Teaching Future Entrepreneurs at the University of Szeged

A practical approach has been introduced at the University of Szeged, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, to teach and encourage students from different disciplines to become entrepreneurs.

The course promoting entrepreneurial thinking has taken place in the international Erasmus+ framework. One of the most important missions of the European Union is to encourage the younger generation to become entrepreneurs. Therefore, university students, who represent a high proportion of the young generation, provide an excellent basis to whom entrepreneurship can be promoted.

Why exactly in Szeged?

The University of Szeged is one of the biggest Hungarian universities. There are 25,000 students studying different sciences at its 12 Faculties. Not only the students from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration can become entrepreneurs. It is becoming more and more important that students from other disciplines gain insight into entrepreneurship. Due to the diversity of disciplines at the University of Szeged and the successful Master’s Business Development training program at the Faculty of Economics, the experimental course has good foundations to be implemented in the future.

Novelty of the course: the attractiveness of entrepreneurial examples

The traditional university programmes are based on a course or seminar, where instructors teach and students take notes. At the end of each semester, students take the appropriate tests. Though more and more courses in the topic of becoming entrepreneurs leave the traditional teaching method behind, they do not always prove to be successful. The organizers of this new course tried to rethink the traditional teaching model based on their previous experiences.

Students could apply with a covering letter and with an introduction of an entrepreneurial idea. The aim of the organizers was to attract only those students, who are serious about becoming entrepreneurs and are willing to take part in courses for their professional development. They wanted to deter those students, who would only have participated in the course for collecting additional credits.

Regarding teachers, organizers invited those people, who are entrepreneurs themselves and have a practice in teaching, or they included those teachers, who have real and first-hand experience on the market. Therefore, they would be able to transfer their own market experience to students. Entrepreneurs and teachers have both participated in the organisation and implementation. Almost 30 entrepreneurs and teachers took part in the course who received a teaching toolkit developed during the EEE course.

From apartment-restaurants to co-working offices

Students worked on 5 project ideas. Based on these ideas, students had to develop and introduce a complete business plan at the end of the semester. Some students had to change the concept of their business, because they had encountered certain problems which could have undermined the basic aim of their enterprise. This happened in case of the co-working office, which was an apartment-restaurant concept originally.

Throughout the course, students worked on the development of a business software, which could monitor the different prices on web shops. Others were concerned with the development of a software, providing financial contribution for animal shelters, while another group worked on a local craft beer manufactory and a social pub-finder application. The final business plans were presented in front of a professional board. The members of the board did not see the completed concepts before. Therefore, they could evaluate the concepts without bias and could provide feedback for the students.

The Facebook page containing the course’s final presentations and pictures can be found on the following link.

© All rights on images used in this article belong to University of Szeged, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

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