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6. May 2010

The European Business Competence* Licence, EBC*L  as a ‘Best Practice’ example in the EU

In Brussels, the EBC*L was presented as a model project within the scope of an EU initiative to foster entrepreneurship across Europe

Vienna (pts/2010/08:00) – Europe requires an enhanced entrepreneurial spirit! This notion has been widely accepted, but how to release this “spirit” it from its “bottle” has been pondered over rather cluelessly. The European Business Competence Licence (EBC*L) offers a unique approach to foster the necessary business competence and to improve competitiveness across Europe. About 40 representatives from different European regions were invited by the Brussels Office of the Vienna Business Agency (Wirtschaftsagentur Wien) to participate in a seminar on ‘Innovative Strategies and Methods to promote Europe’s Entrepreneurial Spirit’.


In the Vienna-House, entrepreneurial spirit was at the centre of discussion
(from left to right): S. Baldassarri, V. Mihalic, P. Baur, S. Strohm


After an introductory speech by Mrs. Susanne Strohm, (Vienna Business Agency, VBA), Mr. Simone Baldassarri, representing the EU Commission - DG Enterprise and Industry, stressed the importance of entrepreneurial thinking for the economic development of the EU. “Due to its significance, we – for the first time - decided to launch a call for proposals in 2009, which sought projects on the topic of ‘Entrepreneurial culture of young people and entrepreneurship education‘ he continued. Of 56 projects that were handed in, 9 were selected as outstanding concepts, and one of these was the 2010 EBC*L Champions League. The EBC*L Champions League is a business competence competition, in which the best EBC*L candidates from 12 European countries have the opportunity to compete against one another.

The European Commission’s DG for Education and Culture, represented by Mr. Peter Baur, responsible for the cooperation between institutions of higher education and businesses, clearly prioritises fostering entrepreneurial thinking already at high school and university level. With particular regard to the EU 2020 Strategy he argued, that ‘the consolidation and cooperation of education and employment is not optional, but rather an absolute necessity‘.

Although there have been several attempts and initiatives to promote entrepreneurship in Europe, a thorough concept with a coherent strategy had yet to be seen.

Victor Mihalic, chairman of EBC*L International, was able to present such a concept with the European Business Competence Licence. The EBC*L is a certificate, which verifies the acquisition of practice-oriented expertise essential in today’s business world. At presence, the EBC*L has established itself as an international standard for education in business and management education in 31 countries. It can be attained in 24 languages and includes 3 levels: Level A – Core Business Administration, Level B – Business Plan Preparation, and Level C – Leadership Skills. A preparatory course and a subsequent examination can be taken at any one of hundreds of accredited EBC*L exam centres, schools and universities all across - and even beyond - Europe. In addition, the EBC*L can be regarded as a model project of “lifelong learning”.

The application of state-of-the-art learning methods within the framework of the EBC*L, such as e-learning material, make it possible to acquire the certificate with minimal costs and within the shortest possible timeframe. Mr. Mihalic stated that, “the EBC*L ensures that business know how is not reserved for a small elite group, but is about to become a general knowledge.” He maintains that the EBC*L is a comprehensive initiative to disseminate business competences across Europe. The train-the-trainer scheme allows the EBC*L to be established in schools and universities that have – due to methodical difficulties - ignored economic and business teaching in the classrooms until recently.

The Brussels event’s participants’ reaction and feedback was excellent. Mrs. Michaela Kauer, Head of the Representation Office of the City of Vienna in Brussels, was especially pleased: “The EBC*L has given Vienna the chance to become the key cosmopolitan city for business competence and entrepreneurship.


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