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.

Cultivating entrepreneurial spirit across different layers of the society is a communal act, which requires engagement of various local actors including e.g. academic institutions, entrepreneurs, governmental bodies, and NGOs among others. In the scope of the EEE project, higher education institutions (HEIs) are placed in the centre, to bring together these local stakeholders to raise awareness, and create a joint comprehensive approach to develop, implement and institutionalize entrepreneurship education in the universities. Within the project’s timespan thus far, three alliances have been formed: in Halle/Saale, Germany; in Tyrol region, Austria; and in Szeged, Hungary, in a process led by the major universities of each region. Embedding Entrepreneurship Education Roadmap is the product of these efforts, as a toolkit that records the experiences and the lessons learnt, as well as providing a set of resources to help other regions establish an Entrepreneurship Education Alliance.

Embedding Entrepreneurship Education Roadmap offers a 10-step guideline on how to design, implement and coordinate joint educational and promotional entrepreneurial programmes. From the practical tips on establishing a coordinating body of the alliance, to the specific ways of monitoring the execution and sustainability of the whole programme, this toolkit explains in detail how to potentially organize a long-term interaction between higher education institutions, entrepreneurs and other actors, who are passionate about the growth of regional entrepreneurship.

The Roadmap illustrates how business and academic sectors can cooperate to achieve a connected approach to teach and promote entrepreneurship via practical examples based on three well-realized Regional Alliances. Thus, despite its primary focus on HEIs, the Roadmap can serve other academic, business or government actors engaged in entrepreneurship education. These good practices have utilized a variation of techniques and processes in their establishment and operation. The University of Szeged, Hungary exemplifies how an alliance can be built around the faculty, Univations GmbH, Germany shows how an alliance can form around an affiliated institute, and Management Center Innsbruck, Austria demonstrates how a new alliance can be developed around an existing one. Certainly, there is no single right path or a practice that can be directly replicated. Yet, with the given tools and examples, the Embedding Entrepreneurship Education Roadmap aims to foster implementation of the model in other European regions, reinterpreted within their own contexts.

On November 30, 2017 Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences opened its doors for the 6th stakeholder meeting of the EEE regional alliance in Halle/Saale, Germany. In addition to discussing further strategies for strengthening the co-operation within the alliance, the regional EEE project’s stakeholders were introduced to the latest version of the Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit – a compilation of effective methodological and functional approaches to embed entrepreneurship in the academic curriculum design.

The Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit offers a variety of possibilities to improve students’ entrepreneurial skills and allows for academics’ creativity in curriculum design through its modular structure. The developed modules – hence tools – focus on fostering students’ individual entrepreneurial competences to support innovative thinking and start-up creation both in theory and practice. Moreover, the toolkit includes course materials and case studies that can be customized for student-business and social entrepreneurship courses. The Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit also promotes external engagement and involvement of the business sector in educational programs at higher education institutions.  The online version of the toolkit can be accessed here.

The toolkit has received positive feedback from EEE project regional stakeholders. In fact, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences currently aims to revisit curricular content to incorporate entrepreneurship education course modules and related learning outcomes into selected programmes. In this respect, EEE project has noticeably promoted the awareness and motivation to incorporate entrepreneurial education in academic curricula for this specific institution. The next step will be an establishment of the constructive dialogue among the internal university stakeholders on potential integration of EEE project resources into the teaching activities of the university. The EEE team of Univations GmbH has agreed to support this dialogue by further promoting the toolkit and explaining its underlying methodology to relevant stakeholders.

The second alliance event in the line after Halle, Szeged Regional Alliance meeting has brought together higher education professionals and the representatives of regional firms to identify possible methods of cooperation and plan the upcoming steps in the EEE entrepreneurship course development and implementation.

Szeged Regional Alliance kick-off meeting successfully took place on 9 March 2017 in the premises of University of Szeged (USZ) in the leadership of the project team Dr. Norbert Buzás, Dr. Szabolcs Prónay, and Sándor Huszár. The event hosted more than 20 business partners who are interested in investing in their experience and knowledge in the EEE Project entrepreneurship course development, implementation, and the promotion activities in cooperation with the USZ teaching staff.

The meeting has identified the following steps regarding the involvement of the business representatives and student selection as (i) registering the exact role and contribution of the external partners, i.e. holding a lecture, mentoring a team, offering a business problem in the entrepreneurship courses, a discussion that will be finalized in late March and (ii) carrying out a well-defined recruitment process that will target the right group of students who will benefit from the teaching program the most, particularly those who are enthusiastic about the topic to put in practice what they have learned.

The next alliance meeting is agreed to take place in the month of June.

The design and content of IO3 Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkits were in the spotlight during the February monthly briefing meeting, as well as the exciting news on the 1st Alliance Meetings taking place in Halle and Szeged in the months of February and March.

The discussions initiated in the leadership of Prof. Bernd Ebersberger from the Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) helped outline a draft framework on how to design and implement the entrepreneurship courses at the individual universities. The proposal from the institution included creating 12-15 independent modules with the themes in the scope of entrepreneurship that could either be taught during a semester as one single course, or combined in a customized manner to be taught at summer schools. Idea competition bootcamps, introduction to regional ecosystems, characteristics and motivations of entrepreneurs, games and competitions are some of the module themes that will be sequenced under (i) Entrepreneurship course and (ii) Social entrepreneurship course. The example course layout suggested by the MCI was well received from the partners, with more details agreed to be discussed in the following partner meetings.

While the entrepreneurship course details are taking shape, regional alliances are being formed to start conversations in their respective contexts. Univations has led their first successful regional alliance meeting with a small group from Martin-Luther-University Halle, and USZ, has scheduled their first alliance meeting on the 9th of March with the attendance of representatives from local businesses and academics. The EEE project will gain further visibility through a presentation on entrepreneurship Dr. Szabolcs Prónay will give at a large youth event in Szeged scheduled on the 18th of March.

The next briefing meeting is agreed be held on the 20th of the next month.