About the Project

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About the Project

The Youth Start – Entrepreneurial Challenges project (2015-2018) was one of the largest projects ever undertaken in entrepreneurship education and evidence-based public policy. The project was coordinated by PEEP (Portugal) and represents a collaboration between the ministries of education of Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Slovenia. The learning program was developed in Austria (IFTE) and evaluated by FFE-YE (Denmark). The practice-oriented, student-centered approach was built to foster core competencies in young people, with the aim of improving their chances in the labor market and expanding their outlook on life.

The project is characterised by the following important innovations

Experimental entrepreneurship education that can be included in existing curricula.

A flexible, innovative, transferable and scalable program for self-regulated learning.

Scientific accompaniment during a field test with the aim of gathering evidence-based data as a basis for reforms in education policy.

The Youth Start – Entrepreneurial Challenges project is designed to increase the students’ desire and ability to participate in entrepreneurial activities. We believe that it is through education that we can create a sustainable culture of entrepreneurship, changing the mindset of our students, parents and school communities. Through this project, we are testing the idea that this experiential educational program will increase the participants’ motivation to learn and engage in school activities and help develop their pro-activeness, creative thinking and a risk-taking attitude that will allow them to be more participative, active and responsible citizens while developing their full potential.

The project addresses the country-specific policy needs of a geographically diverse group of Member States that are at varying levels of policy implementation within the “progression model.” The intended systemic impact relates to introducing a rigorous experimentation protocol, creating new teaching methods, reforming teacher training, and giving students the entrepreneurial spirit through experiential challenges.

The practical experiential learning program


Innovative, Transferable and Scalable

Flexible in its application (intensive, extensive and extended programs versions)

To be applied at the compulsory school level (secondary and primary levels of education)

Entrepreneurship Program – It fosters self-directed learning – challenges

Targeted Students
  • Primary level: children from 8 to 11 years old through case studies, using a modified Challenge Model in two large-scale interventions
  • Secondary level: teenagers from 13 to 17 years old through two large-scale interventions (focusing on 15-year-old in most cases in most countries)
  • Trained in new pedagogic methods
  • Embedding experiential entrepreneurship education in current curriculum and educational areas
  • Supported in helping students
Entrepreneurial Schools Engaged with Local Stakeholders
  • Technical assistance given to participating schools
  • Quality assurance researchers writing school case studies
  • Entrepreneurial schools audit methodology

Versions of the Brochure in multiple Languages

Project Handbook

Project Newsletter

Entrepreneurial capability is based upon nurture, not nature .

The 4 pillars of the Youth Start – Entrepreneurial Challenges Program:

Introducing Entrepreneurial Culture through the Educational System

Learners at the Centre: The Holistic Approach of Entrepreneurial Schools

Youth Start – Entrepreneurial Challenges – Innovation in Pedagogic Methods in Luxembourg

Evaluating the effects of a flexible and challenge based entrepreneurship program

Youth Start: Reinforcing quality results and assessment

The added value of Youth Start – Entrepreneurial Challenges Project

Moving towards a Holistic Approach: Entrepreneurial Schools

The end or just the beginning?