DOL Entrepreneurship Competency Model

Department of Labor — YouthBuild

The Department of Labor (DOL) Entrepreneurship Competency Model is a framework focused on fostering entrepreneurship skills, such as personal effectiveness, academics, and workplace skills, in young adults.

What This Includes

Skills addressed: Interpersonal, Adaptability & Flexibility, Initiative, Planning & Organization, Problem Solving, Business Fundamentals, Innovation, Planning, Marketing, Financial Management, Risk Assessment, Entrepreneurship


  • A nine-tiered framework of skills focused on developing entrepreneurship skills in a youth population with a particular focus on working in the gig and sharing economy
  • Tiers 1–5 assess the following competencies: personal effectiveness, academic, workplace, entrepreneurship, and technical
  • All skills are accompanied by a table of the competency definitions and associated key behaviors to exemplify each one in detail
  • The first five tiers are the subject of extensive focus while the additional tiers are industry-specific and left blank to be filled in by each learner
  • Includes an appendix of multiple resources for designing skill-building curricula, utilizing competency assessments, and entrepreneurship program development

Key Takeaways

  • This tool is designed as a framework for the development and assessment of skills in a youth-focused entrepreneurship program, but could be applied in an adult education or career center setting.
  • Many of the resources included in the appendix of this tool are designed and offered by state and federal Departments of Labor, universities, and nationally recognized foundations in the areas of entrepreneurship and youth employment skills development.

YouthBuild is a workforce development division of the U.S. Department of Labor, using the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) definition of “youth” as the population of 16–24 year olds. One of its featured offerings is a Community of Practice (CoP), shared electronic space in which tools, insights, and resources can be shared among Workforce Development and WIOA Youth specialists. This skills framework was designed and launched by the Office of Employment and Training Administration and posted to the CoP for unrestricted public use.

Adaptability & Flexibility


Critical & Creative Thinking

Digital Literacy

Leadership & Initiative

Navigating & Using Information


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