University of Szeged has recently held its national launch where the audience could get an insight about the challenges and opportunities of nowadays young (Generation Z) entrepreneurs and the ways how their competences can be fostered. The EEE event was attended by over 50 regional business partners, stakeholders, academics and students. The focus of the event was the EEE specialized course, that involved local entrepreneurs as lecturers and mentors of the students. In the plenary session four presentations were delivered by project representatives, students and external stakeholders of the EEE semester program.

In his presentation Dr. Norbert Buzas has focused on the function of accelerators, characteristics of modern day entrepreneurs, and approaches to provide this new generation of entrepreneurs the best assistance during their development. Márk Olajos a young entrepreneur, who was involved as a mentor in the EEE course, highlighted the main challenges that nowadays Generation Y and Z entrepreneurs are facing. The third presenter Dr. Szabolcs Pronay introduced the EEE Teaching Toolkit to the audience, describing the methodology to be followed in successfully integrating the modules into the course programs, as well as indicating the potential barriers that can be faced in the process. The last presenter of the plenary session was Attila Tóth – a student who participated in the EEE semester course. He highlighted how the course learnings have had an impact on students’ mindset and equipped him with the right skills to successfully launch his start-up (called: Pricemind). The plenary session was followed by a workshop on the pathways to integrate regional stakeholders in entrepreneurial course program development and delivery.

Following plenary sessions and the workshop, in the afternoon, there was a joint event, the national final of a new presentation challenge, called “Prezilimpia – the Presentation Olympics”. This new challenge was co-organized and co-hosted by the Hungarian EEE team and it aimed to foster the presentation and pitching skills of the young entrepreneurs. 8 young entrepreneurs competed in front of the jury of local entrepreneurs and professional presenters. With this joined event a county-wide audience was reached and the program of the EEE National Launch was boosted to a full-day program about young (Generation Z) entrepreneurs, that also generated a larger media coverage.

© All rights for the images used in this post belong to the University of Szeged

The ongoing transition to an increasingly knowledge-intensive economy has sparked entrepreneurial transformation across several regions, and Lithuania is no different. Soon after gaining independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, Lithuania placed entrepreneurship in the front and center of its education policy. Consequently, most of the higher learning institutions in the country started setting up centers that facilitate entrepreneurial transformation. This is in addition to incorporating entrepreneurship education as a mandatory element of their curricula. Center for Enterprise (CEP) at the Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) has emerged as a direct outcome of this movement, offering a number of entrepreneurial programs that bring together the companies in the region with students and the academic community at large. The center is specifically setup to integrate and sustain the fragmented and often intermittent entrepreneurial initiatives of scholars and students, thereby contributing not only to the global standing of the university but also to the development of an entrepreneurial eco-system in Kaunas region.

Entrepreneurial programs offered at CEP

The center follows a structured approach towards inculcating entrepreneurial values and competencies amongst its students. Particularly, three sequential entrepreneurship-support programs are offered by the center: the Entrepreneurship Academy, the Entrepreneurship Laboratory and Smart Practices.

The Entrepreneurship Academy program gives recognition to the fact that entrepreneurial transformation begins with a change in mindset. As such it mainly concentrates on creating interest amongst participants. The program follows a very broad admission policy, catering not only to students who aspire to become an entrepreneur but also to those who do not plan to join an entrepreneurial pathway in the near future. What is unique about this program is that accomplished entrepreneurs from a wide range of sectors are invited to share their experiences with participants.  The diversity of the invited speakers is especially important in a Liberal Arts University like VMU in getting across the point that entrepreneurship is not restricted to technology-intensive disciplines.

After completing the Entrepreneurship Academy program those interested in further developing their entrepreneurial capability join the “Entrepreneurship Laboratory” program. Here a team of multidisciplinary students are presented with the actual problems of participating companies for which they are expected to find solutions as part of a course. The team operates with the technical assistance of their university professors and under the mentorship of company representatives. After spending up to four months in the problem the team presents its recommendation both to the participating companies and the university. If the students are still interested to further develop their idea they will join the third stage i.e., Smart Practice. However, it is important to note that only handful of students (i.e., around 25%) are accepted into this program. Unlike stage one and two, here students are temporarily placed within one of the participating organizations, either to further refine their work from the Entrepreneurial Lab program or tackle a novel problem. The Smart Practice is often conducted in a form of an internship.

The overall impact of the program has been positive on the regional eco-system in general and the participants in particular. First and foremost, there has been a positive change of attitude amongst students, professors and organizations in the region. The students benefit from hands-on experience and entrepreneurial competences, which considerably enhance their competiveness in the labor market. Benefits to the participating companies are also apparent. Apart from finding workable business solutions and fresh ideas from the team of multi-disciplinary students, they use the opportunity to recruit competent students after their graduation. The early success of CEP has attracted significant interest from other universities and public institutions in the region, with pilot trials already being underway.

To learn more about the nature of the entrepreneurial activities at VMU, please see the full case study here

Authored by Habtamu Diriba and Hacer Tercanli

©all rights on images used in this article belong to the Vytautas Magnus University 

This article was originally published at uiin.org and is based on the case study collected and developed within University-Business Cooperation in Europe Study https://www.ub-cooperation.eu/

The Erasmus+ funded Embedding Entrepreneurship Education (EEE) project presents its outputs to interested stakeholders during the official EEE International Launch at 2018 University-Industry Interaction Conference in London on June 20th. The event not only brings together academics and SME partners to learn about the findings of the two-year work, but also establishes the ground for discussions on how to embed practically driven entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial culture into higher education, enriched with first-hand expert experiences from across the world.

During the event, we will first explore the topic of Entrepreneurship Education through an international panel discussion “Global Experiences” led by three experts from three continents, Ingrid Wakkee from Amsterdam University Applied Sciences, the Netherlands, Rodney Ridley from Wilkes University, USA, and Silvia McCormack from La Trobe University, Australia who will share their perspectives on the approaches taken in their institutional contexts from both managerial and practitioner angles.

The panel session will be followed by showcasing of the major project outputs by Florian Bratzke from Univations GmbH – lead partner of the EEE project. The outputs are the result of the joint efforts of the core EEE team in the Management Center Innsbruck, University of Szeged, Univations, Canice Consulting, and UIIN, as well as of associated partner La Trobe University.

The second part of the event will host two workshops led by the EEE project consortium, “Embedding Entrepreneurship within Education – how to take a cross-disciplinary approach” and “Establishing Transnational Cooperation to foster Entrepreneurship Education”, targeting audiences who like to gain a more focused understanding on building international partnerships that foster practically driven entrepreneurship competence and mindset development across all disciplines of higher education.

If you don’t want to miss our program, please register on our event page to secure your spot and to be kept up to date!

The EEE consortium looks forward to welcoming you in London!

 

EEE consortium members Florian Bratzke (Univations GmbH) and Dr. Szabolcs Prónay (University of Szeged) have recently seized chance to introduce EEE key resources to ~20 international high-level HEI representatives during a joint workshop session. The workshop has been held as an integral part of the 10th International Week organised by Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at University of Szeged . It dealt with Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership development for which EEE has been displayed as good practice example. As part of this, participants were acquainted with EEE experiences and sensitised for the main results of the project. Furthermore, attendees were successfully engaged in an interaction session that simulated joint transnational project development under Key Action 2 of Erasmus+. The active contribution of EEE representatives at this international event has been another milestone to enhance the EEE projects’ international outreach such as the selection of the EEE teaching toolkit as part of European Commissions’ EntreComp Into Action User Guide.

The project stakeholders now look forward to meeting in the International launch of the EEE Project to be held during 2018 University Industry Interaction Conference in London, on the 20th of June. The details on the event will follow!