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Navigating the EntreComp ecosystem: A journey longer than a decade…

Introducing the EntreComp Framework

In 2016, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission – in partnership with DG Employment and Social Affairs and Inclusion – published EntreComp: The European Competences Framework.

The framework consists of 15 key competences that professionals in the domain of entrepreneurial teaching and training recognised as instrumental to facilitate, nurture and support the emergence of entrepreneurial spirits, sense of initiatives and professional empowerment among EU citizens.

The range of impact of EntreComp is very broad as it can be implemented and applied beyond the typical settings tackling entrepreneurial coaching.

In the view of EntreComp, entrepreneurship is conceived as a competence, rather than a “profession”, this means that targets are encouraged to develop entrepreneurial sense of initiative despite their real intention to become entrepreneurs or not.

When entrepreneurship is dealt as a competence, people can engage in entrepreneurial attitudes and values in all domain of societies, including active citizenship, social inclusion and equal opportunities.

Nevertheless, the EntreComp framework remains a very valuable resource for all aspiring (and established) entrepreneurs to seek for new inspiring training opportunities and guidelines that they can apply to their everyday-scenarios. Each of the 15 (and following) competences in fact represents a key dimension of interest to which all entrepreneurs relates to on a daily basis – regardless of the dimension of their organisation, covered markets, services/goods offered to customers.

Moreover, the EntreComp represents the largest efforts at cross-sectorial and transnational dimension to build consensus on a shared definition of entrepreneurship to which both practitioners and academics can agree on. The EntreComp can find many different application, but all and all, its common use consists in referring to it as a model of reference for the design of training curricula for entrepreneurial capacity building programmes, and following learning outcomes based on an 8-layer proficiency model provided by the very same framework.



Policy Background

The roots of the EntreComp dates back to December 2006 when The European Parliament and the Council of Europe published on the Official Journal of the European Union a joint recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning (LLL).

The policy paper mainstreams detailed guidelines for the development and adoption at EU and country level of a common a common framework of reference aimed at:

  1. Identifying competences/skills for people’s empowerment (i.e., employability, social inclusion, active citizenship) in knowledge driven economies and societies.
  2. Sustaining Member States in assuring the effectiveness and impact of national education curricula for employability of young people, and fostering further training opportunities for seniors and adults for re-qualification, upskilling, professional development, and social inclusion.
  3. Sharing and validating a EU-level reference models for national stakeholders, professionals in the domain of education, and final targets to spread a common ground of reference that is recognizable regardless the geographical context of application.
  4. Facilitating the transition towards the 2010’s Education and Training Programmes and provide a framework for further correlated actions.

These EU-level reference models as aforementioned were supposed to address 8 key competences envisioned by the EU Parliament and Council as instrumental for the valorisation of EU citizens’ LLL competences.

Not surprisingly, Sense of initiative and Entrepreneurship is included in this list, referred to simply as Entrepreneurship Competences in the 2018’s update.

10 (or more) years later, most of these competences have been addressed separately with their own dedicated competence framework: DigComp for Digital Competences, LifeComp for Learning to Learn, and of course, EntreComp for Sense of initiative and Entrepreneurship.




Structure and design of the EntreComp Framework

Training areas:





The 8-layer proficiency model:

More in specific:

What we just saw represents the surface level of the EntreComp, the dimension to which most are familiar with. However, the EntreComp framework goes much more in detail than that…

Each of the 15 competences is further broken down into a series of threads (i.e., sub-competences): by bridging each thread to each of the 8 proficiency level, the EntreComp lists a total of 442 learning outcomes that tutors and teachers can refer to for the planning of coaching programmes based on theirs and targets’ expectations. For a consultation of all thread and the framework in its entirety, please consult the PART D of the following document.

Such a large range of education and training opportunities makes of the EntreComp a very flexible resources that can find implementation and development in several contexts: from “starter pack” training programmes, to advanced entrepreneurial curricula.

…among the initiatives of such kind,

In October 2019, 8 Partners from 6 countries – Belgium, Greece, Italy, Germany, Romania and Poland – met in Cottbus (DE) for the Kick-Off Meeting of the EntreComp Implementation (ECI), a project co-financed by Erasmus+ Programme. The project aims at improving the training and education opportunities on entrepreneurial competences in VET ecosystems across EU.

At the end of last summer, the ECI Partnership finalised a detailed cross-reference analysis among the EntreComp Framework, ESCO (the classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupation) and the EQF (European Qualifications Framework): a bond that the literature review – finalised during the development of the National Reports – proved to be highly consistent but still tangibly missing and not fully exploited.

The ultimate objective of this desk assessment was to establish an initial and operational connection between the EntreComp framework and the other two.

This task allowed partners to operationalise a new model – the ECI model – for entrepreneurship valorisation and mainstreaming of entrepreneurial spirits across the VET dimension. What followed after was the development of training material inspired and compliant to EntreComp, precisely, to six of the 15 competences:

Partners invested energies, times and efforts to comply with time schedule and quali/quantitative standards as discussed and foreseen during proposal. The design of the modules in terms of content, structure, learning outcome has been facilitated by a series of monthly brainstorming -sessions in which partners had the opportunity to validate their ideas and have meaningful exchanges of views with colleagues.

To know more about the project and participating organisation, please visit ECI website.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site and its contents reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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