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Entrepreneurial Learning Ecosystems Forum


As the COVID-19 is still among, we ask you to pay attention to the new safety measures during the Forum:

  • Keep your COVID-19 Certificate available (with your ID) during the Forum. Certificate will be checked upon entrance.
  • Wear your Forum Badge on you during the whole event.
  • If you are having any symptoms of an infection, stay at home as a safety measure to protect others.
  • Wear a mask, wash your hands and use disinfectant during the Forum.
  • Keep distance whenever possible and avoid physical contact (no handshaking or hugs).

17 November 2021
at 14:30-20:00

Turku, Finland

Entrepreneurial Learning Ecosystems Forum is for all researchers, teachers and practitioners interested in entrepreneurial learning ecosystem development. The programme will give access to examples from Turku region and elsewhere in Finland about the entrepreneurial learning ecosystem development. It also includes time for networking and interactive discussions.

The Forum is part of the Yrittäjyyden Ytimessä Entrepreneurship Education Conference organized in 17th and 18th November 2021 and part of the RENT (Research in Entrepreneurship and Small Business) Conference, organized in between 17th and 19th November 2021 in Turku, Finland.

Register here

Register by 3 November!

What is Entrepreneurial Learning Ecosystem?

Entrepreneurial learning ecosystems enable continuous learning in entrepreneurship. They encompass learning that takes place in the formal education as well as outside it in informal and non-formal learning in companies and working life, third sector activities and in learner’s recreational activities.

Different actors constituting the entrepreneurial ecosystem benefit from engaging in active dialogue and co-operation with one another. Co-operation enables creating versatile entrepreneurial learning environments and learning paths as well as joint educational programmes or courses.


The Forum programme consists of expert keynotes and comment rounds as well as cases on how to bridge education and work-life in entrepreneurial learning. The programme will give access to examples from Turku region and elsewhere in Finland about the entrepreneurial learning ecosystem development. It also includes time for networking and interactive discussions.

The Forum is organized on site in Turku, Finland.  There is also a possibility to follow live feed from the Forum online; the live broadcast will include the main programme keynotes and comments and programme from Track 1 (see detailed programme below).

The Forum organisors monitor closely the pandemic situation, and take all needed actions issued by the Regional State Administrative Agency to ensure the safety of all Forum participants and prevent the spread of corona virus.


Todd Davey

Institute Mines-Télécom Business School, France

Helena Mustikainen


Helena Mustikainen is in charge of Sitra’s Lifelong learning project. The aim of this three-year project is to speed up the transition to a lifelong learning policy in which competence and work are seen as the building materials of well-being.

Helena has 20 years of experience as a supervisor and has managed various change projects in the public and private sectors. She has a master’s degree in economics and business administration. Her work has given her a broad knowledge of the entire public sector, including local authorities, the social welfare and healthcare system, banking and, most recently, the education sector.

(photo: Miikka Pirinen)

Marja Vartiainen

Federation of Finnish Enterprises

Marja Vartiainen is a promotor of entrepreneurship and an expert of educational affairs in Suomen Yrittäjät (Federation of Finnish Enterprises).

Maria Taipale

Raseko Raisio Regional Education and Training Consortium, Finland

Maria Taipale is Director and Administrative Principal of Raisio Regional Education and Training Consortium. Maria has worked nearly 30 years in demanding and executive roles leading different kind of organisations and companies in Finland, and she is widely familiar with the Finnish enterprises. She has also personal experience in entrepreneurship in the areas of management consulting and media education. Maria has acquired a doctor’s degree in vocational education at the University of Tampere. In her thesis, Maria studied how the leader´s tutoring and the development of the teams are connected, and how the leaders in the target organisations evaluate themselves as the development tutors.

Sanna Lehtonen

National YES Network

Sanna Lehtonen is the Executive Director of the most significant entrepreneurship education development and learning network in Finland, the YES network, and an experienced professional in network management. She has more than 20 years of experience (in various roles) in developing entrepreneurship education. She currently considers the most important task to be building an entrepreneurial culture in educational institutions and the society around it.

Johanna Vainio

YES South-West Finland

Lauri Vaara

the Economics Information Office (TAT)

Lauri Vaara (M.A., class teacher) is a Pedagogical Expert, who’s been designing hybrid learning solutions for entrepreneurship education at Youth and Economy TAT since 2016. Previously he worked at the University of Helsinki Faculty of Behavioral Sciences in various projects concerning the development of contemporary learning environments and he’s also preparing his PhD about that topic. In Finland Economy and Youth TAT is a well-known non-profit organization, that supports youth’s working life-, entrepreneur- and financial skills in collaboration with schools.

Anu Raappana

LUT University, Finland

Anu Raappana works at LUT University as a researcher pursuing her PhD in the field of entrepreneurship. She is also project manager for a large national entrepreneurship education related research called Ysimittari. This quantitative survey is used to examine the Finnish ninth-graders’ understanding of their entrepreneurial self. The comprehensive school is a very familiar context and topic to Anu; she has worked in a variety of research, teaching and development roles in the school world.

Piritta Parkkari

South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk)

Dr. Piritta Parkkari has been working with entrepreneurship education as a developer, researcher and teacher. She currently works as a RDI Specialist at the South-Eastern Finland of Applied Sciences and is part of the YES South Savo team. Parkkari’s research interests include questioning taken-for-granted assumptions related to entrepreneurship education. As a developer, she is keen on helping entrepreneurship educators find novel and unique ways to do entrepreneurship education. Photo: Pihla Liukkonen/Kontrastia.

Maisa Kantanen

South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk)

Maisa Kantanen is a project manager at the South-Eastern Finland of Applied Sciences who has been developing entrepreneurship education for over a decade. She has a passion for coaching and coming up with new ways to combine entrepreneurship education with ideas from positive psychology. She is also the regional manager of YES South Savo.

Sanna Ilonen

University of Turku

University teacher, Dr Sanna Ilonen has been engaged into entrepreneurship education, educational development and entrepreneurship education research for the past 10 years. Her research focuses on entrepreneurial learning and related outcomes in higher education. She was awarded by Research in Entrepreneurship and Small Business RENT conference’s best reviewer nominee prize in 2020. Sanna is a passionate teacher and she has an interest in designing entrepreneurial learning environments. Lately, she has been active in developing Entrepreneurs in Residence programme in University of Turku to promote entrepreneurship among academic community. Sanna serves in a board of Finnish Scientific Association for Entrepreneurship Education.

Satu Aaltonen

University of Turku

Satu Aaltonen is a researcher at the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Turku. In the field of enterprise education, she has studied university teachers’ attitudes and perceptions on the recognition of experiential learning gained in nonformal and informal contexts. Her other topics of interest lie in employee-driven innovations, entrepreneurship policy and migrant entrepreneurship. Satu has published in Journal of Professional and Vocational Education, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, International Journal of E-Services and Mobile Applications and International Small Business Journal as well as in several edited books.

Main Programme

The main programme is organized in EduCity which is located in the Turku Science Park area. Address: Joukahaisenkatu 7, 20520 Turku.

Registrations and coffee/Entering the webinar area

14:30 Opening words, Juhani Soini,  Vice Rector at Turku University of Applied Sciences, Adj. Prof., Ph.D.

14:40 Keynote: Lifelong learning focus area, Helena Mustikainen, Sitra

Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, is an independent public foundation which operates directly under the supervision of the Finnish Parliament. The aim of Sitra’s Lifelong learning focus area is to support different actors in Finland in order to develop a cross-sectional policy for lifelong learning. The aim of this three-year project is to speed up the transition to a lifelong learning policy in which competence and work are seen as the building materials of well-being. The resources used to build competence are seen as a profitable investment in Finland’s competitiveness.

15:00 Comment rounds to the keynote – opportunities and challenges

Commentator 1: Lifelong learning in entrepreneurship from the perspective of ninth graders’ perception on their entrepreneurial selves according to Ysimittari survey, Anu Raappana, LUT University

Ysimittari is a national research conducted in Finland (2019-2022) that is focused on Finnish ninth graders’ perception on their entrepreneurial selves. The target group of the research are all Finnish ninth graders (between 15 and 16 years old) in three consecutive years. In the first round of the survey, 11,433 ninth graders responded to the survey. The project is funded by the Foundation for Private Entrepreneurs (Yksityisyrittäjäin Säätiö).

Commentator 2: School – business partnerships in creating open and flexible learning environments and individual study pathways in entrepreneurship, Maria Taipale, Raseko Raisio Regional Education and Training Consortium, Finland

Raseko offers diversified learning environments for the upper secondary school level students where on-the-job –learning can be done in companies, co-operatives, or in entrepreneurship training programmes. Company collaboration is based on a partnership model, where focus is on educating skilled work-force, developing companies’ activities and engaging in the development of innovative learning methods.

Commentator 3: Institutional readiness of universities to engage in educational collaboration with companies – Insights from the Engagement readiness monitor, Todd Davey, Institute Mines-Télécom Business School, France

Objective of the Engagement Readiness Monitor is to advance the engagement between universities and businesses by developing tools to measure and scale their socially impactful cooperation.

15:45 Instructions on how the programme will proceed
Break and coffee

16:30 Cases – Bridging education and work-life in entrepreneurial learning 


  • Case 1: Experiences of the open batch in entrepreneurial competence in the upper secondary school level, Lauri Vaara, the Economics Information Office (TAT)

Open batch in entrepreneurship focuses on eight entrepreneurship competence areas, adapted from the EntreComp framework and fitted with the national educational system and curricula as well as the entrepreneurship education recommendations issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland. The open batch has been developed to help students recognize and articulate their competences. It is a concrete evidence of one’s competence that can be used, for example, when applying for a job or requesting for exemption from secondary level entrepreneurship education.

  • Case 2: Yoop – Turning entrepreneurship competence in credits in higher education, Satu Aaltonen, University of Turku

Yoop is an online tool that supports students in taking advantage of the entrepreneurship competence acquired outside formal education and integrate it into their degrees. It helps students recognise their entrepreneurship competence and provides helpful information and tips for how to apply for the recognition of prior learning to earn study credits. In addition, Yoop includes recommended measures and examples of good practices for teachers.


  • Case 3: YES Entrepreneurship Education network building connections in the national and regional levels, Sanna Lehtonen, National YES Network, Johanna Vainio, YES South-West Finland

The YES Network is a network of networks which promotes the development of entrepreneurship education in the whole of Finland. It does so by developing entrepreneurship education and training programmes, educating and coaching teachers in different educational levels, developing and building school-business co-operation and strengthening the entrepreneurial culture in Finland. The YES Network is a proactive partner for various stakeholder organisations in the regional and national levels, including municipalities, various education providers, companies and decision-makers related to entrepreneurship education.

  • Case 4: Bringing up a local twist in entrepreneurship education – How to take advantage of a municipality’s strengths in developing entrepreneurship education? Piritta Parkkari, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk), Maisa Kantanen (South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk)

Building systematic entrepreneurship education paths is a way to infuse entrepreneurship education into different levels of education on a municipal level. Case South Savo (Finland) illustrates how to develop entrepreneurship education in a way that highlight’s each municipality’s strengths and unique features. This approach builds on self-determination theory and a wide understanding of entrepreneurship education.



  • Case 5: Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiR) programme in higher education, Sanna Ilonen, University of Turku

The objective of the EiR programme is to increase interaction, participation and presence of active entrepreneurs among academic community. It involves entrepreneurs in the teaching activities of Turku School of Economics, University of Turku in multiple ways. The programme promotes students and teachers’ understanding of the realities of entrepreneurship and thus shapes their entrepreneurial attitudes. For entrepreneurs, the programme offers a viewpoint into the everyday life at the University and academia as well as access to the latest academic research and knowledge. The unique programme started in autumn 2020 and no similar cooperation programme between entrepreneurs and a university exists in Finland. Programme received the Entrepreneurial Act of the Year 2020-2021 Award of University of Turku in Spring 2021.

  • Case 6: Companies as collaborators in the entrepreneurial learning ecosystems, Marja Vartiainen, Expert at Federation of Finnish Enterprises


Come and get to know on-going and forthcoming entrepreneurship education projects! Ideate new projects with potential partners!

For potential partners:

Are you interested in presenting your project in the Forum? Reserve a stand for your project by choosing stand in the registration form. The price of the stand is 200 € and it includes a table and participation fee for one person (project representative).

Please notice that we limit the maximum number of projects to be presented to 15 in order to allow enough space for each project.

17:30 Summary of the Forum

Forum cocktails. Opening words Piia Elo, Deputy Mayor, The City of Turku

Opportunity to stay to discuss and network with Finnish entrepreneurship educators till 20.00.

Arrival to Forum

The Forum will take place in the Turku Science Park, in EduCity building in address: Joukahaisenkatu 7, 20520 Turku. See in Google maps here or EduCity Turku.

For RENT Conference participants: Please notice that the Forum takes place outside Turku School of Economics. The distance between Turku School of Economics and EduCity is approximately 1 km.

EduCity is located right next to Kupittaa railway station. Walking distance from the train station is approx. 200 meters. Buses 32 and 42 go past EduCity (stop at Kupittaa railway station). Many other buses also have their routes within a short walking distance. See more details in the Föli Journey Planner.


Participation fees

On-site participation fee

50 €

Includes optional programme, main programme and refreshments and food.

Live feed online participation fee

30 €

Project stand fee (see Track 4: Project hub)

200 €

Includes a table and participation fee for one person (project representative).

Register here

Register by 3 November!

Organizing team

The Forum is organized in co-operation between The University of Turku, The YES Network, YES South-West Finland and the Scientific Association for Entrepreneurship Education.

Johanna Vainio
Knowledge and Learning Manager at Federation of Finnish Enterprises South-West Region,
Regional Manager at YES South-West Finland

Sanna Lehtonen
Excecutive Director
National YES Association

Dr. Kirsi Peura
Entrepreneurial Learning Ecosystems Forum Chair
University of Turku

Professor Ulla Hytti
RENT Conference Chair
University of Turku

Dr. Kati Peltonen
Chair of the Scientific Association for Entrepreneurship Education

Dr. Sanna Ilonen
University of Turku

More information:

Dr Kirsi Peura
Entrepreneurial Learning Ecosystems Forum Chair
University of Turku
+358 50 5027075

In Association With