Academy of Lille

Innovation camp
Rationale and general information

For many years, one of the leading tools to nurture an entrepreneurial mind-set has been the setting up of “mini firms” in colleges and high schools. This has been recognized by experts to be an effective teaching method for a while but also a potentially time consuming one. Teachers and school leaders were not always ready for a “mini-firms” in their schools. For this reason, teachers and academy inspectors (in France teachers do not report to the head teacher but to an academy inspector in their respective fields) were not convinced of the efficiency of project-based teaching. Moreover, not knowing this pedagogical tool very well made them reluctant to engage.

Starting Date: Fri, 01 Sep 2006
Budget and financing sources

The budget of the initiative is the amount that needs to be paid by the organising institution. The Rest of the budget is covered by the local education authority (the Academy) itself, in partnership with the local government (Regional council) The European Solidarity fund is put to contribution to cover transportation costs

Human resources

The innovation camp gathers around 100 students and 12 teachers. Entreprendre pour Apprendre (EPA, learn through entrepreneurship) provides with advises and activities on how to best organise the event and with one or two hosts to moderate the activities throughout the day.


Innovation Camp is an event organized by EPA (Enterprise for Learning Nord Pas de Calais), the Academy of Lille and local partners. It take place outside schools, in professional place like a local company or chamber of commerce, etc. During the day, the participants participants (students from 13 to 22 years old), are accompanied by a volunteer teacher and the EPA moderators, and discover entrepreneurial activities and integrates innovation camp in a global educational project


The main partners for the school to organise the innovation camp is the Academy, the regional council, and the EPA. The innovation camp involved partners from the private sector such as entrepreneurs to share their experiences and participate in the jury to select the best ideas of the day

Success factors
  • Bringing together different types of public, for example vocational students and general education students, generates emulation and uncover synergies.
  • Prepare upstream intervention with co-organizer to find unanimously accepted themes on which to base the actions
  • Giving all actors the occasion and willingness to present their idea by building respect and mutual trust in the organizers group
  • Involve all participants in the organisational process
  • Providing opportunities of free transportations for students to reach the different venues
  • Organise the innovation camp in an attractive area
  • Helped student to be less fearful toward new concepts such as the entrepreneurial mind-set
  • Improved student’s competencies
    • Teamwork
    • Communication skills (building written visual and oral presentation)
    • Creativity, solidarity
    • Sense of responsibility and Autonomy
  • Strengthen the bonds between the actors of the local communities and cooperation between schools
  • Strong media coverage for these events
Jean-Claude Flinois,