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Promoting Regional Development Through a Collaborative Project in Entrepreneurship Education: Lessons from a Regional Experiment to Develop Entrepreneurial Competencies in Children and Youngsters

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New Paths of Entrepreneurship Development


The chapter focuses on the reflection around the relationship between entrepreneurial empowerment and regional development, based on the assumptions, methodology and results of a self-sustained supramunicipal project in entrepreneurship education, promoted by a wide network of partners representing all the municipalities of Baixo Alentejo, Portugal, and coordinated by the Polytechnic Institute of Beja (IPBeja). The project Promoting Entrepreneurship Education at the Schools of Baixo Alentejo (PEEBA) was carried out in collaboration with Elementary Schools (1st to 2nd Ciclos) and kindergartens of Baixo Alentejo with the objective to nurture entrepreneurial competencies in children and youngsters aged 3–12 through practical and experiential entrepreneurship education. It provided them with entrepreneurial skills and attitudes that will increase their opportunities, by helping them face their lives with more initiative and confidence and/or be more proactive at work, or even start their own business in a near future, in the hope that this may eventually contribute to reduce the brain drain in Baixo Alentejo.

With the motto the socioeconomic future of our region will be shaped by the students we are educating now, the PEEBA is innovative and unique, since it consists in a platform that brings together all the key stakeholders in the field of entrepreneurship education within all the municipalities of a NUTS, in this particular case Baixo Alentejo, who show an interest in working collaboratively for a common goal: to create a shared ecosystem favourable to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial capacity.

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  1. 1.

    In Entrepreneurship Education: A Guide for Educators (European Commission 2014, p. 4), “(…) To inspire their pupils and students, and to help them develop an enterprising attitude, teachers need a wide range of competences related to creativity and entrepreneurship; they require a school environment where creativity and risk-taking are encouraged, and mistakes are valued as a learning opportunity. Developing the competences of school leaders and teaching staff—including aspiring new teachers and those who have been in the profession for a long time—should be an absolute priority for Member States.”. Accessed in:

  2. 2.

    “(…) that seek to prepare people to be responsible, enterprising individuals who have the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to prepare them to achieve the goals they set for themselves to live a fulfilled life. It hence covers a broad range of activities across all levels of education—from creativity classes in primary education to Business Master Studies.(…)” (European Commission 2015, p. 3). Accessed in

  3. 3.

    FFE-YE is a national knowledge centre supporting the implementation of entrepreneurial education in Denmark at all educational levels. Relevant target groups include participants from primary and secondary school and higher education.

  4. 4.

    European Commission (2004). Final report of the expert group “education for entrepreneurship”: making progress in promoting entrepreneurial attitudes and skills through primary and secondary education; European Commission (2005). Mini-Empresas no Ensino Secundário—Projecto do Procedimento Best: Relatório Final do Grupo de Peritos; European Commission (2006). Implementing the Community Lisbon Programme: Fostering entrepreneurial mind-sets through education and learning; European Commission (2010). EUROPE 2020 A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; European Commission (2014). Entrepreneurship Education: A Guide for Educators; European Commission (2015). Entrepreneurship Education: A road to success. A compilation of evidence on the impact of entrepreneurship education strategies and measures; European Commission (2016). Entrepreneurship Education at School in Europe.

  5. 5.

    According to Amaro (2003, p. 66, own translation): “(…) free from the ‘encasing’, ‘clothing’, ‘wrappings’, ‘packaging’ that prevent the release and the realization of the seeds and the potential wrapped up in individuals, social groups, and societies.”

  6. 6.

    The 13 municipalities are: Vidigueira, Serpa, Ourique, Moura, Mértola, Ferreira do Alentejo, Cuba, Castro Verde, Beja, Barrancos, Alvito, Almodôvar and Aljustrel.

  7. 7.

    Source: Directorate-General for Statistics and Sciences. Regions in numbers (Baixo Alentejo), accessed on 1st June 2017 at

  8. 8.

    Project mentioned before in Sect. 2.2 as a good practice example.

  9. 9.

    This training course granted teachers 1.4 credits.

  10. 10.

    Year 1: 2014/2015 and year 2: 2015/2016.

  11. 11.

    The Budapest Agenda: Enabling Teachers for Entrepreneurship Education. Accessed in:

  12. 12.

    Available at:


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The translation and english proof revision of the text was supported by national funds: CICS.NOVA—Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences, UID/SOC/04647/2013, with the financial support of FCT/MCTES through National funds.

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Correspondence to Sandra Saúde .

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Saúde, S., Lopes, S., Piedade, A., Esparteiro, B., do Céu André, M., Silveira, M. (2019). Promoting Regional Development Through a Collaborative Project in Entrepreneurship Education: Lessons from a Regional Experiment to Develop Entrepreneurial Competencies in Children and Youngsters. In: Cagica Carvalho, L., Rego, C., Lucas, M.R., Sánchez-Hernández, M.I., Backx Noronha Viana, A. (eds) New Paths of Entrepreneurship Development. Studies on Entrepreneurship, Structural Change and Industrial Dynamics. Springer, Cham.

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