Education in PB guides young people towards entrepreneurship

publicado: 20/02/2020 13h20, última modificação: 03/04/2020 13h22
For the Secretary of Education and Science and Technology, Claudio Furtado, the Gira Mundo Program "opens a perspective of innovation in Paraíba.

Campus Academy 2018




Marcia Dementshuk 


To undertake is to change. 

Normally, the word "to undertake" is associated with "to open a company", "business", "capital". A distant concept from a life dream idealized in youth. If one's dream is to be an artist? If it's to teach? To be an inventor? Wouldn't "being" be an entrepreneur? The experiences lived by high school students in the public school system of Paraíba prove that yes: the dreamer can become an entrepreneur and fulfill his life purpose. 

The Full Citizen Schools (ECIs) and the Techniques (ECITs) began to employ teaching methodologies aimed at learning entrepreneurship from 2017 and the results are surprising when observing the transformations in the lives of students. But the entrepreneurship in question is a little different from the vague concept that most people know. 

"After spending a period at the University of Applied Sciences in Tampere, Finland (TAMK) we understand that entrepreneurship is related to life development. It's entrepreneurship with 'being'. How can I 'be' an impact agent?" explained Professor Giovania Lira. 

Giovania and Iolanda Cortez took part in the first class of teachers' exchange to Finland, at the University of Tampere, in the “Gira Mundo” Programme, in 2017. They are currently working as Pedagogical Project Analysts in the Secretariat of Education and Science and Technology in the development and application of this expanded concept of entrepreneurship. 

For the Secretary of Education and Science and Technology, Claudio Furtado, the Gira Mundo Program "opens a perspective of innovation in Paraíba. The participants execute their projects by returning to the State with a differentiated baggage". The testimonies of the teachers and students are the best way to tell how this transformation occurred: 

"We left Paraiba with the proposal to return with a product in the area of educational entrepreneurship; we never imagined that our own life would be impacted by this experience," revealed Giovania. 

"What usually happens today: We see the young man entering university at, say, 19 or 20. After finishing the course, he tries to apply for several jobs, takes time to find an activity that he identifies with or does not find, becomes unemployed and, only then, some of them leave for 'his own business'. Even after graduation, most do not know how to conduct an entrepreneurial activity; either they have not learned, or they have no experience, and by this time they have reached the age of 30, when, after many mistakes, they begin to find their way - if they are a persistent person". 

"The pedagogical proposal based on entrepreneurship is to guide the young person in the search for what he or she identifies with, what they want to do and what they need to accomplish. And this trajectory begins with the dream. What does the young person dream for his or her life?" 

"The dream is to reduce physical pain, to take care of people, animals, the environment; it is to attend conferences at the UN; it is to invent new culinary flavors, or new technologies? Where is it coming true? This answer leads to the trajectory that the student must follow to realize his dream. But nothing is definitive and, yes, adjustable, as opportunities unfold. The chances of opportunities opening up when one is directed on this trajectory are much greater and it brings the young person closer to making his dream come true". 

"Thus, we bring to the 20 years of age the accomplishment of the enterprise shortening in 10 years this trajectory".

New concept breaks stereotypes 


At the University of Tampere, participants in the “Gira Mundo” Programme understood that entrepreneurship and skills are related to a life proposal, community problems, sustainability challenges. Giovania follows the story: 

"The student arrives from elementary school with the stereotype of that "being" that has to pass in Enem. We don't have another young man in a cast to do Enem. But working for a cause. When he realizes that he has the freedom to formulate a life project, within various possibilities that he may have, he no longer accepts this stereotype. He works on the basis of 'me in the world'. It makes more sense for the young person to understand that he can be a transformative agent in the place where he lives - that hunger is not far away, but perhaps his friend’s family is experiencing difficulties and he can undertake to find a solution. When the young person changes the local environment, he wants to change the world, and no one else holds him back". 

From these experiences comes the discipline "Collaborate Inove" in ECIs and the "ECIT Method" in the Technical Citizen Schools. In general terms, students are led to elaborate a proposal for their lives that will result in their ventures. 

Then, Giovania and Iolanda start applying marathon programs of entrepreneurship to students, which leads to the creation of "Dare to Create". The marathons culminated in the Campus Academy event, a time when teams of students formed during classes at 'Colabore Inove' undergo concrete experiences. 

Kelson Adrian - 18 years old - Egresso da Escola Cidadã Integral Severino Cabral, from Campina Grande 

We knew entrepreneurship while we were undertaking. Not just as a literary concept. Young protagonists - young entrepreneurs. At the 2018 Campus Academy, we learned many tools. We did not know what strategic planning was. We knew the canvas, and it was something we executed rather than something theoretical. 

The teachers' encouragement was very important, showing how capable we were when we didn't know we were yet capable. 

There were teams at school that nobody believed in and they gave a show. And it didn't end there, it was taken into our lives. We have a life project. 


Having experiences of entrepreneurship, as a student, and high school transformed the young person I was for the young person I am today.

 Before, I had a young man who didn't plan, I expected things to happen and I didn't have so much perspective on the future, and now I have a Kelson who plans, who has a much bigger perspective on the future". 

"I am because we are." "I am who I am and I am where I am because there are people who went with me." 


Student Jonathan Marques, ECIT President João Goulart, João Pessoa - 1st place in Data Science and IA 2020.1 at UFPB (public school quotas) 


"I was in my second year during the first edition of the Campus Academy in 2018. The teacher met with us every break, used video lessons, brought experiences and we learned the tools. 

One of them, which I liked the most, was 'Design Thinking' - nobody knew about the existence of this tool in school. We developed a proposal with the use of technology in rural areas. In 2019 I was a mentor at Ouse Criar, which at the time was done in some schools. We learned that entrepreneurship was linked to meeting a need. We learned to identify what the problem was and propose to solve it". 


Finnish teacher impresses with student performance at PB 


Professor Hanna Saraketo, an exchange student facilitator at the University of Tampere, Finland, works in the degree program in Entrepreneurship and Team Leadership with students over 18. After 3 and a half years in the program where they study running their own businesses, 37% of them continue as entrepreneurs right after graduation; 100% of them are employed. She followed the 2019 edition of the Campus Academy and said she has never seen such intensity of energy from young people: 

"The Campus Academy event was incredible and the atmosphere was energetic. The event worked very well for its target group (young students), and I believe that the companies that gave the challenges got good solutions and ideas for their future". 


"The Campus Academy event was the biggest hackathon for high school and technical students I've ever experienced. All hackathons have their specialties; here I appreciated the enthusiasm and energy of the students - and the team. This indicates that Paraíba has a future-oriented mentality".