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Entrepreneurship education is a driver of success for the next generation

Brussels, Belgium, 12 October 2015

EuroCommerce and JA Europe today presented a joint report to the Commission and several members of the European Parliament

showcasing good practice and cooperation between education and business to boost entrepreneurship education in 10 European countries. Over the last few years, several EuroCommerce members worked with national JA organisations on a number of education initiatives delivered by teachers and 3,000 business volunteers from retail organisations. Involving numerous schools and several hundreds of thousands of students across Europe, the initiatives have sought to enhance their entrepreneurial skills, attitudes and knowledge.


At the event, JA Europe and EuroCommerce underlined the importance of developing closer working relationships between education and business communities, and use these to teach young people about entrepreneurship much earlier in their schooling. They highlighted the added value and impact on school curricula that partnerships between businesses and organisations in the local community can have. “Entrepreneurship education needs to be built up at local level and anchored in national and EU strategies. JA has the experience, the track record, and the local networks to make this happen. We are proud to see how many of our members have partnered with JA and are engaged. And this is only a small snapshot of the many education and apprenticeships initiatives that retailers and wholesalers carry out everyday. The retail and wholesale community has a huge role to play in sharing with young people their hands-on experience of business.” said Christian Verschueren, EuroCommerce Director-General.


“The youth unemployment rate in the EU was more than double the overall unemployment rate ; 4.75 million young persons (under 25) remain unemployed. I am however pleased to observe renewed emphasis on strengthening our national policies on entrepreneurship education which is one of the best long term remedies to this crisis. Commissioner Navracsics confirmed that the Commission is ready to take concrete action and cooperate with Commissioner Thyssen, in charge of employment. Young people need entrepreneurial competences in order to enter and contribute to a competitive and successful economy,” stated Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA Europe.


While there has been significant progress in the field of entrepreneurship education across Europe, scale and penetration remains too low. Exposing young people early-on to practical entrepreneurial experience is an important part of building their confidence as future entrepreneurs or improving their employability in adult life.



JA Europe

JA Europe (www.jaeurope.org) is Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy, reaching 3.2 million students in 39 countries in 2014. It was founded in 2001 when Young Enterprise Europe and Junior Achievement International Europe merged. JA works with the education and business communities as well as governments to provide young people from primary school to university with experiences that build the skills and competences they will need to succeed in a global economy. JA’s activities have been endorsed as best practice by the European Commission. JA Europe is the European Regional Operating Centre for JA Worldwide®. WEBSITE



EuroCommerce (www.eurocommerce.eu) is the principal European organisation representing the retail and wholesale sector. It embraces national associations in 31 countries and 5.5 million companies, both leading multinational retailers such as Carrefour, Ikea, Metro and Tesco and many small family operations. Retail and wholesale provide a link between producers and 500 million European consumers over a billion times a day. It generates 1 in 7 jobs, providing a varied career for 29 million Europeans, many of them young people. It also supports millions of further jobs throughout the supply chain, from small local suppliers to international businesses.


For further information, please contact:

Mathilde Poncelet, JA Europe

+32 2 735 9720 - mathilde@jaeurope.org


Neil McMillan, EuroCommerce

+32 2 737 05 99 - mcmillan@eurocommerce.eu 

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