At a glance
School education about start-ups is one of Germany’s major weak spots as a start-up location, which is why experts recommend integrating an entrepreneurial education culture into the curriculum taught in German schools. With an eye to the need for climate action and to the country’s emission reduction goals, topics like sustainability and decarbonisation play an ever-increasing role.
StartGreen@School will increase the sustainability focus in existing student-run enterprises and encourage new, sustainably managed student-run start-ups. It will also provide sustainable entrepreneurism training for teachers and connect schools with green industry and green start-ups. The connections established will incentivise young people to form sustainably managed enterprises when they leave school.
In addition to raising students’ awareness to the climate action cause, the project is designed to encourage proactive attitudes and promote self-efficacy.
To establish a sustainable start-up culture in German schools, additional skills are needed in areas such as public relations and project and business planning. Students are taught those skills and are able to put them into use. This forges links between environmental education, measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and practical application of skills needed in vocational education and training and in working life.
The project is conducted by a consortium comprising UnternehmensGrün e.V. (project coordinator), Borderstep Institut für Innovation und Nachhaltigkeit gGmbH, Institut Futur der FU Berlin and BildungsCent e.V.
StartGreen@School is designed to foster a sustainability-focused start-up culture in schools and encourage innovative business start-ups to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the longer term. The project’s key components include integrating sustainability and climate action into entrepreneurship education, connecting schools with green industry, teaching the creative, future-focused planning and design skills needed in shaping a low-carbon economy and encouraging sustainable career choices. The project has four aims:
- Fostering new, sustainably managed student-run start-ups
- Promoting greater focus on sustainability in existing student-run enterprises
- Improving teachers’ skills in providing sustainable entrepreneurship education
- Connecting schools with green industry and green start-ups
- Methodology development and training: design and implementation of further education and training
- Networking and support: schools, online community
- Exchange and good practice: school-industry partnerships, green industry visits, documentation
- Interaction: application of the newly-developed methodologies in schools
- Advice: mentor/mentee relationships
- Incentive: development and implementation of the StartGreen@School award
StartGreen@School encourages schools to establish a sustainable start-up culture and fosters environmentally-friendly attitudes among students. By focusing on the promotion of sustainably managed student-run enterprises and sustainable entrepreneurship, the project serves climate action in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both in the medium and the longer term.