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European franchise project: licences for entrepreneurs

A certificate system to standardize entrepreneurial training and development across Europe is the objective of the European initiative SofE - IDEA School of Entrepreneurs. The background to this idea is the fact that more than ninety percent of all companies in Europe employ fewer than ten people. The tasks which the owners or managing directors have to carry out, therefore, are very varied and, for the most part, the training programmes offered in Europe fail to prepare budding entrepreneurs for such tasks. They often lack the necessary business knowledge.

Whilst there are courses available in this field, the content and quality are often very varied and so cannot be compared at a European level. The project, which is being funded by the European Leonardo da Vinci Programme, is looking to change this situation. It is planning to be offering a corresponding certificate system as a franchise system by the end of 2007. Target groups will be educational institutes.

“The programme will be divided up into three stages. A standardized examination is taken at the end of each stage similar to the European Computer Driving Licence, the ECDL. The results of the tests are then documented on a certificate. For an entrepreneur, this certificate will act as a letter of reference and proof of knowledge and can, for example, be presented when applying for a business loan,” explained Dr Marion Mienert, managing director of INI-Novation GmbH which is taking part in the project.

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