Could ‘Entrecomp’ prepare students for freelancing?
You may wonder what this term ‘Entrecomp’ means. I did too, after hearing it mentioned several times during the International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference we attended last week.
It stands for the Entrepreneurship Competence framework and it is a proposed standard for enterprise education in universities across the UK and EU.
The term might seem off-putting from a distance, especially since the E word ‘Entrepreneurship’ may not always be relatable for students considering freelancing or self-employment. However, the term suggests entrepreneurship as a competence rather than a venture that calls for a big idea and a Dragon’s Den-style interview as many believe.
According to the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the Entrecomp study was launched to establish a common reference framework for entrepreneurship as a competence to help citizens develop their ability to actively participate in society as well as manage their own lives and careers.
There are many aspects of the framework that could help the development of budding freelancers - especially students who are interested in going it alone. The framework is divided into three core parts: 'Ideas and Opportunities', 'Resources' and 'Into Action'.
1. Ideas and Opportunities
This area covers competencies such as spotting opportunities, creativity, vision, valuing ideas and ethical and sustainable thinking. The ability to identify opportunities is vital to the career of a freelancer, and it is also essential for taking advantage of the opportunities in the marketplace.
This is also vital for freelancers as it involves making good use of the resources at their disposal. The competencies for this area include self-awareness and self-efficacy, motivation and perseverance, mobilising resources, financial and economic literacy and mobilising others. To be a successful freelancer, you need to be aware of your skills, as well as the platforms and other resources that will allow you to market and monetise them.
3. Into action
It is impossible to be successful as a freelancer without developing the habit of acting effectively on ideas and opportunities with the resources at your disposal. This section is also within the main framework because it involves taking initiative, planning and management, coping with uncertainty, ambiguity and risk, working with others and learning through experience. These are essential skills for freelancers because they allow them to effectively lead projects and build a successful portfolio or career.
The framework's core ideas are entrepreneurial skills and the other attributes necessary for a freelancer to be successful.
Freelancing is about taking ‘action’ on ‘opportunities’ using your intrinsic and extrinsic ‘resources’; this is what Entrecomp represents. With this framework in place in university curriculums, it seems likely students would have a higher chance of graduating with the foundational training they need for a successful career as an independent professional.
Olaitan Ajimobi is IPSE's Education and Training Officer.