- Budget control and time management.
The finances of the project will be fairly distributed amongst the participating schools. There will be a clear focus on running the project in an efficient and effective way. All of the meetings will be carefully planned so as to ensure the most cost-effective activities and arrangements are chosen. This will include transport, accommodation and activity costs during and after the meetings. All expenditure will be carefully recorded and accounted for. There will be a requirement for each participating school to prepare a financial report at the end of each meeting.
The overall coordinator of the project will ensure that timely reporting and meetings are set up in order to achieve the overall timescale of the project. This will include an agenda and outcome report for every transitional meeting to ensure that the project is on course to achieve its outcomes and objectives.
- Monitored and evaluated project’s activities
Each of the project activities will be evaluated by students, teachers and other participants on their completion. A report will also be written outlining the main activities which had taken place. This will include information about the presentations, workshops and business visits . Every school has at least one teacher of economics or business (for example in the UK this person will be Phil Machin and in Spain it will be Patricia Parejo) It will be this person’s responsibility to monitor the production of materials before the meeting and the arrangements for the visits during the visit. At the end of the meeting these teachers will also coordinate the evaluation process. All participants will be asked to complete a survey to evaluate the success of the meeting, the learning that has taken place and any further action that will be needed as the project progresses. The regular meetings (twice monthly) will also be an excellent opportunity for each company to reflect on the meetings, consider what has been learned and apply it to their on-going business plans.
- Plans for handling project risks
The schools involved in this application process are currently working on a Comenius project. So far it has been a great success and excellent working relationships have been built up between the schools and individual teachers. The meetings are organized and run in a highly professional manner, always with a clear focus and outcome. The meetings are also always evaluated on their completion. This successful model will be continued into the next project if the application is successful.
Before the meetings take place it is the host country’s responsibility to prepare a draft programme for the up-coming arrangements, events and activities. The programme is distributed to the participating schools at least two weeks before the meeting takes place. This allows other participants in the project to comment on the proposals before the meeting and any possible difficulties or potential for conflict can be identified early and resolved.
Student retention is an important issue for the project if it is to be successful. During the recruitment process this will be an important issue and care will be taken to choose students who are seen to be reliable and highly motivated. Students will be asked to sign an agreement that that will fully commit to the project. Once the students have been selected to join the project their parents will be invited to a meeting where it will be fully explained to them. Parental consent will be necessary for the students to take part in the project.
It is possible that a student may leave the project for reasons that cannot be expected (for example illness or parents leaving the area). If this is the case a careful and thorough recruitment process will take place to find a suitable replacement.
- Activities and indicators of achievement
A number of measures will be put in place to measure the successful completion of objectives and results. Firstly a measurement of the number of students who participated in and completed the project in its entirety. All students that start and finish the project will have a very clear understanding of the skills and attributes of an entrepreneur. They will understand how to complete a business plan and have a thorough understanding of the aspects that are contained within it. The students will also have gained experience from visiting a wide range of businesses and develop further their leadership, team working and interpersonal skills by working with other people.
The completed business plans will be the main tangible indicator of achievement and success. At the final conference in Romania the invited members of the business community will be asked to question the students about their proposals and give detailed feedback. They will be asked to score the quality of the business proposal, plan and presentation and give verbal feedback on what they have achieved.