Virgo+ is a secondary school located in Vilvoorde, a city north of Brussels. Due to this fact many of our pupils don’t speak our language (Dutch) at home. This school year we have 765 pupils. Our student population has been growing slowly over the last few years due to a large group of immigrants living in our region. We educate young people between the age of 12 and 19 in two study fields (economical and social) on the technical and the vocational level. Our roots lie in an economical oriented school founded by the order of the Urseline sisters more than 150 years ago. We are proud of our heritage. Our economical vocational branch is one of the largest in our country.



Last school year our school became one of Vlajo’s (member of JA Europe and JA Worldwide) ambassador schools. This proves our ambition to promote entrepreneurship in our region and to assist other schools that want to invest more energy in entrepreneurship. Our goal is to promote entrepreneurship education not only for our pupils in the economically oriented programmes with an economical focus, but for all young poeple in the region. Entrepreneurship is more than economics, it’s an attitude that can help every student to become a valuable member of our economy. We want to prepare young people to be ready to contribute to our society, no matter if they are going to enter the labour market or to get a bachelor degree. 

Over the years, our school has built up experience with the mini-companies but this option is offered only to students in the economically oriented programmes. As a consequence, we promote a wide range of initiatives in which young people can develop the necessary skills to become an entrepreneur. School is a safe environment for pupils to experiment because they are always supervised and guided by their teachers and teachers are ready to help if necessary, but at the same time, they know that the best way to learn is by making mistakes. Through the experiences we give our pupils, by providing them with the opportunity to develop their own projects, we hope to prepare them for their own future, the future of our nation, Europe and the world. 

"When Vlajo asked us to participate in the ICEE project, we couldn’t say no. As a principal with an economics degree, I understand the importance of entrepreneurship for every individual in my school and for our Flemish economy in general. I strongly believe that the best way to learn the skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur is through experience. What better way is out there than the mini-companies to get acquainted with the practical side of entrepreneurship and in such a safe but realistic environment? Theory and books are necessary, but they only represent one side of education. Practice is the best teacher. If Europe is asking us to participate in a study to understand the benefits of mini-companies so that more young people can benefit from this experience in the future, then we are more than happy to do our part", said Johan van Engelant, Virgoprincipal.


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