Entrepreneurship for Everyone
According to Eurostat, more of 30% of employment in the EU is concentrated in micro companies
–fewer than 10 workers. In fact, 90% of EU companies share this size-, a figure that in countries such
as Spain goes to 41%. The problem of this kind of SMEs or small entrepreneurs is their sustainability
and, therefore, employability. According to the same stats, the survival of this kind of small
businesses in the first five years does not reach an average of 50%, with figures which go from 48%
in France to 54% in Italy, 58% in the United Kingdom or 61% in Spain. Five years of work, money,
effort and hope… and it all just disappears.
Why? This is the key question. There’s a particular reason for every entrepreneurial failure, but here’s
one reason we rarely hear: The entrepreneur just didn’t have the talent for the job, and it does not
mean that he/she does not have the intelligence or the knowledge of his/her sector, but many other
concepts which have nothing to do with cognitive factors. So, one thing that’s missing in this
discussion is the attributes of the individual, the person who is at the center of a company, making
day-to-day decisions for running the business in highly uncertain circumstances.
This concept follows the line of the European Commission, which in 2018 has confirmed and
recommended ‘entrepreneurship’ as one of the eight key competences necessary for all members of
a knowledge-based society. This woke up is a growing awareness that entrepreneurial skills,
knowledge and attitudes can be learned and in turn lead to the widespread development of
entrepreneurial mind-sets and culture, which benefit individuals and society as a whole.
Here, in the internal side of the entrepreneur is where EFE works, with coaching and Emotional
Intelligence. It does not have to do with financial information, knowledge about the business, tax
consulting, etc. but with the management of those other skills such as burnout, lack of motivation,
lack of goals or incentives, problems to make decisions, self-esteem…
The project is double focused. On one hand, it wants to advice and help entrepreneurs to discover
and develop the talents that are vital to start, grow, and sustain a thriving enterprise. On the other
hand, it wants to work with coaches and facilitators in order to give them the resources they need to
support current and future entrepreneurs in understanding the skills based on coaching and EI. With
that guidance, entrepreneurs will develop their talents into strengths to achieve greater business
effectiveness and success.
The project consortium is composed of 7 organisations from 6 different EU countries (PT, SW, SP,
RO, PL and IRL). A comprehensive partnership has been established, taking as departure point the
experience of the promoter, CSES, a leading institution dedicated to social entrepreneurship. APSU
is the Portuguese Association of Start Ups, so they are in permanent contact with entrepreneurs. The
consortium also consists in organizations with long experience in training adults and companies from
many different productive sectors, as I&F, GDR or ARID. They have an extensive background in the
use and implementation of Emotional Intelligence skills. The project consortium involves INDEPCIE,
a Spanish training company specialized in training coaches, coaching and Emotional Intelligence and
its application in the workplace, so it will add a plus of expertise to the consortium.
To achieve the objectives of the project three Intellectual Outputs will be developed, tested and
multiplied: THE FIRST FIVE YEARS ENEMIES (O1) will analyse inner difficulties in first five years of
business for entrepreneurs, acting as an umbrella for COACHING FOR SUCCESS (O2), proposing
a training system and manual for coaches on entrepreneurship; finally, COACHES FOR
ENTREPRENEURSHIP will develop a train-the-trainers manual for managers and entrepreneurs to
become coaches in their companies. The online system will also feature a platform for interactions
between learners, facilitators, mentors and mentees, and other stakeholders. All outputs produced
will be freely accessible for the public within and beyond the project’s lifetime.
EFE is likely to have sustainable direct impacts within and beyond the project lifetime on three target
groups: 1) coaches and facilitators 2) entrepreneurs and managers 3) Companies and organizations
active in the field of training and advisory services.
The project aims at helping entrepreneurs during the first five years of a new company to overcome
the most important difficulties by using coaching and Emotional Intelligence skills and tools. The
project wishes to set new tools and methodologies to support entrepreneurs and SMEs in enhancing
their productivity, competiveness and efficiency. The consortium will use the outcomes of the project,
exploiting them with different targets, in further initiatives of the same topic, disseminating them
through all its channels.