Home Economics Employment and skills strategies in the Czech Republic
Promotion of skills for entrepreneurship
The rate of early-stage entrepreneurship (TEA) in the Czech Republic was above the average for “innovation-driven economies’ in 2011, at 7.6%. However almost one third of TEA is necessity driven (e.g. people pushed into starting a business out of necessity because they have no other work options, rather than through spotting an opportunity) (GEM, 2012).
Entrepreneurship support in public employment programmes
In both regions, there are self-employment programmes for the unemployed funded by the PES as part of national programmes applied regionally. The programmes cover some costs (but not all) related to establishing a business and may offer access to subsidised entrepreneurship courses. In the South-Moravian region, the Regional Authority complements the self-employment programme with a subsidy that enables it to cover other types of costs not eligible in the Labour Office programme. In the Osti nad Labem region, demand for the self-starter programme has decreased in recent years as local residents are finding it harder to get a business going in the post-crisis period.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has announced new plans to support jobseekers who decide to start their own business in order to boost entrepreneurship, job creation and take more people off the unemployment register. The Labour Office will provide training to prospective entrepreneurs if they come up with a realistic business plan which will be individually assessed. The individual will be able to get a subsidy of CZK 40 000 to 80 000 and needs to be self-employed for an agreed period (usually one to two years) to be eligible. A person who has started a self-employment programme may also apply for a “bridging allowance” within 30 days which is intended to partially cover the operating costs involved in setting up an enterprise.
It is not common practice to include entrepreneurship skills in vocational training and university courses. Private VET institutions provide entrepreneurship skills training more often than public schools. Universities provide entrepreneurship courses on an ad-hoc basis, as an additional option or in specific courses where it is seen as relevant (e.g. usiness administration). In the South Moravian region, the South Moravian Innovation Centre promotes entrepreneurship among secondary education and university students. It not only provides training programmes but also offers consulting services, assistance in setting up a business, contacts with investors and assistance with renting premises. The Chamber of Commerce in the Osti nad Labem region runs publicly funded projects that provide entrepreneurship skills training.
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