Developing Transnational Entrepreneurial Skills: Evidence from the I-STEP programme

An example of a programme that enhances the entrepreneurial skills and the attitude of teachers and students in Vocational Education and Training

Pádraig Gallagher
Letterkenny IT

Simon Stephens
Letterkenny IT

Karen McCormick
Letterkenny IT

Background and Objectives
I-STEP provides an international dimension to entrepreneurship programmes and strengthens the local and European network of VET schools. I-STEP achieves this by sharing knowledge; experiences; and practises in the field of (international) entrepreneurship; and ensuring cooperation between VET, regional business, government and research institutes. Participants are VET (teachers, managers, coordinators) and students in all fields of education. If VET schools want to prepare students for the labour market, they need to invest in the entrepreneurial and international skills of the student. Projects like I-STEP are necessary because of the need to foster an entrepreneurial mind-set due to ongoing structural changes in the European labour markets. Fostering cooperation, knowledge exchange and synergies between students strengthens the entrepreneurial and international competences of the students, and of all other parties involved. However, no entrepreneurship programmes are in place that have a clear quality international dimension. The innovative and pioneering I-STEP programme provides training material for students, a teacher manual explaining how to internationalise entrepreneurship education, an online platform and a quality label for European Entrepreneurship Schools supported by an annual event on International Entrepreneurship.