Transfer, configuration and development of multidisciplinary model for promoting entrepreneurship in VET and higher education


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Tuscany policies to develop entrepreneurial skills

In Tuscany regional initiatives fostering entrepreneurial skills are implemented according to the policy framework, the Integrated General Plan (Regional Law n.32/2002), providing  a multi-annual programming activities on education, training and employment policies. The main aim of the  Integrated General Plan is to create an integrated regional system that supports individual freedom and integration, right through to life long learning with the creation of more and better jobs, economically stable, qualified and protected in an environment with strong social cohesion.

One of the main objectives of the program is the development of human capital, innovation, entrepreneurial quality and labour productivity. In this context an important role is played by the Plan “GiovaniSì”, aiming at supporting young people's access to the most senior higher education and post-graduate and self entrepreneurship.

The main tools are:

  • The allocation of vouchers designed to sustain the enrolment in masters and doctoral programs.
  • The award of scholarships for young people admitted to PhD research of international significance.
  • The loan for higher education, to allow better access to credit by young graduates who want to invest in advanced training courses (masters, doctorates, specializations) in Italy and abroad.
  • Paths alternating school – work. As part of training in alternation School-Work, the Tuscany Region to promote and support, as its specific implementation, the "business lab" in order to develop the acquisition by students of an entrepreneurial mindset useful to deal with greater awareness of future educational and professional choices, through the establishment and, later, the management of companies, similar to the real ones. The business lab is based on innovative teaching methods, such as: Learning by doing, which promotes learning in operational contexts. Active approach: problem solving, overcoming the traditional logic tied to the simple application of rules. "Instant messaging" using tools such as email, chat, skype, web conference, Facebook, online dating.
  • Youth and female entrepreneurship – this initiatives starts form the need to support young people and women to realize business ideas overcoming the initial problems of take-off initiatives. The measures are aimed at creating new job opportunities through the creation of new businesses or the consolidation of already started and in the expansion phase.

With regards to the support of youth and female entrepreneurship, this is specifically expressed by the R.L. n.21/2008 and subsequent relevant amendments, which have strengthened the role of taking into account the impact of the economic crisis and the need to broaden the scope of applicability of the law.

The possibility of access to loans interests today all industries and regional intervention it’s not limited in activities designed to technological development and innovation. In addition to the measures provided by regional law 21, the support for starting self-employment among young people will strengthen as activated by specific micro-credit fund, aimed at providing small loans to young people under the age of 40 years (depending on the cases) who want to start their own business or to set up a cooperative or open a professional studio.

Finally an important infrastructure for promoting entrepreneurship in high risk markets  is provided by the network of Innovation Poles. Innovation poles are defined as “groupings of independent undertakings -innovative start-ups, small, medium and large undertakings as well as research organisations- operating in a particular sector and region and designed to stimulate innovative activity by promoting intensive interactions, sharing of facilities and exchange of knowledge and expertise and by contributing effectively to technology transfer, networking and information dissemination among the undertakings in the cluster…”  (ref. Community Framework for State Aid for R&D&I - 2006/C 323/01).

Their main activities are:

  • Stimulating and accept innovation demand of enterprises in the Pole.
  • Accompanying companies access to KIBS (knowledge intensive business services) inside/outside the Pole.
  • Support the diffusion of innovation among companies and entrepreneurship trough start-ups and spin-off.
  • Facilitating enterprises access to scientific and technological knowledge to networks and resources at national and international level.
  • Ensuring the sharing of equipments and laboratories.

Within the network of Innovation poles are operating also technological incubators with the aim of scouting new ideas and promote pre-incubation activities. They cooperate strongly with academic and higher education organisations, providing facilities, technical tools and networking opportunities. Enabling students and researchers to structure better their business ideas, to check  market opportunities, and to translate business modelling in business planning. Giving them the chance to be tutored in their spin-off and start-up phases.

CEDIT IEPL IDEA Universidad de Sevilla BD Center AMSP ČR Università di Pisa Regione Toscana VŠFS