Cultivating entrepreneurship in Finland’s vocational schools [Blog Post]

06 April 2016

by Merja Kyllonen, MEP - Finland

Last week, through the JA Back to School initiative, I had the opportunity to visit a vocational secondary school in Kajaani, Finland. It was quite different from my own school time – of which I mostly remember the strict timetables and classrooms. I was very impressed with “YritysAmis” and their emphasis on building entrepreneurial attitudes and cooperative skills. Learning environments have been renewed with the aim to make students more entrepreneurial and less confined to traditional classrooms. 

I was grateful for the possibility to visit with the students as the experience inspired me and opened doors tonew ideas. Young people's enthusiasm and excitement are contagious and it was great to see them in action. Moreover, it was wonderful to see how the teachers grew more entrepreneurial alongside their young students - this is how things should be done.

Programmes like this really demonstrate that everyone has potential.  We all need to  learn and we all need advice. We are individuals, and learning is very personal. That’s why learning by doing, a positive attitude and courage are so important!

We should all strive for a strong sense of community and support each other. Let’s challenge ourselves to learn and to develop every day.

The YritysAmis idea is a brilliant initiative and could be duplicated just about anywhere. Trial and error are what
shape us as human beings and as members of society. So we should remember, that while sometimes the path might me a bit rocky but if we don’t try, we won’t succeed either.

What do we complain about? Lack of vision for the future? That is not true: we have it in young people. They are daring and have the courage bring positive changes to our communities. The same needs to be transformed into decision-making!

Thank you JA for organising initiatives like this!

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