Entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been a priority area for the European Training Foundation (ETF) in recent years in recognition of their effects on economic growth, job creation and social cohesion. ECOPER has collaborated with Ockham IPS to complete the evaluation of the ETF’s work in entrepreneurship and enterprise skills development (EESD) in partner countries between 2010 and 2014. The evaluation involved a contribution analysis, reflecting the ETF’s place among several other stakeholders attempting to promote EESD. This means that rather than seeking to establish whether the ETF’s interventions led to the observed impact, the analysis aimed to ascertain the ETF’s contribution to the perceived effects as one actor among a group. This was done by qualitatively analysing all potential key causal links. The evaluation incorporated six in-depth country studies, as part of which ECOPER conducted three field missions in Armenia, Lebanon and Tunisia.
The ETF’s work on entrepreneurial learning and skills development between 2010 and 2014 forms part of the European Commission’s broader focus on small businesses and the ETF’s identifying of enterprises and human capital development as a core theme in its 2010-2013 perspective. The evaluated intervention sought to respond to issues such as employment, lack of labour market growth and social exclusion, in addition to a lack of engagement of education authorities in the partner countries in the entrepreneurial learning.