“Mom buy me a sewing machine.” This is the exact sentence of a ten-year-old pupil member of school cooperative Mravac from Levanjska Varos after enthusiastically learning the craft production. Teachers must be educated and trained to show by their example that learning makes difference and that entrepreneurship is one of the most important skills of 21st century leading from sewing machine or flower beds to various entrepreneurial ventures that change image of this area. The most vulnerable with right guidance can be active community members contributing to local development and poverty reduction.

The project “Well, I really want to be an entrepreneur!” is aimed at improving entrepreneurial skills of teachers and other educational workers (hereinafter: ESD) in Elementary Schools “S.S. Kranjcevic ”Levanjska Varos,“ Antunovac ”from Antunovac and“ Secerana ”from Beli Manastir, connecting in that process strengthening of competencies of target groups in the ICT and work with pupils with special educational needs and gifted pupils.

The project partnership strategically includes 4 organizations that will improve skills and competencies of at least 35 teachers and other ESD from included elementary schools through targeted programs of formal and non-formal education, mentoring and practical work:Faculty of Agrobiotechnology Sciences Osijek, Croatian association of school cooperatives and High School for Green Development from Norway.

Project will contribute to development and improvement of entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and competencies. At least 35 participants, will start their entrepreneurial education on trainings dedicated to entrepreneurship and development of entrepreneurial skills. As selected schools are located in rural areas, training of trainers (17 participants) on topic of innovative entrepreneurship in rural communities will be conducted, which includes an additional component of empowering participants to create and lead successful rural entrepreneurial ventures. Training includes methodology of Norwegian partner “See one-Do one-Teach one” and the results of training will be base of teachers-trainers trained to transfer knowledge and skills from entrepreneurship to other teachers, pupils and community and translated and locally adapted set of educational materials.

Practical entrepreneurial skills of project participants (15) will be developed and improved under the expert guidance of FAZOS partners in trainings and demonstration exercises for the development of school ecological horticultural gardens, which will also serve as training grounds for entrepreneurship and training of organic horticultural production and agroeconomic models. They will be designed to conduct part of practical classes in STEM area. About 80m2 of demonstration raised flower beds will be made through exercises under expert mentorship, as well as part of orchards and other crops. The activity will be rounded off with development of Handbook for teachers and other ESD on development and benefits of school eco-gardens with 9 preparations for block hours from STEM area and cooperatives. As these gardens will be in function of school cooperatives, partner (CASC) will hold series of lectures and workshops aimed at improving work of school cooperatives with emphasis on entrepreneurial dimension.

There are also 24 hours of education on working with children with special educational needs and gifted children, since in the Elementary School “Antunovac” there are 18 pupils with special needs and 10 gifted pupils, in the elementary school “Secerana” 27 pupils with special needs and 1 gifted pupil, and in the Elementary School “SSKranjcevic” there are 12 pupils with special needs and 3 gifted pupils.

Direct results of proposed project activities are improved skills and competencies of at least 35 teachers and other ESD through 156 hours of training, 70 hours of professional mentoring and 20 hours of practical exercises in entrepreneurship, but also ICT tools necessary for modern entrepreneurship, strengthened cooperation of educational institutions (elementary schools – faculties), cooperation and transfer of knowledge and skills between Croatia and Norway, Handbook on school ecological horticultural gardens with demonstration/demonstration exercises and Curriculum for extracurricular activities Entrepreneurship (up to 15% of content that schools independently propose in accordance with legal regulations ).

The Handbook and Curriculum will also include recommendations and teaching materials for working with children with special educational needs and gifted children.

Project Leader: Elementary School “Silvije Strahimir Kranjčević”, Levanjska Varoš
Partners: Elementary School “Antunovac”, Elementary School “Šećerana”, College for Green Development from Norway, Slagalica Foundation, Faculty of Agrobiotechnical Sciences Osijek, Croatian Association of Student Cooperatives.

The project “Yes, I really want to be an Entrepreneur” is supported with € 133.396 in financial aid from Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism. The goal of the project is to improve the skills of teachers and other educational workers in the areas of STEM, ICT, entrepreneurship, and working with students with special educational needs and gifted students in elementary schools.