Unleashing innovative spirit and entrepreneurism in Europe
Karolina Telejko, EU Government Relations Manager, Global Corporate Affairs at SAP
As Nelson Mandela said, education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. However, undisputedly, quality of education matters. Given the current era of digital revolution and Industry 4.0, digital skills and entrepreneurial attitude are key to drive our economies forward and secure successful future for our youth.
First of all, young people should be placed in a stimulating environment at school, where they strive for answers and meaningful solutions to the challenges, where they learn to take initiative, to be persistent, to think critically, and where they become aware that failure means learning from one’s mistakes. Whether one wants to be a young social entrepreneur making his community a better place, a start-up owner in the logistics sector, a health app developer creating his own company, or a project manager employed at a global enterprise, one will need entrepreneurial skills and mindset.
Second of all, the world is constantly digitalizing – for instance in areas such research, healthcare, banking, logistics or public administration- therefore young people need to be digitally skilled to understand, create and make use of new technologies such as cloud or big data. They will also need technology to develop, and will need to learn how to effectively use it. They will grow their business faster and employ new staffers. They will also be more empowered to address societal challenges- advance cancer treatment, improve health diagnosis, enable smarter energy use, facilitate disaster relief or simply empower individuals.
Not surprisingly, entrepreneurial mindset and digital skills become one of the XXI century ‘must haves’. However, in order not to face a serious gap of entrepreneurs and IT skilled specialists who can exploit the opportunities of digital technologies, Europe should focus on educating and training young talents. In turn, these highly skilled people will help Europe to establish its leadership position in the digital economy and foster entrepreneurial culture.
Junior Achievement together with companies such as SAP, governments and educational institutions jointly launched the Global Enterprise Project (GEP) and the Entrepreneurship Skills Pass (ESP) to empower young people with entrepreneurial skills and innovative spirit. SAP is also actively engaged in training young talents on Academy Cube platform and openSAP, as well as mentoring students and providing technology to young entrepreneurs, and is constantly looking for young candidates with true entrepreneurial spirit.
These projects are a great first step in creating new innovative teaching methods and certifying the skills young people have acquired. However, a stronger support of Ministries of Education, Economy and Technology is needed across Europe to equip youth with the XXI century skills to drive changes in today’s and tomorrow’s digitalised world. Let’s unleash their spirit and entrepreneurism to do incredible things.
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