Our German partner Comparative Research Network Ev presented us with a case combining entrepreneurship and education. Discover the latest case study in the Better Cooperate project.
In formal education, Germany integrates innovative concepts such as ‘Schülerfirmen’ (student companies) into the curriculum.

Schülerfirmen, or Schüfi for short, allow skills such as teamwork, planning and entrepreneurship to be taught in practice. They also support young people in choosing their future career path. By “practising” their strengths and skills, young people are better able to plan their future, choose the right next school, university or complete the training or courses required for their dream profession.
Schüfi’s task is for young people to learn about practical business activities and gain an insight into different industries and professional fields.

Specialised educational institutions such as Produktionsschulen and Jugendhilfebetrieben support the creation and development of Schülerfirmen.
The Produktionsschulen or production school is a place of learning where work and study are interdependent. In production schools, young people gain educational experience in ‘meaningful subjects’ (production and services).
Jugendhilfebetrieben is a youth welfare organisation.

Their aim is to support disadvantaged young people by offering practical, real-life learning situations that promote competence and replicate market conditions. In doing so, they make use of Schülerfirmen. These initiatives focus on skills development and aim to empower young people on their development journey, in education.

The relationship between Schülerfirmen (student/school companies) and the social economy in Germany is multifaceted and aimed at enhancing students’ practical knowledge, professional orientation and social responsibility.

Starting a student company is comprehensively supported, covering aspects such as validation of the business idea, concept development, market analysis, financial planning and legal issues.
These student companies are often integrated into educational programmes and are often a compulsory part of education, especially in the final years of schooling.

This integration aims to cultivate practical experience in different professional fields, promote teamwork, transfer key qualifications and link academic content to practice.

Schülerfirmen are indeed considered social enterprises because they focus on integrating ecological and economic principles. instilling social responsibility and strengthening the social climate in the school environment.

In addition, these social enterprises use responsible financial practices, such as reinvesting profits in a rational manner, donating a portion of revenues and organising recognition and reward activities for students, which demonstrates their social commitment.
In addition, programmes such as Berliner Schüler Unternehmen provide significant support to students and educational guides in setting up and growing student companies.
This includes workshops on cooperation, presenting the Genossenschaft (cooperative) model, as well as Gemeinwohlökonomie (economics for the common good) to encourage conscious and sustainable business practices.

See more:
-> Service point for student companies in Saxony
-> JUNIOR Schülerfirmen

-> youstartN

-> Berliner Schüler Unternehmen