The public-private initiative Jonk Entrepreneuren Luxembourg (‘Young Entrepreneurs in Luxembourg’) aims to increase students’ interest in entrepreneurship. It is the is the Luxembourg branch of the Junior Achievement Network. Its objective is to encourage entrepreneurship and self-employment as an alternative to paid employment for young people and to promote innovative behaviour among young people through a wide range of activities, including group projects and ‘mini companies’.
Young people in Luxembourg often prefer the stability and fixed income of working in employment to working in self-employment. With fewer opportunities available in paid employment since the onset of the economic crisis, the project aims to increase entrepreneurship skills among young people to open-up self-employment as a possible route into the labour market.
The initiative offers tailor-made and practice-orientated training programmes for students that are supported by the private sector and the main professional chambers in Luxembourg providing guidance and expertise. The general approach of the initiative is flexible and interactive with actors from the private sector who provide their expertise on a voluntary basis in workshops. For example, at the primary education level, the initiative ‘Boule and Bill create an enterprise’ teaches young students about business creation and management through the design of a company-related cartoon.
At the secondary education level, a total of seven programmes are organised, including information-campaigns such as job shadow days, and awards that reward projects that encourage creativity. In the one-day Innovation Camp, young people are confronted with a business challenge to which they are invited to invent a solution, under the guidance of an expert. Although these programmes have been developed for all levels of education, the focus is place on secondary education in the technical professions.
While an impact assessment has not been undertaken, the project reaches students through their formal education and annual fairs and entrepreneurship events. For example, the annual fair in 2013 was attended by 400 students from 13 schools. The project has also been successful at raising the profile and awareness about youth entrepreneurship through extensive media coverage.
This case study was adapted from material published in: OECD/The European Commission (2014), The Missing Entrepreneurs: Policies for Inclusive Entrepreneurship in Europe, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264213593-en