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The Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (developed by JRC in 2015) presents a comprehensive set of skills, attitudes and values for the entrepreneurial mind-set required to overcome our current societal challenges. The EntreComp tool analyses three competence areas: ‘Ideas and Opportunities’, ‘Resources’ and ‘Into Action’; and each one of them presents five competences which are important to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. It also has an 8-level progression model and a list of 442 learning outcomes to be used as a guide (Bacigalupo et al., 2016).


Figure 1: Quick Guide to the EntreComp conceptual model

EntreComp’s definition of entrepreneurship embraces various and different types of entrepreneurship, which encourages the creation of cultural, social or economic value. All types could be applied to either individuals or groups (teams or organisations) and eventually refer to the worth creation within the private, public and third sectors or any hybrid combination of the three. The ‘sense of initiative’ is an important component that is also included in the entrepreneurial competence.

The three Entrepreneurship components presented in Figure 1, emphasise that entrepreneurship is a multidimensional competence since it refers to the ability to transform “ideas and opportunities” “into action” by “mobilising resources”. In particular, all above-mentioned sections are intertwined, as well as the 15 competences are interrelated and interconnected and should be treated as part of a whole.

What does it take to be an entrepreneur?

Firstly, it is important to comprehend entrepreneurship as a transversal competence. Such a competence could be beneficial to all spheres of life: from nurturing personal development, to encouraging active citizenship, to fostering employment and social inclusion as well as starting up ventures (cultural, social or economic).

According to Entrecomp, 15 transversal and soft skills have been identified as key components for the development of an entrepreneurial mind-set which are interrelated and interconnected and should be treated as part of a whole:

List of competences:



1.   Spotting Opportunities

This skill has to do with imagination and the ability to identify opportunities for creating value by exploring the social, cultural and economic landscape. One must identify the needs and challenges that ought to be met and establish new connections to generate opportunities to create value.

2.   Creativity

This skill has to do with the development of creative and purposeful ideas to create value, including better solutions to existing and new challenges. One must explore and experiment with innovative approaches and combine knowledge and resources to achieve valuable effects.

3.   Vision

This skill has to do with working towards a vision of the future in order to turn ideas into action.

4.   Valuing Ideas

This skill has to do with making the most out of ideas and opportunities by judging what value is in social, cultural and economic terms as well as recognising the potential of an idea in generating value.

5.   Ethical and Sustainable thinking

This skill has to do with assessing the consequences and impact of ideas that bring value and the effect they could possibly have on the target community, the market, society and the environment. One should be able reflect on how sustainable long term social, cultural and economic goals are, and the course of action chosen.

6.   Self-awareness and self-efficacy

This skill has to do with reflecting on one’s needs and aspirations as well as identifying and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of one’s self and of one’s team. Believing in one’s ability to influence the course of events is an important aspect of that competence.

7.   Motivation and perseverance

This skill has to do with one being determined to turn ideas into actions, resilient under pressure and adversity and remaining focused and patient to achieve a goal.

8.   Mobilizing resources

This skill has to do with the ability to get and manage the material, non-material and digital resources needed to turn ideas into action and make the most out of them. Managing the competences needed at any stage, including technical, legal, tax and digital, is important when mobilizing resources.

9.   Financial and economic literacy

This skill has to do with the ability to estimate the cost of turning an idea into a value-creating activity, put in place and evaluate financial decisions over time as well as managing long term financials.

10.  Mobilizing others

This skill has to do with the ability to inspire and motivate relevant stakeholders to get the support needed in achieving valuable outcomes. One must make sure to demonstrate effective communication, persuasion, negotiation and leadership.

11.  Taking the initiative

This skill has to do with the ability to initiate processes that create value and take up challenges. Acting independently and working towards achieving goals by carrying out the planned tasks are important aspects of initiation.

12.  Planning and management

This skill has to do with the ability to prioritize, set short-term and/or long-term goals, define action plans and adapt to unforeseen changes.

13.  Coping with uncertainty, ambiguity and risk

This skill has to do with making decisions while dealing with uncertainty, ambiguity and risk. Within the value creating process, including structured ways of testing ideas and prototypes from the early stages, is one way to reduce risks.

14.  Working with others

This skill has to do with the ability to work together and co-operate with others to develop ideas and turn them into action. Networking is one of the most important aspects towards achieving that outcome.

15.  Learning through experience

This skill has to do with the ability to learn by doing, meaning to use initiative for value creation as a learning opportunity. Make sure to learn with others, including peers and coaches and reflect from both success and failure (either with self-reflection or peer-reflection methods).

Note for the WECoaches:

You should bear in mind that not all soon-to-be-entrepreneurs will be interested in acquiring or/and developing all the competences described to the very best level of proficiency. Hence, it is important to adapt the reference framework, presented above, to each learners’ purposes and also to the needs of the user group they intend to target with their enterprise.

Finally, there is no sequence implied in the above-mentioned list of competences and no competence is more important than the other. Consequently, the EntreComp Framework should be used as a launching tool for understanding the entrepreneurship competence, which will then be additionally elaborated and refined to tackle the desires of an individual or a particular group.

Progression Model[1]

The progression in entrepreneurial learning is made up of two aspects, according to EntreComp (Bacigalupo et al., 2016, p.14-15):

  • Developing increasing autonomy and responsibility in acting upon ideas and opportunities to create value and,
  • Developing the capacity to generate value from simple and predictable contexts up to complex, constantly changing environments.

Hence, the entrepreneurial competence is considered as a capability that has both an individual and collective aspect (Fayolle, Kariv & Matlay, 2019). The progression model of EntreComp uses four main levels of measuring and evaluating one’s skills and progress and are divided into the Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert level. At the first level, entrepreneurial value is created with external support while in the second level is created with an increased autonomy. At the third level, responsibility to transform ideas into action is developed and at the final level, the value created has considerable impact in its reference domain.

The progression model could be applied to a formal, non-formal and informal learning context and is a tool that could be adapted to different needs.

Learning outcomes[2]

According to EntreComp, learning outcomes are statements of what a learner knows and understands and are crucial to make the entrepreneurship framework actionable. These statements can be designed or used for educational planning and curriculum development so as to be the basis for the creation of specific learning outcomes and for the development of performance indicators. Hence, these statements could be used as a tool of self and/or peer reflection to support the learners in their coaching/learning journey.

The statements could be either formed on an individual or collective basis and could be used in various educational settings. The statements should be adjusted to the competence and level of competence at stake as provided in the EntreComp conceptual and progression model.


“Entrepreneurial learning can hardly be reduced to fixed pre-specific statements of learning outcomes since it deals with the creation of value that does not exist prior to the entrepreneurial learning process and cannot be foreseen in abstraction” (Bacigalupo et al., 2016, p.17): .


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