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Breaking Down Barriers to Enterprise

Project Concept


Use participatory action research (PAR) approaches to establish the socio-cultural barriers to entrepreneurship of under-represented groups in business start-ups and to develop and trial effective learning tools & a validated qualification in Enterprise Learning supported by online mentoring systems for developing & applying entrepreneurial skills

Target groups

a) Minority Ethnic communities with low participation rates in entrepreneurship

b) Long-term economically inactive older women (over 40) who wish to or need to improve their capacity to support themselves

c) NEETS (Young people not in education, employment or training)

Project Results

Recruit 100 representatives of target groups (25 per country) as trainee entrepreneurs to provide data and trial our training & mentoring system

2) Work with 12 co-researchers; recruited from within the 100 representatives of our target groups (3 per country) and after training with the academic team, to collect data from their social network to establish attitudes towards engaging in entrepreneurship, socio-cultural barriers to entrepreneurship & skills gaps that may require addressing

3) Develop sustainable model of recruiting & training 32 mentors (8 in each country) (successful entrepreneurs/or holding relevant skills) to support trainee entrepreneurs

4) Develop a model for identification and assessment of ‘Community access points’ (local markets, community centres, cafes, libraries, schools etc) for outreach to target groups

5) Work with gatekeepers of relevant community access points to create a sustainable method for ELIEMENTAL project to be promoted in venue

6) Develop learning needs assessment and enterprise learning toolkit and teaching materials alongside our participants, partners and validation bodies for use in community settings and online to encourage & support entrepreneurship

7) Facilitate access to relevant support for participants who wish to use their new enterprise skills in developing their business ideas

8) Develop a project website that will disseminate our project and act as a point of contact and link to our learning needs assessment, enterprise learning toolkit & entry level qualification

9) Pilot, promote and evaluate our learning tools, teaching materials & mentoring system

10) To work with an external qualifications validation body to develop our learning tools into an validated entry-level qualification that is recognised initially in partner countries and can be validated across EU

Our PAR approach to investigating socio-cultural barriers to entrepreneurship will develop important new knowledge. We recognise the expertise of our participants by working with them & address issues of increasing social and intellectual capital with a new entry-level qualification in Enterprise Skills. We apply innovative approaches to encouraging access to learning opportunities through community access points that will promote learning opportunities and potential of enterprise to target groups


31/12/2012 - 30/12/2015

SEERC Budget

63.237 €


Leonardo da Vinci: Multilateral projects for developing of innovation


Participating Researchers

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