European Business Summit 2013: JADE and the role of youth entrepreneurship education in the EU Strategy for Competitiveness

Slide1This year, as in previous years, JADE was kindly invited to the 11th edition of the European Business Summit (EBS).

Organised by BUSINESS EUROPE, EBS is one of the most important events for European businesses in Brussels. This annual European Forum brings together top Companies’ executives, public sector leaders, International finance institutions, and NGOs’ like JADE to discuss industrial, business and educational policies directly with EU policy makers.

The focus of this year summit was on: Unlocking Industrial Opportunities – An EU strategy for competitiveness.  As a part of this year theme, the summit highlighted topics that are important for Europe’s economic recovery, growth and competiveness; among the topics discussed were Technological Innovation, Energy resources, skills and Human capital.

The summit organised a number of plenary sessions with keynote speeches by political and business leaders such as the President of the European council, BUSINESS EUROPE, Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB) and Accenture chief geographic strategy & operations officer.  One of the main issues highlighted by the speakers and a priority for Europe’s recovery was tackling youth unemployment. As a result a call was made by President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy for Business leaders to be fully engaged in developing skills, nurturing talent and spreading opportunities for young Europeans. Furthermore, the speakers supported the Six Billion Euros fund aimed for youth employment initiatives, for the next seven years, which will be approved by the European Parliament later this year.

Also during the event a study conducted by Accenture and the FEB on the theme of the summit was launched. This study showed that 72% of Business executives believed that Europe needed to increase its investment into education and skills development. Moreover, it pointed out that 4 out 10 respondents have experience shortage of required skills. Overall, education, training and language skills were highlighted as the main competitive advantages, allowing companies to grow and achieve market leadership.

Slide1JADE’s main objective in attending the event was to be present during discussions on relevant topics such entrepreneurship and education. Among the workshops attended were “Enterprising for Growth”, “Translating skills into Employment” and “The Digitalisation of our Economies”. Through these conferences, we were able to network with EU decision makers and top corporate executives such as the President of TATA Consulting and the CEO of Telefonica Europe, who were very receptive of JADE’s work and impact of Junior Enterprises in youth entrepreneurship and skills development within Europe. Furthermore, they showed interest in getting involved with the network and collaborating through their business initiatives that are related to youth entrepreneurship.

JADE would like to thank General Manager of the EBS, Arnaud Thysen for supporting our participation to this important event, which is key for bringing ideas and best practices together and creating sustainable solutions for the Europe of tomorrow.