Together for Cohesion is moving ahead with the organization of the local events in its flagship regions! After the Splendid Ball and the International Conference on ESI Funds, Varaždin County draws the curtains with its third and final appointment in the Cohesion Calendar.
Entrepreneurship is fundamental to trigger the economic potential of regions and local authorities, and as such, to boost cohesion among the regions of Europe. Of equal importance is the sharing of existing knowledge and experiences among regions. This is why the Varaždin County organized an International Conference on “Entrepreneurship Education”.
The conference took place on March 5th in Varaždin and was organized by the Varaždin County and the Faculty of Organisation and Informatics in cooperation with the Public Institution for Regional Development of Varaždin County. It was held during the European Week of Small and Medium Enterprises, inaugurated by the Local Initiatives for Employment in Varaždin County LEPEZA VŽ – an EU-funded project aiming at promoting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills.
The event was attended by around 40 professionals working in the education and entrepreneurship sectors, among these policy-makers, heads of education institutions, and other interested stakeholders. Participants had the chance to exchange about the education system and entrepreneurial skills in Croatia by a panel composed of renewed experts in the field. Among these, the guest of honor Ms. Petra Sippola, PhD from the Seinäjoki University (South Ostrobothnia in Finland, an AER member region).
The discussion started with the opening remarks of the dean of the Faculty of Organisation and Informatics, Ms. Nina Begićević Ređep, and Varaždin County Prefect, Mr. Radimir Čačić, who highlighted the importance of further boost entrepreneurship competence in the county and more general in the country. The necessity was shared also by Ms. Sunčica Oberman Peterka, representative of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor team Croatia. However, as presented by Ms. Lidija Kozina – Head of the High school Ivanec and member of the Working Group for experts and principles for the implementation of the curriculum reform – important steps have been already undertaken through the curriculum reform in Croatia.
At the same time, the link between an entrepreneurship educational background and the decision to work in the business sector is not easy to define. According to Ms. Nina Korent from the Faculty of Organisation and Informatics, graduates usually launch an entrepreneurial project after at least 5 years of work experience. This time gap makes the connection difficult to establish.
Insights on how to enhance entrepreneurial skills came directly from Finland too. Ms. Petra Sippola (Seinäjoki University) presented the Finnish educational system and models for encouraging entrepreneurial thinking. It emerged the importance of encouraging creativity and problem solving from an early age. This is particularly relevant as the entrepreneurial thinking concerns all the spheres of life, and not only the business activities.
Lastly, a good example of a young entrepreneur was given. A high school graduate that, together with his team, developed an application enabling people to play and learn various subjects. The application was soon exported in Slovenia, and its success was confirmed by the increased learning results of the students that used it.
Although the series of local events in Varaždin has come to an end, upcoming activities in all the flagship regions are on the agenda. Visit AER and Together for Cohesion websites to be updated on what is going on!
Next local events in Together for Cohesion flagship regions are coming too (in virtual format)! Check the Cohesion Calendar to be sure that you do not lose anything!
Photos credits: Varaždin County