For more than 20 years The Women’s Organisation has been at the forefront of taking entrepreneurship to every section of our community.
And now, not for the first time, that work is being recognised and praised on the international stage, having secured the highest accolade at the international EntreComp Awards – The Champions Award.
These awards aim to recognise individuals and organisations with a track record of building an inclusive and diverse community of people and organisations involved in entrepreneurial learning.
The Champions Award recognises the ‘best and brightest in the sphere of entrepreneurial learning’. It shines a spotlight on individuals and organisations who are implementing practice or policy that is transformative – creating change beyond their immediate work environment.
EntreComp – The European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework describes what it means to be entrepreneurial, helps us to understand how entrepreneurs create value, and how we can enhance entrepreneurial thinking within individuals and organisations.
The framework can be applied and adapted in a variety of ways, from supporting policy makers to develop initiatives to effectively support entrepreneurship, and assisting trainers and educators in designing programmes of entrepreneurial learning.
EntreComp can be applied across a range of sectors and can be a key support for collaboration and development work by employers, professional bodies and policymakers.
The Women’s Organisation has been an active member of the EntreComp community since 2016. International consultants Lisa McMullan and Alison Price co-authored the framework’s user-guide, EntreComp Into Action.
They have since led on a number of research projects to explore how the framework was being utilised by partner organisations.
Last month, Lisa and three other members of The WO team attended the ‘Being Entrepreneurial’ conference in Brussels, the culmination of a three-year-long partnership with organisations from Belgium, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy and Spain that showcased and celebrated the work done to support entrepreneurs.
Reflecting on the visit, Lisa said: “The work we are involved in through the EntreComp 360 project underpins so much of what we do at The Women’s Organisation. The findings of the project are critical in creating learning and employment pathways for women from all walks of life.
“To have had the opportunity to form partnerships, share ideas and exchange knowledge with organisations who share our mindset, and our vision has been invaluable – and incredibly rewarding and enlightening.
“It has certainly helped shape our programmes at The Women’s Organisation, to share our experience of helping entrepreneurs to create value for themselves, teams and communities.”
Earlier this year, The Women’s Organisation launched an online learning programme designed for business advisers and coaches, to promote EntreComp and help them to explore how it can be applied to best support people setting up and growing their own businesses.
It includes learning around business development, sustainability, and developing an entrepreneurial mindset. This programme includes a tailored module to specifically support and encourage young people to be entrepreneurial.
Lisa added: “This is an aspect we believe is critical – if we can inspire a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation from an early age, we are planting seeds that offer huge payback for generations to come.”