Entrepreneurship as a competence
The Entre Comp study was launched to establish a common reference framework for entrepreneurship as a competence to help citizens to develop their ability to actively participate in society, to manage their own lives and careers and to start value-creating initiatives. The conceptualization of entrepreneurship as a competence was therefore the stepping stone for the development of a reference framework.
In the context of the Entre Comp study, entrepreneurship is understood as a transversal key competence applicable by individuals and groups, including existing organizations, across all spheres of life. It is defined as follows:
Entrepreneurship is when you act upon opportunities and ideas and transform them into value for others. The value that is created can be financial, cultural, or social (FFE-YE, 2012).
This definition focuses on value creation, no matter what type of value or context. It covers value creation in any domain and possible value chain. It refers to value creation in the private, public and third sectors and in any hybrid combination of the three. It thus embraces different types of entrepreneurship, including intrapreneurship, social entrepreneurship, green entrepreneurship and digital entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship as a competence applies to all spheres of life. It enables citizens to nurture their personal development, to actively contribute to social development, to enter the job market as employee or as self-employed, and to start-up or scale-up ventures which may have a cultural, social or commercial motive.
The EntreComp conceptual model is made up of two main dimensions: the 3 compe-tence areas that directly mirror the definition of entrepreneurship as the ability to turn ideas into action that generate value for someone other than oneself; and the 15 com-petences that, together, make up the building blocks of the entrepreneurship as a competence for all citizens. We have listed the competences in Table 1. Each one is accompanied by a hint or an exhortation to the learner to put the competence into practice and a descriptor, which breaks it down into its core aspects.
‘Ideas and opportunities’, ‘Resources’ and ‘Into Action’ are the 3 areas of the conceptual model and they have been labelled to stress entrepreneurship competence as the ability to transform ideas and opportunities into action by mobilising resources. These resources can be personal (namely, self-awareness and self-efficacy, motivation and persever-ance), material (for instance, production means and financial resources) or non-material (for instance, specific knowledge, skills and attitudes). The 3 competence areas are tightly intertwined: entrepreneurship as a competence stands above all three of these together. The 15 competences are also interrelated and interconnected and should be treated as parts of a whole. We are not suggesting that the learner should acquire the highest level of proficiency in all 15 competences, or have the same proficiency across all the competences. The framework does, however, imply that entrepreneurship as a com-petence is made up of 15 building blocks.
Figure 2 depicts the EntreComp competences as slices of a pie chart. Each slice has a different colour: blue for the competences in the ‘Ideas and opportunities’ area, orange for those in the ‘Resources’ area and green for the competences in the ‘Into action’ area. The slices are surrounded by the three competence rings, which embrace all the 15 competences. This representation underlines that the coupling between competence areas and competences does not have taxonomic rigour. For example, creativity is pre-sented as one of the competences in the ‘Ideas and opportunities’ area, even though the creative process entails both the use of resources and the capacity to act upon ideas to mould their value. The reader is welcome to establish new links among areas and com-petences to expand the elements of the framework and adapt them to best fit his/her focus.
Figure: Areas and competences of the EntreComp conceptual model.
Table 1 provides an overview of the EntreComp conceptual model, showing how the entrepreneurship competence has been broken down into its constituent parts within the framework. Competences are numbered for ease of reference – the order in which they are presented does not imply a sequence in the acquisition process or a hierarchy: no one element comes first, and none of them is more important than the others. There are no core competences and enabling competences in the EntreComp conceptualization.
Depending on the context of take-up, it is reasonable to expect that more emphasis may be put on some of the competences and less on others, or else that competences are streamlined to mirror an entrepreneurial process created to foster learning through entrepreneurship. In other words, the EntreComp Framework can be seen as a starting point for the interpretation of the entrepreneurship competence, which over time will be further elaborated and refined to address the particular needs of specific target groups