Youth Start – Empowering Each Child

A unique educational programme that is designed to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in primary schools.


A vibrant society needs independent people who think and act responsibly. This can be learned through entrepreneurship education, acknowledged as one of the EU’s key competencies for lifelong learning.


In order to foster the entrepreneurial spirit of children from the age of seven, the goal is to implement the ‘Youth Start – Empowering Each Child' Entrepreneurial Challenges Programme in all primary schools in the region of Salzburg. This is an innovative and holistic learning programme, which covers a broad range of entrepreneurship education themes, activities, and situations. The programme was developed in Austria and scientifically evaluated within the largest policy experiment in entrepreneurship education in the EU between 2015 and 2018. Research shows that it promotes entrepreneurial thinking and a better understanding of economic topics and creates a culture of open-mindedness, empathy, teamwork, creativity, and mindfulness at schools. It empowers students in their role as citizens – assuming responsibility for themselves, others, and the environment. Salzburg is the first region in Europe to offer the 'Empowering Each Child' programme to all children in primary schools.

YOUNG PEOPLE LEARN TO implement new ideas creatively

The aim is to encourage young people to be open to new ideas and implement these ideas creatively. It fosters initiative, intrinsic motivation, and innovation, as well as the confidence and social participation of young people. Within four years, the programme will be sustainably implemented in all 180 primary schools in Salzburg from grades two to four. In the academic year 2019/2020, teachers at 72 schools will be teaching around 4,600 children using this programme, in 2021/22 around 20,000 children will be reached. The project offers teacher training and activities for students, such as the Trash Value Festival, the Inventor’s Workshop, and the Market Day. This approach creates lasting and sustainable improvements in these children’s lives and their relationships. In schools where the programme was implemented, it continues to be used due to its positive effects. After a number of teachers in a school are trained for the programme, they take over the training for the programme and include it in the curriculum for future teachers.

Project owner
Maria Hutter
State Councillor