DOIT - Entrepreneurial skills for young social innovators


“DOIT – Entrepreneurial skills for young social innovators in an open digital world” is a H2020 funded project that aims to deliver and spread a new approach for early entrepreneurship education within Europe.

DOIT contributes to youth employment and to creating new jobs in the social economy by nurturing in young pupils seeds for active social innovation: entrepreneurial mind-sets, knowhow and skills. The project empowers primary and secondary school pupils (aged 6–16) alongside educators to apply open innovation methods, digital maker tools and collaboration skills to tackle societal problems. It will develop ground-breaking DOIT toolboxes for children as well as facilitators, which provide complementary knowhow and support. They are designed for experiencing being a social innovator in mobile and fixed child-friendly makerspaces and are easily accessible on the interactive DOIT web platform.

Co-created with help from the Children’s Advisory Committee, DOIT novel resources cover inspirational experimentation, design, prototyping and basic business modelling knowhow needed for sustainable product and service innovation. The DOIT children’s social innovation and entrepreneurship programme is piloted and evaluated across 10 European countries (AT, BE, DE, DK, ES, FI, HR, NL, RS and SI ), reaching 42,000 children and 20,000 facilitators in schools, innovation labs, makerspaces and social enterprises. It offers intergenerational workshops and training events targeted at different learner needs and learning settings.

DOIT showcases how its child-friendly, intergenerational maker approach enables young people to acquire the manual, technological, intellectual and social skills they need to be active and initiate social good. DOIT’s online idea competition, open to all children in Europe, will inspire them to pursue an entrepreneurial career path. The project consortium comprises experienced actors across the social innovation value chain with links to related European initiatives fostering young entrepreneurship education. DOIT’s ambassador network (currently more than 80 supporting institutions) and open educational resources will drive DOIT’s long-term sustainability and impact.

Basic information

Country: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain

Coordinator: Salzburg Research Institute,

Programme: Horizon 2020

Project Acronym:

Target groups: education authorities, general public, industry, parents, policy makers, primary school students, researchers, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers, vocational school students, youth clubs

Topic: Anthropology, Applied sciences, Gender in STEM, Information technology, Education, Other

Start year: 2017

End year: 2020


Contact person: Veronika Hornung-Prähauser, veronika.hornung (at)

The work has been conducted in three major phases:

  1. Phase 1: First development phase (pedagogical concept, authoring of contents and setting up modules and training guidelines): DOIT concept and plan and platform developed.
  2. Phase 2: Iterative large-scale testing and evaluating of the DOIT modules and platform in open makerspaces in 9 languages, 10 practice regions as well as in online settings within two phases, systematically planned to be able to reach and compare settings with different target groups, different settings as well as different societal goals/topics addressed.
  3. Phase 3: Transfer to schools and European roll-out of results: intensive period of activities, including expert group meetings, and using a set of measures (DOIT competition, DOIT week, DOIT final conference, DOIT facilitator training events and DOIT online course for facilitators) for quantitative as well as qualitative outreach (i.e. concerning sustainable integration of the DOIT concept in educational policies)

The DOIT learning approach spans and integrates different dimensions:

  1. Social Innovation - DOIT sees young people as engaged citizens, who tackle social issues and develop innovative solutions
  2. Entrepreneurial Education - DOIT supports the development of entrepreneurial mind-sets and skills, as well as social businesses, through direct learning experiences
  3. Makerspace and Digital Fabrication Tools - DOIT builds upon open workshops with digital tools and maker education as core.

Therefore, all DOIT activities and materials build upon the DOIT programme. These are seven modules or topics which are seen as essential to reach the aim of higher self-efficacy and experiences for young social innovators.

The seven modules build upon the above-mentioned dimensions of DOIT’s approaches as well as existing concepts and aims of early entrepreneurial education, social innovation and maker education. They are applied in a a several-day workshop, which is called a “DOIT action”, as follows:

  1. Do it because you can: Children and adults, e.g. entrepreneurs, co-design a DOIT action.
  2. Do what matters: All collect ideas for the goal addressed and social innovation.
  3. Do it together: Co-operation and teamwork are essential.
  4. Do it now: All develop ideas, prototypes and products by using the possibilities of a makerspace setting.
  5. Do it better: Reflection and failing forward are integrated features of the process.
  6. Do more of it: The activities include finding more support, by developing e.g. business plans.
  7. Do inspire others: Public presentation and sharing of the idea and the (success) stories are part of a DOIT action.

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