«Learners with entrepreneurial skills know what their employers do and what responsibilities they assume.»
«Entrepreneurial thinking and acting opens up new possibilities and perspectives for students’ professional career.»
«Entrepreneurial thinking and acting strengthens students’ self-efficacy.»
«Entrepreneurial thinking and acting enables students to positively shape their world and change it.»

The ETA Initiative


Personal initiative and entrepreneurial thinking and acting are essential for young people who want to help shape tomorrow’s economy and society. Both can be trained and learned. At present, however, the subject of «entrepreneurial thinking and acting» is given too little attention at vocational schools in Switzerland. We intend to change this. As part of the pilot project «Entrepreneurial Thinking and Acting at Vocational Schools in Switzerland - Economic, Social and Ethical Dimensions», we are currently testing the implementation of the myidea.ch program as part of general education classes (GE).

The myidea.ch program is based on an established teaching-learning concept that is evaluated and further developed on a continual basis. In the current pilot project, we are concentrating on our work in the four pilot cantons of Bern, Solothurn, Valais (French-speaking part) and Ticino. However, an expansion of the program is planned.

The project was initiated by representatives of vocational schools, universities, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The project started in August 2018 and will end in August 2021. It is financed by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI.

Our focus areas are:

  • the implementation in general education classes (GE)
  • anchoring the topic in the school curricula for which the cantons are responsible
  • the further training of teachers, who in turn implement the topic of ETA with their students.


«We are committed to ensuring that all vocational trainees in Switzerland - that is, 75,000 young people entering basic vocational training each year - are given the opportunity to acquire entrepreneurial skills. They shall actively shape the economy and society and realize their ideas.»


«The economy can be shaped. Personal initiative and entrepreneurial thinking and acting are prerequisites for this. We enable vocational school teachers to offer their students the opportunity to develop the interdisciplinary competence of «entrepreneurial thinking and acting» as well as self-efficacy and personal initiative.


The ETA team is made up of stakeholders from vocational schools as well as representatives from universities and business.

Project management

Georg Berger, Director of the Olten Vocational Training Center (BBZ Olten), President of the Swiss Conference of Directors SDK-CSD and member of the Swiss Commission for General Educationgeorg.berger@dbk.so.ch
Thomas Schneider, Rector GIBS Olten, sub-school of BBZ Olten


Thomas Heimann, Head of Education & Innovation of the Solothurn Chamber of Commerce and Managing Director of the «Gründerzentrum Kanton Solothurn» GZS (Startup Center of the canton of Solothurn)

Pedagogical-didactical and scientific team

Prof. Dr. Susan Müller, Professor for Entrepreneurship at the Bern University of Applied Sciences
Prof. Dr. Eveline Gutzwiller-Helfenfinger, Senior Researcher at the University of Fribourgeveline.gutzwiller-helfenfinger@unifr.ch
Prof. Dr. habil. Manfred Pfiffner, Professor of Vocational Education at the University of Teacher Education Zurichmanfred.pfiffner@phzh.ch

Coordinators and contact persons in the pilot cantons

Thomas Wullimann, Director of the Emme Education Center (BZ)
Gérard Clivaz, Director of the Ecole professionnelle artisanat et service communautaire
Raffaele Regazzoni, Repubblica e Cantone Ticino
Dipartimento dell'educazione, della cultura e dello sport
Divisione della formazione professionale Centro Professionale Tecnico Lugano-Trevano