Initiative for Teaching Entrepreneurship

Brief description

IFTE stands for “Initiative for Teaching Entrepreneurship” Austria. The main goal of IFTE is to awaken, promote and support entrepreneurial spirit and action.

The IFTE develops innovate teaching materials and methods for broadening peoples economic understanding. Its didactic entrepreneurship concept has been developed in order to strengthen and extend young people’s entrepreneurial understanding and ambitions.

The IFTE helps young people discover the challenging path of becoming independent by using Entrepreneurship education as an instrument for equality, based on general economic-ethical principles of an open market economy which besides its economically orientated goals, has to focus on the weak and disadvantaged  members of society.

The above-mentioned aims of the IFTE are based on the European Council’s Santa Maria de Feira charter for small enterprises. The charter contains the following statement: “In their endeavor to support entrepreneurial spirit and action, the European Union is now going to especially focus on its young citizens. A basic knowledge on business and entrepreneurship has to be taught on all levels of education”.

The IFTE has made a contribution to modern (Social) Entrepreneurship Education with the development of Teaching Resources and Teacher Training. The founder of IFTE is the first Austrian Ashoka Fellow; Ashoka is an award for Social Entrepreneurship.

Our program you can find here:

We are partners in the “Youth Start Entrepreneurial Challenges Project” www.youthstart.eu which is a European pilot project between the ministries of education of Austria, Luxembourg, Portugal and Slovenia. We use a practice-oriented approach to entrepreneurship education to foster core competences in young people with the aim of improving their chances in the labour market and expanding their outlook on life.

The project is characterised by the following important innovations:

A flexible, innovative, transferable and scalable programme for self-regulated learning.

Scientific accompaniment during a field test with the aim of gathering evidence-based data as a basis for reforms in education policy.

The Youth Start Entrepreneurial Challenges Programme has been newly developed as part of the project and comprises smaller and bigger challenges for 18 different themes (Challenge Families).

The approach is based on the “TRIO Model for Entrepreneurship” and offers challenges in 3 areas: basic tasks to promote entrepreneurial thinking, tasks to promote a culture of co-operation and tasks to increase awareness for citizenship and social responsibility.

Role in the Project and Added Value

Support of the implementation of “Youth Start Entrepreneurial Challenges”. Responsibilities (common with other partners):

  1. Communication with the stakeholders
  2. Implementation of the project dissemination strategy
  3. Participation in evaluation activities
  4. Financial & narrative reporting

In our role as Expertise Partner we will transfer know- how and good practice mainly in the field of Entrepreneurship Education to be used in the Entrepreneurship Labs.


  • Provide peer-learning for project partners to advance entrepreneurship education.
  • Present tools and methods as used in previously implemented projects.
  • Host study-visits of the partners.

We plan to share experimental pedagogy and didactics such as the TRIO Entrepreneurship Education Approach, which is developed by us. The TRIO-Model highlights three levels of entrepreneurial education:

  1. The core education that addresses individual skills.
  2. Understanding of the entrepreneurial culture where individuals are acting in. This raises question of responsibility and partnership.
  3. Entrepreneurial skills as positioned within society. Aspects covered are open mindedness, risk openness and creativity.

Additional value to the project will be given through the expertise we gained through the project

“Youth Start Entrepreneurial Challenges” (Supported by the Ministries of Education in Luxembourg, Portugal, Bulgaria, Slovenia & Austria- http://www.youthstart.eu) We will support the

partners to use Challenges and Competitions as educational tools.

IFTE initiated the entrepreneurial programme for young people “Start your project” (www.startedeinprojekt.at), which encourages young people to realise their ideas using the

project’s crowdfunding platform; an idea which can be very useful for the DARE project.

We can also share our experience in organising events for the promotion of Entrepreneurship such as the Global Entrepreneurship Week we host in Austria; since 2004 more than

5.500 young people have connected to Austrian entrepreneurs at the annual Entrepreneurship Summit.

Experience with transnational programmes

Bosnia & Herzegovina  2010 – 2013; Young Entrepreneur – Applied Economics

The goal of this Project is to improve the initial vocational education of youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the field of entrepreneurship competences at secondary vocational colleges.

Bulgaria 2007-2009

Implementing Entrepreneurship – Education into the initial vocational education of youth with a Rotary Foundation Matching Grants project.

Republic of Nothern Macedonia project – Innovative Platform Of Entrepreneurship INNOPE 2013, Lifelong learning program, Leonardo da Vinci

In the duration of the working platform of project INNOPE, several working packages were established, esp. Entrepreneurial learning

Erasmus+ Project: MISPOP, Marketing Initiative of Students for Professional Orientation and Progress, 2014-2016

Erasmus+ Project: PEEISS – Power of Entrepreneurial Education – Inspiration and Step to Success, 2015 – 2017

Erasmus+ Policy Experimentation Project: UStart, 2015 – 2018

Details: www.youthstartproject.eu  and   www.youthstart.eu

Experience in the project topics: Youth Employment, Careers Advisory, Entrepreneurship Education, Validation of Learning

Through entrepreneurship education and the development of entrepreneurial attitudes, IFTE empowers young people in schools and social organizations to stimulate their economic

and social integration by improving their business, academic and life skills. The aim of IFTE is to promote young people’s entrepreneurial spirit and values for self-employment and professional independence – as an instrument for equal opportunities. Apart from business objectives, this approach also observes the responsibility for disadvantaged people in our

society. IFTE believes that entrepreneurship education is an essential element for empowering students to carry their life in their hands and to become active citizens.

IFTE actually has the methodical lead within the policy experimentation project Youth Start Entrepreneurial Challenges, co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme. Within this project

IFTE acts on behalf of the Austrian ministry of education and cooperates with the ministries of education in Portugal, Luxembourg and Slovenia. IFTE hosts the bilingual website of the

project: http://www.youthstart.eu (German, English). Actually IFTE prepares to offer all teaching materials, developed within the project Youth Start Entrepreneurial Challenges, additional to

English and German in another 5 languages: French, Slovenian, Portuguese, Bulgarian and Spanish.

IFTE is partner in the Erasmus+-project UKids, that bases on results of the ongoing project Youth Start Entrepreneurial Challenges and focuses on the reform of the formation of

teachers in 6 countries: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Netherlands and Portugal.

IFTE is the host of the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Austria and member of GEN Europe and YouthStart European Entrepreneurship (Education) Network http://www.youthstart.info.