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Greenpreneurs project is an Erasmus+ funded project. At the time of the original bid to Erasmus+ authorities the project was introduced with the name LBD-DECR3E. The project uses Learning by Doing methodology through an innovative training module for developing entrepreneurial competencies in unemployed people with professional experience or education in the field of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. Erasmus+ funds the project through its Key Action 2: “Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training”. The main locations of the project are Spain, UK and Finland.
The Greenpreneurs partners are the University of West England UWE in Bristol, the Turku University of Applied Sciences in Finland; the Employment Service of Navarra and the Mondragon University’s Management Research Centre MIK.
The Greenpreneurs project is based on Learning by Doing education methodology of Tiimiakatemia® which started in Finland in 1993. Nowadays, more than 6.000 people are using the methodology in various ways, worldwide. We believe strongly that one does not learn entrepreneurship, teamwork skills, leadership and innovation by sitting in a classroom and listening to lectures, but learners (i.e. “students”) learn best by doing all relevant tasks and relevant thinking themselves in the here and now, solving the challenges and problems they face, acting and reacting in their work environments.
This approach creates ‘teampreneurs’, people who work as entrepreneurs but in a team. Teampreneurship® emphasises teamwork, learning together, self-management and pragmatism. Teampreneurs run a real company based on real projects with real customers. The idea is to solve real-life problems and get things done in practice.
The first Greenpreneurs pilots were created and successfully tested in Spain, UK and Finland in 2016.
At the time of starting the project (2015) the EU had about 26 Million unemployed people (23,4% in Spain, 8,8% in Finland and 5,5% in UK in March 2015, according
to Eurostat), but the potential in the green sector is huge: 23 Million green jobs can be created. For example in 2009, Spain counted 530.000 green jobs, and according to projections could
create 1 million new green jobs by 2020, mostly in transport and building sector. In UK, half million jobs can be created in Renewable
Energy by 2020 [EC Mutual Learning Programme for PES report “Public Employment Services and Green Jobs”].
Meanwhile as the transition to a green economy is a priority, still many people don’t have sufficient or adequate professional skills in the
field due to a lack of quality training models, in order to enhance professional career development. Developing the vocational
training offer, and to bring it much closer to market needs will increase qualified people all over Europe [see CEDEFOP Skills for green jobs – European synthesis report, “The EU suffers from systemic weaknesses in its skills base which limit its productivity and
competitiveness in today’s economy, and reduce its capacity to exploit the opportunities offered by green growth.”].
In Greenpreneurs project there was developed an innovative training module that provides a potential answer offering a vocational level program in Renewable Energy and Energy efficiency, using the “Learning by Doing” (LBD) and Tiimiakatemia methodologies. The objective of Greenpreneurs project is to enhance professional and entrepreneurial skills especially within unemployed people in this field.
Why is Greenpreneurs innovative? We approach the topic from Entrepreneurship and especially Team Entrepreneurship point of view, developing entrepreneurial attitudes and skills in the people to be trained to create more diverse and agile offer and even totally new innovations in the green area.
Greenpreneurs target groups are:
- Un and underemployed people with previous training and/or professional experience in the field of R3E and EEB
- Un and underemployed with previous professional experience with the aim to provide them with higher and more specific job skills on energy efficiency in the sector of buildings and construction
- Un and underemployed but recently graduated people with the aim to make them closer to the entrepreneur world, enhancing their capacities of new business models creation in the field of energy efficiency in the sector of buildings and construction.
Greenpreneurs is focused in the vocational education level, and our main goals are:
- Train technologically qualified professionals in the area of R3E and EEB to lead creation of companies and self-managed teams in an efficient way empowering them to become agents of change in existing businesses and to create and develop new companies.
- Increase Vocational Education Training options in the energy efficiency area
- Adapting the Vocational Education Training offer, which often relies on classroom theoretical training, to the more practical Tiimiakatemia® ‘Learning by Doing’ model
- Adapting the Vocational Education Training offer to make it more professional and entrepreneurship friendly (with potential for the creation of collaborative new business/self-employment models), since it often focuses on pure technical contents
- Developing ECVET (The European Credit system for Vocation Education and Training) for the recognition of credits on energy efficiency for buildings leading to an increased mobility of workers in the EU
The project started with the first Partnership Meeting in September 2015. The project will end July 2017. However, our goal is to continue the Greenpreneurs impact and get optimally Vocational Education Training provider(s) to continue developing the Greenpreneurs training module and curriculum.
In the first phase of the project a pilot program was run from April to June 2016 in the three countries (Spain, UK, Finland) for some 20 participants qualified to work in the sector and looking to develop their careers or start their own business. We successfully ran 5 month pilots in the three countries, and real companies and business was created. The next step was to train potential Greenpreneur Team Coaches that lead new courses in other educational centres with Train the Trainer modules. Third step was to create a handbook to support spreading the model: based on the main learnings and evaluation from the pilots the handbook will be published (first version in March 2017) as guidance and support for those wanting to introduce team working and entrepreneurship into VET curricula in the sector.
Greenpreneurs partners are the University of West England UWE in Bristol, UK – the Turku University of Applied Sciences in Turku, Finland – the Employment Service of Navarra (Servicio Navarro de Empleo) – Mondragon University’s Management Research Centre MIK (Mondragon Innovation & Knowledge).
MIK is leading the consortium and the project. For more information, you can contact all the partners in here.
Whether you are a professional, researcher or an unemployed person in the field of Renewable energies and/or energy efficiency or an organization interested in the project, please contact us here.