comes to entrepreneurship, RS Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises Director Slobodan Markovic said. “This conference has confirmed our concern that there will be a serious crisis if we do not start to work with children and encourage them to become more entrepreneurial,” he added.

Government officials in the field of education and economics attended the conference, along with BiH experts, including representatives of the private sector and civil society. Participants reviewed current policies and discussed how the education system can be adapted and improved in order to enhance entrepreneurial thinking among young people.

Source: EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Geographical focus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

Entry created by Ines Marinkovic on November 22, 2011
Modified on November 21, 2011