Green Entrepreneurs Europe (GEE)

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Packaging materials made from mushrooms? Pasta from seaweed? That is green entrepreneurship! Schools, teachers and learners are invited to think more creatively and innovatively about how they can develop entrepreneurial ideas that provide jobs and conserve the natural world we depend upon, as part of the Green Entrepreneurship Europe (GEE) project.

Green Entrepreneurs Europe (GEE) aims at developing the competences of schools and teachers to provide meaningful entrepreneurship learning experiences for the green economy. The sense of initiative and entrepreneurship is an essential transversal skill identified by the European Union, both in the creation of jobs of the future and in the transformation towards a green economy.

But in order to move towards those goals, it is necessary to increase the relevance and attainment levels of learners who are studying entrepreneurship. The partners of the GEE project aim at providing learning experiences for school pupils that are based on the real world of business and entrepreneurship. This enables learners to turn their ideas into action.

By focusing on skills and competences for the green economy, the partners of the GEE project invite schools, teachers and school pupils to think more creatively and innovatively about how they can develop entrepreneurial ideas that provide jobs and conserve the natural world we depend upon. New ways to think about business development, based on natural principles, are offered as part of the GEE project, and are already being adapted by leading actors in this field. When combining entrepreneurship and the green economy, the partners of the GEE project look beyond simple business opportunities to include awareness of ethical values and to promote societal benefits.

Basic information

Country: Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom

Coordinator: Field Studies Council, United Kingdom, https://www.field-studies-council.org

Programme: Erasmus+

Project Acronym:

Target groups: college students, education authorities, policy makers, primary school students, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers, vocational school students, youth clubs

Topic: Agriculture, Applied sciences, Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Ecology, Environmental sciences, Geography, Education, Other

Start year: 2015

End year: 2018

Url: https://www.geelearning.eu/

Contact person: Noel Elliott, Email n.elliott (at) field-studies-council.org

As part of the Green Entrepreneurship Europe (GEE) project, research is carried out on the links between outdoor learning and entrepreneurship education. This research forms the basis of the GEE project’s pedagogy. This is achieved in a number of activities, including:

  • A review of current green economy initiatives, existing green economy education initiatives and sustainable business thinking. Learning processes are studied at all levels, since there are relatively few programmes specifically targeting secondary education.
  • A review of entrepreneurship education and existing provisions for entrepreneurship education in the partnering schools of the GEE project, in order to assess where improvements are needed.
  • An identification of opportunities, including how a previous European project called 'Lesson from Nature' and entrepreneurship education can support each other.
  • A GEE approach and pedagogy that blends outdoor learning and entrepreneurship education within the context of real-world learning experiences and the world of work.

Teachers receive support for integrating entrepreneurship into their subject area as part of the Green Entrepreneurship Europe (GEE) project. A lack of such support has been identified as a challenge for teachers and a barrier for increasing the relevance of entrepreneurship education. GEE focuses on both subjects in the fields of natural and social sciences, with the aim at increasing attainment levels in those subjects by making them more relevant and meaningful in the eyes of school pupils.

For instance, the study of natural principles in biology can lead to business opportunities in biomimicry, of which Velcro is a well-known example, or a realisation of the fact that waste from one process can feed another, as when coffee grains are used to support cultivation of mushrooms.

By bringing such learning experiences into the real world, GEE adds new contexts and meaning to school lessons. Young people are empowered to take an active role in shaping their own future, for example, by running their own projects with local businesses.

GEE brings together schools from five countries to share and develop good practices. In Bulgaria, Romania and Latvia it is particularly important to work in pan-European ways to strengthen the profile of teachers who are contributing to a modern and sustainable Europe. By bringing together teachers to learn from one another, GEE strengthens people’s understanding for making a greener Europe as a pan-European goal.

 

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