This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) results demonstrate that entrepreneurial education at the school and post-school level in Cyprus is limited.

According to the 2021/2022 NES, entrepreneurial training scored lower compared to the previous years on post-school entrepreneurial education, while school entrepreneurial education has been consistently identified as a burden of the island’s entrepreneurial ecosystem across the years.

“The results highlight gaps in educating the population on creativity, market economics, and preparation for starting and growing firms. The results of the APS provide additional insights on the need for entrepreneurial education enhancement,” the report mentions.

Furthermore, This is reflected in Cyprus’ persistent ‘gender gap’ in TEA involvement, which remains unchanged over the years.

Additionally, although the population demonstrates confidence in terms of their capabilities to initiate entrepreneurial activity, there is an increasing level of fear of failure over the years.

This demonstrates that the majority of the population is risk-averse towards entrepreneurial activity.

These conclusions are also supported by the NES insights on the EFC on Cultural and Social norms, emphasising that Cyprus’ national culture does not sufficiently encourage entrepreneurial risk-taking.

The report’s findings also stress that there is a lack of cultural support towards the skills that are important to entrepreneurship such as self-sufficiency, autonomy, personal initiative, creativity and innovativeness.

The 2021/2022 GEM Cyprus results helped to produce a number of policy recommendations on education and culture.

For Primary and Secondary Education the report suggests enhancing school curricula with activities that cultivate creativity, self-sufficiency, and personal initiative.

Second to include courses on topics relevant to financial management and market economic principles.

Third to introduce courses and activities which promote entrepreneurship and new firm creation. Fourth, encouraging group work on developing business ideas and female involvement in STEM.

Sixth, training educators on how to include hands-on activities on entrepreneurship and innovation in different courses. Last, we need to encourage educators to involve more students in entrepreneurship activities (e.g., competitions) appropriate for their age.

For Tertiary Education the GEM report suggested:

1. Encouraging colleges and universities to enhance all curricula with courses on business and financial management and on starting up and growing new firms

2. Enhancing all academic programs to include courses and activities on entrepreneurship and innovation

3. Providing the opportunity to university students to pause or adjust the pace of their studies while embarking on
entrepreneurial journeys alongside their studies

4. Inviting entrepreneurs as guest lecturers

5. Promoting student visits and internships in start-ups and incubators entrepreneurs to mentor students considering entrepreneurship as a career choice

6. Offering short courses to university graduates interested in starting up new businesses or transforming existing firms

7. Including research commercialization lectures as part of the taught courses targeted at doctoral and post-doctoral

8. Enhancing the collaboration between academia and industry through industrial doctorate programs

For Life-long Learning the GEM report suggested these policies:

1. Enhancing existing entrepreneurship schemes (e.g., schemes targeted at young entrepreneurs) with requirements of attending courses on business management, financial management, marketing, and digital literacy
2.Providing online courses to existing business owners on expanding business models and growing new businesses

For culture and social norms, the GEM report suggested:

1. Enhancing media platforms with content relevant to entrepreneurship (e.g., pitching ideas to investors, entrepreneurs sharing their entrepreneurial journeys)

2. Encouraging female entrepreneurs to mentor female students interested in entrepreneurship

3. Utilizing social media platforms used by youngsters to advertise the benefits of entrepreneurship versus other career options

You can find more about the report here.