The Entrepreneurial Skills Pass at the Enterprise 2020 Summit

19 November 2015

On 16-17 November 2015, JA Europe and ESP partners joined countless organisations and companies in supporting business growth by participating in CSR Europe’s Enterprise 2020 Summit.

By promoting a more enterprising and innovative future in Europe, the 2015 edition of the Summit included the launch of the European Pact for Youth. With education activities and programmes like the Entrepreneurial Skills Pass, JA Europe is proud to support this initiative and contribute to boost “Business-Education Partnerships for Youth Employability and Inclusion”.


Jo Deblaere, JA Europe Chairman and COO of Accenture, and Tilde Dahlmann, a JA Europe alumna from Denmark, participated in the plenary discussion "Aligning the stars: business, schools and youth", which formally launched the European Pact for Youth. Jo shared with the audience the importance of entrepreneurship education and providing further opportunities for Europe’s youth, highlighting the ESP as a pass to future success. As an ESP holder, Tilde spoke of her experience shadowing a top leader at Accenture and why the ESP is a great opportunity for all young people to certify their entrepreneurial competences. 


Meeting HRH King Philippe

During the Pact for Youth plenary discussion, one of our JA alumni had the unique opportunity of joining a private meeting with HRH Philippe, King of Belgium. As alumni of the JA Company Programme, ESP holders and winners of the 2015 JA Europe Company of the Year Competition, the student-company RAUTECK was able to present their entrepreneurial experience and share their products with the King.

ESP Breakout Session

To highlight the significance of the ESP, a breakout session was held with the objective of discussing “innovation in entrepreneurship education” and how the ESP can contribute to great impact. Following a short introduction from JA Europe's CEO Caroline Jenner and field expert Friederike Soezen from WKO, the session introduced the student and business perspectives with testimonials from the student-company RAUTECK and representatives of businesses already supporting the ESP.  

Having completed their JA Company Programme and received their ESP qualification, the students were able to share their experience and even present their mini-company products to the audience.

ESP was a great chance for us. When we decided to take the exam, we were expecting nothing. Then, suddenly, we got the opportunity to take part in the Summit, meet the King of Belgians and present our mini-company experience to an international audience. We got the opportunity to experience for one day the life of a real entrepreneur by doing many things for the first time and learning how to take responsibility of our success,” shared the RAUTECK students.

To stress the important role business plays in supporting the success of young people, the session furthermore welcomed representatives from AXA, ManpowerGroup, SAP and the new European Commission's initiative, Drop’pin, to share why they support the ESP’s further opportunities. 

“We invest in youth; because in future they will bring about the change we want (in a proactive way as opposed to reactive) and help the businesses to transform. Young leaders, who have ESP, will be able to use their skills for the benefit of company and themselves; find solutions, captivate, implement ideas and challenge status quo to innovate.”Simone Innocenti, AXA 

“Thanks to ESP young people can actually prove their business skills, which is a great competitive advantage compared to others. By involving companies, ESP helps their HR departments in finding the right employees easier.”Zuzana Vaneckova, SAP

“If I have two young persons, one with ESP and another one without, I would definitely present my client the one with ESP because he/she has proven to have the practice. ESP proves that you have not only read the theory but also that you have the practical experience.” – Geert Vaerenberg, ManpowerGroup

“By incorporating ESP in Drop’pin we aim at reaching out to more young people and offering further opportunities for their career development.” – Pascale Woodruff, Drop’pin.

As an online platform developed by the European Commission, Drop’pin enables companies and organisations to promote their youth-oriented opportunities and help Europe’s youth navigate the world of employment.

“By supporting the ESP and providing further opportunities, businesses ensure not only the success of young Europeans, but their own success as well, as they gain access to a pool of uniquely qualified workers. Together, we can ensure a bright future for tomorrow’s leaders and grow a more competitive and innovative Europe.” said Diana Filip, JA Europe.  

Wider participation from the business community is still needed to further scale up this initiative. Therefore, JA Europe urges companies to join the ESP by endorsing, supporting and offering successful students further opportunities.  

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