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Mind the skills gap: the role of enterprise education in developing enterprise amongst socially marginalised groups

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date18/06/2015
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventInternational Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development - University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 18/06/201519/07/2015


ConferenceInternational Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development
CountryUnited Kingdom


The Eliemental project is an EU-funded partnership across four countries and eight partners working to understand the impact of socio-cultural barriers on entrepreneurship amongst socially marginalised groups. The European Commission notes ‘Certain groups in society such as people from ethnic minorities face additional difficulties in trying to set up businesses’ and highlights the need for solutions to barriers to entrepreneurship (http://ow.ly/8Obz8).This paper will explore types of enterprise education required to help people overcome socio-cultural barriers and move towards self-employment. Working with diverse communities including Roma, recovering substance abusers, people experiencing mental and physical ill health, disabilities, long-term unemployed youth and migrants we identified a soft-skills gap and a range of impacts caused by shortfalls in soft skills that act as invisible barriers to enterprise. Our project has also taken an innovative participatory action approach to working in the communities where our target groups live, and have identified community access points which will become a focus for the delivery of mentoring and enterprise-readiness education and training. The paper will conclude with an evaluation of the potential for Eliemental to be adopted as a first-stage enterprise education intervention in a variety of settings.