Boosting Business In The Southern Neighbourhood

Entrepreneurial spirit through education and training, women’s entrepreneurship and helping business go global is the focus of the latest series of Small Business Act assessments, which have wrapped up in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood.

The Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) is the EU’s overarching framework for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) policy to promote entrepreneurship in education and training, reduce red tape, increase access to finance and boost the overall business environment.

Assessments in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia began in April 2017. Since then, ETF staff have been busy working with government officials, the private sector and the education and training community to determine progress since the last assessment in 2014. Results will be published later in 2018.


The focus of this round of the SBA assessments is threefold: how entrepreneurship is being promoted in secondary education (general and vocational); and training for women’s entrepreneurship; and skills to support SME internationalisation.

The ETF is actively promoting the new European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (EntreComp) which features in the assessment framework. EntreComp is a tool for policymakers, curriculum specialists and teachers to develop the entrepreneurial potential of children, students and adults through teaching and learning.

Speaking at a workshop in Cairo, which closes the regional assessment drive on February 15, the ETF’s Anthony Gribben said the biggest challenge this round has been to determine progress on entrepreneurship as a key competence. ‘We are pleased to see strategic piloting of the key competence in Luxor region,’ says Gribben. ‘Road-test well before mainstreaming,’ he advised.

Meanwhile, the ETF has just kicked off the a next series of SBA assessments in the pre-accession region with results to be published late 2018. The end of year also sees the launch of the next SBA assessment cycle in the EU’s Eastern Partnership region, continuing into 2019.

* This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual position of the Member States on this issue.

Source: ETF

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