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EntreComp for cyber risk-readiness
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Introducing the Entrepreneurial competence framework

EntreComp – scale and scopeClick to read  

The European framework of Entrepreneurship

The EntreComp Framework consists of 15 entrepreneurial competences distributed among three key focus areas (Ideas and Opportunities, Resources and Into Action) that are conceived as the essentials” of entrepreneurial attitudes and sense of initiative.

The EntreComp stems from major long-standing policy priorities of EU institutions aimed at boosting the attractiveness of entrepreneurship as career path for all Europeans and strengthening the entrepreneurial competitiveness of organisations.

Due to its impact at EU level both in the domain of education and employment, the EntreComp is the largest international effort to build consensus on what it takes to “be entrepreneurial”.


Each of the 15 competences (i.e., the building blocks of entrepreneurship) progress along a 8-layer proficiency model.

By combining competences’ threads (i.e., sub-competences – 60 in total) to each of the proficiency level, the final output results in a matrix of 442 learning outcomes.

The framework has been conceived as a concrete tool to help professionals, coaches and teachers in better designing training programmes and education initiatives focused on nurturing entrepreneurial spirits and sense of initiative.


EntreComp: competence areas and competencesClick to read  

1. Idea and opportunities

2. Resources

3. Into Action

• 1.1 Spotting Opportunities
• 1.2 Creativity
• 1.3 Vision
• 1.4 Valuing Ideas
• 1.5 Ethical and Sustainable Thinking
• 2.1 Self-awareness and self-efficacy
• 2.2 Motivation and perseverance
• 2.3 Mobilizing resources
• 2.4 Financial and Economic literacy
• 2.5 Mobilizing others
• 3.1 Take the Initiative
• 3.2 Planning and management
• 3.3 Coping with uncertainty, ambiguity and risk
• 3.4 Working with others
3.5 Learning through experience


The 15 “building blocks” are distributed in groups of five per each training area.

With that said, if an entrepreneurial attitude revolves around this 15 competences, entrepreneurs and business owners can readapt and apply the same framework to each of business’ critical functions.

For established entrepreneurs, the EntreComp can be a useful resource to reignite and boost their sense of initiative, creative thinking and innovation upon their current and consolidated operational framework.

In other words, a source of inspiration for new ideas and new ways of doing things…


EntreComp and its implications for cybersecurity

…as such, entrepreneurs and business owners can transit on the 8-level progression model to test their full embracement of cybersecurity as a permeating resource for their competitive advantage:






Relying on support from others

Building independence

Taking responsibility

Driving transformation,
innovation and growth

Under direct supervision

With reduced
from others, some
autonomy and
together with
my peers.


On my own and
together with
my peers.

Taking and sharing
some responsibilities.

With some guidance
and together
with others.

Taking responsibility
for making decisions
and working
with others.

Taking responsibility
for contributing
to complex
developments in
a specific field.

substantially to the developmentof a specific field.









Source: EntreComp Progression model, pp. 16

EntreComp for (cyber) risk management

Competence 3.3Click to read  

If we look at the third pillar of EntreComp, competence 3.3 addresses “Coping with uncertainty, ambiguity and risk”




3.3 Coping with uncertainty, ambiguity and risk

Make decisions dealing with  uncertainty, ambiguity and risk

 • Make decisions when the result of that decision is uncertain, when the information available is partial or ambiguous, or when there is a risk of unintended outcomes
 • Within the value-creating process, include structured ways of testing ideas and prototypes from the early stages, to reduce risks of failing
 • Handle fast-moving situations promptly and flexibly


Based on the formal explanation of the competence, risk management’s pillars relies on a balanced combination of:

• Resilience attitude
• Trial-and-error approach
• Learning by experience (and by doing)
• Scenario making
• Forecasting
Problem solving
Threads of competence 3.3Click to read  

Each EntreComp’s competence is brokendown in a series of sub-competences (i.e. Threads) to allow for a more deepen and detailed understanding of the reference competence.

In the case of 3.3, these sub-competences are:

• Cope with ambiguity and uncertainty
• Calculate risk
• Manage risk

Relevant to mention is the fact that EntreComp’s risk label apply to all sorts of functional, operative and technical risks that some might face in business, including cyber risk…

Cope with ambiguity and uncertaintyClick to read  

By training their mind to cope with ambiguity and uncertainty, entrepreneurs develop a renewed mindset that supports them in being more “sophisticatedly cautious” in planning and executing their strategies.

Ambiguity and uncertainty are intrinsic elements of entrepreneurship, being able to cohabit with them is an entrepreneurial soft skill as much as leadership, people management, public speaking, etc.

  Cyber risk is one of the many ambiguities and uncertainties navigated by 21st century entrepreneurs.





I am not afraid
of making
mistakes while
new things

I explore my
own ways
to achieve

I can discuss
the role that
information plays
in reducing
and risk.

I can actively
look for,
compare and
contrast different
sources of

information that
help me reduce
and risks in
making decisions

I can find
ways of
making decisions
the information
is incomplete

I can pull together
different viewpoints
to take informed
when the degree of
uncertainty is high

I can make
the different
in a situation
that is uncertain
and ambiguous

I can set up
strategies for
and monitoring
data, which
help me take
based on
sound evidence.










Source: EntreComp into Action – pp. 200



Calculate riskClick to read  

Calculating risk(s) translates into being fully aware of how external threads and internal weaknesses might disrupt organisation and people’s efficiency/effectiveness.

When entrepreneurs feel “comfortable” in ambiguity and risk – meaning, when they understand and accept them as part of the equation and not necessarily a source of stress – they are much more aware of the surroundings and of their decision making.

In the second training module, IDP provides for several frameworks/reference models to be better equipped in assessing and evaluating (cyber) risks.


Calculate risk – a progression model





I can identify
examples of risks
in my surroundings

I can describe
risks related to a
simple value-creating
activity in which
I take part

I can tell the difference
between acceptable
and unacceptable risks.

I can weigh up
the risks and benefits
of self-employment
with alternative
career options,
and make choices
that reflect my

I can apply the
concept of affordable
losses to make
decisions when
creating value

I can compare
activities based
on a risk assessment

I can assess the
risks my venture
is exposed to as
conditions change

I can evaluate
high-risk long-term

investments using
a structured approach.









Source: EntreComp into Action – pp. 200

Manage riskClick to read  

Cyber-aware entrepreneurs make of risk management an ongoing, transversal, horizontal activity, not only for the efficiency, effectiveness and safeguard of their IT systems, but most importantly, for the overall (digital) performance of their businesses.

Managing risk(s) is relatively easy if one knows first:

• Which are the risks at highest disrupting impact for his/her organisation

• What’s their likelihood to happen in a given period of time

• Possible countermeasures in case Plan B might fails


   In other words, managing risk consists of a daily-based monitoring activity carried out by red alert-sensitive personnel with adequate flair for incoming issues.


Manage risk – a progression model






I can critically evaluate
the risks associated
with an idea that creates
value, taking into account
a variety of factors.

I can critically evaluate
the risks related
to the formal set-up
of a value-creating venture
in the area in which I work

I can demonstrate that
I can make
decisions by weighing up
both the risks and
the expected
benefits of a

I can outline
a risk plan
for guiding
my (or my team's)
choices while
my value-creating

I can use strategies
to reduce the risks that
may arise during
the value-creating

I can come up
with strategies
to reduce the risk
of my value-creating
initiative becoming









Source: EntreComp into Action – pp. 200

Resources for EntreComp’s implementation

EntreComp’s official follow-upClick to read  

Since its formal publication (2016), the EntreComp has been applied in many diverse domains of societies: industry and private sector, formal and non-formal education, etc.

The model is extremely versatile by design and it found great consensus in both educational and private sector’ settings.

Best practices for its implementation in real-life settings have been gathered and collected by the European Commission in the course of more recent years.

These case studies are available through two different resources (following slides)

EntreComp into Action – Get inspired, make it happenClick to read  

The EntreComp into Action provides for more then 150 international projects and cross-national initiatives that made of the EntreComp their reference model for the development of innovative teaching and training curricula.

The document is intended to be a “user guide” for the implementation of the framework in coaching, tutoring and educational settings for both established and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Users may find interesting sources of inspirations on how to integrate the EntreComp into their training and education offer.



EntreComp at WorkClick to read  

The EntreComp at Work lists a total of 10 case studies in which the EntreComp found concrete application in experimental settings for employability and professional development.

• 5 involve Third Sector’s representatives

• 3 involve Private Sector’s representatives

• 2 involve Public Sector’s representatives

Case studies from the EntreComp at Work are displayed in a very detailed and comprehensive format and they might represent interesting references for EntreComp’s adaptation to cybersecurity and cyber-awareness for MSMEs.

EntreComp PlaybookClick to read  

The EntreComp Playbook is the latest effort from the European Commission to strengthen and foster even further the implementation of the EntreComp Framework both at Member State and EU level.

The playbook is intended as a toolkit for entrepreneurial learning facilitators to design interventions in their fields.

Established entrepreneurs might rely on the Playbook to support career progression, cyber capacity building opportunities, IT proficiency and digital skills of their employees.

Key takeawaysClick to read  

• EntreComp as the reference framework for education and training on entrepreneurial attitudes and sense of initiative
• Three pillars (i.e. Training Areas) → 15 Competences → 60 sub-competences
• 8-dimension progression model → 442 Learning Outcomes
• “Copying with ambiguity, uncertainty and risk”, competence 3.3.
  Cope with ambiguity and uncertainty 

Calculate Risk


Manage Risk




EntreComp, entrepreneurship, sense of initiative, risk management, uncertainty, ambiguity, calculating risk


For established entrepreneurs, the EntreComp can be a useful resource to reignite and boost their sense of initiative, creative thinking and innovation upon their current and consolidated operational framework.


In the context of this training module, readers will be introduced to the EntreComp Framework and how it can be of relevance for cyber security and IT proficiency.

Specifically, the EntreComp Framework will be our reference model to help targets in being more responsive and alert to cyber threats, enhancing their awareness of cyber-hygiene and being overall more competitive in all domains of business.

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The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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The materials published on the CyberMSME project website are classified as Open Educational Resources' (OER) and can be freely (without permission of their creators): downloaded, used, reused, copied, adapted, and shared by users, with information about the source of their origin.