The Hotel Academy, Bratislava, Slovakia
The school decided to provide Entrepreneurship Education (EE) 7 years ago, as its fields of study are closely connected with practice. Through this education programme, students are able to discover their potential, and to develop their knowledge and skills to become active and successful in their future careers.
The school offers many programmes focused on entrepreneurship for student; most of them are Junior Achievement Programmes, which are integrated in the school plan.
Besides these programmes, there is a cooperation with Young Entrepreneurs Association of Slovakia. Members of the Association give lectures to the students on different topics.
What is compulsory for all students is a practical final exam. In the final year of their study all students have to set up a virtual company and have to organise a real Banquet on a given theme. They receive marks for their performance as a part of the final report.
Learning by doing is very important and motivating for the students and their willingness to study.
Most of the EE programmes are Junior Achievement programmes - More than Money, The Travel and Tourism Business, Banks in Action, Business Ethics, Global Enterprise Project, Think Big School.
The school cooperates with the business newspaper Trend which offers a 'Think Economically' programme for the students.
Not all students have the opportunity to take part in these programmes, as there are only a few qualified teachers who can teach them. However all students participate in the virtual company and organise the Banquet.
A big success is The Travel and Tourism Business Programme. The students sell stock, elect managers, do market research, set up a real travel agency, create a business plan and have to offer services and earn money to pay stockholders their profit. It is supported by volunteer advisers from real business. The focus is not only on the financial planning; teachers motivate students to also develop their region by creating interesting tourist packages and to be socially responsible.
In the 2012/2013 school year the school took part in the Think Big project. This allowed 15 years old students to participate in a programme offered by Junior Achievement and Telefonica - O2 mobile operator. Mentors supported the students in brainstorming, creating business plans and presenting projects. Afterwards the students were able to apply for a Think Big project grant and organise charity running to help a cancer institute. The name of the project was CapRun. The students were able to organise the whole event with help of a teacher and mentor. They planned all activities, discussed them with local government, got permissions for the event, asked sponsors to help, promoted the event to motivate other schools to join and then arranged all necessary things to make the event successful. This project was a great opportunity to learn, to cooperate, to work as a team, to bargain, but most of all to show that young people are able to steer their energy in the right direction.
The school has run the Comenius project 'A Trip through Europe - Entrepreneurship and Tourism' with 8 countries. The aim was to support positive attitude of the students to entrepreneurship, learn to act and react as a business person in an international context, learn how to establish a company, learn about advertising and marketing strategies and become more self confident by presenting their work in different ways, using English and cooperating at every step. The grant allowed the participating schools to meet regularly in different countries and work together in multicultural groups. Besides, students had to organise meetings from arranging accommodation and flights to acting as tourist guides. The school received the European Quality Label for this project.