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The Iværksætterindblikket survey published by the Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship shows that in recent years young Danes have become much more interested in starting their own business. Currently, twice the number of young people start a business than was the case in 2009.
Since 2010, the Foundation has worked hard to raise the profile of entrepreneurship and innovation substantially in the education system – from schools to universities. Figures now show that these efforts are paying off which is something the Confederation of Danish Industry is celebrating.
“It is incredibly positive that young people have become so interested in starting their own business. I am in no doubt that the education system is playing a decisive role in helping young people to see themselves as entrepreneurs,” says Kent Damsgaard, deputy director at the Confederation of Danish Industry.
See also: Denmark could be a DREAM for foreign entrepreneurs
More than half of all Danish schools are currently putting entrepreneurship on their timetables. For example, pupils in years 6 and 7 are working on road safety – and their task is to identify new solutions that would increase safety on the roads. These solutions could be products, processes or alternative road designs.
“The efforts being made in Danish schools show that pupils become more interested in learning because they are being given the opportunity to convert their theoretical knowledge into practice. In the longer term, it turns out that they also become much more interested in becoming entrepreneurs and innovative employees,” explains Christian Vintergaard, CEO of the Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship.
See also: Schoolchildren learning about entrepreneurship
The effect of the initiatives is not necessarily limited to pupils and students, believes Kent Damsgaard from the Confederation of Danish Industry.
“When our children come home and talk about an entrepreneur visiting them in class – or about how they have helped to calculate the dimensions of a toboggan run which is to be sold to Sweden, parents also become more curious about entrepreneurship,” he says.
But if this positive trend is to continue, it is vital that initiatives to consolidate the entrepreneurial mindset continue in the coming years, emphasises Kent Damsgaard:
“Creating a strong entrepreneurial culture is a long and hard slog. That is why the Confederation of Danish Industry recommends that the Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship is awarded an independent grant as part of the Danish budget to run for three years at a time, but also that parents are given more opportunity to support new entrepreneurs – for example, by being able to invest their private pension savings in new start-ups,” says the deputy director.