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Micro, small and medium–sized enterprises are considered to be the mainstay of the economy of the European Union, since they represent 99% of all EU enterprises. They are socially and economically important in that they provide 65 million jobs and contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship. However, a 2002 Eurobarometer survey found that EU citizens are less inclined to become entrepreneurs, and tend to be more risk adverse. In recognising this, the EU made entrepreneurship one of the main objectives of the Lisbon Agenda in 2000. The European Commission in 2003 drafted the Green Paper on Entrepreneurship in Europe to stimulate debate on how to best promote the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2004, in adopting the conclusions from ‘Stimulating Entrepreneurship’ the European Council recognising that entrepreneurship is a major driver of employment, innovation and growth encouraged member states to stimulate the entrepreneurial mindset through training and education. The SENSibilisation des Apprentis à leSprit d’entreprendre (SENSAS) project is based around the notion of fostering entrepreneurship, or the entrepreneurial spirit, among young people, in line with the European Commission’s 2004 “Action Plan: The European Agenda for Entrepreneurship”. In this specific case the focus is on apprentices, who are in direct contact with both the worlds of work and training by virtue of their position in work-linked training programmes. As such, this project aims to target trainers, to enable them to imbue their students with the idea of entrepreneurship and to equip apprentices with an entrepreneurial spirit that they will employ in the real world. This partnership entrepreneurial project is located within the area of continuing education for teachers and trainers. It targets the following actors: trainers of apprentices and apprentices. In addition the outputs of this project can be broadened to reach regular third level students (of business or commerce for example) as well as secondary school pupils and their teachers or lecturers. There are two main products or outputs anticipated for this project. These are a pedagogical tool kit to raise awareness in entrepreneurial spirit and a computer software role playing tool. This working paper will seek to assess the outcome streams from each of the partner organisations implementation of the SENSAS products and subsequent evaluation of the emerging entrepreneurial spirit and channel them into conceptual frameworks that will signpost a continuing research paradigm.
English, R. M., Collins, K., : Enhancing the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Apprenticeship Education to Develop Craft and Micro-enterprises, Edulearn '10 Conference, July, 2010, Barcelona, Spain.