EMPOWERING STUDENT ENTREPRENEURSHIP

  • Panagiotis Gioannis profile
    Panagiotis Gioannis
    11 March 2016 - updated 2 years ago
    Total votes: 1

I would like to present the particular idea presented on ICERI2013 on November 2013 which I hope could be soon a reality.

 

 

Ever since, the business area and the academic community are trying to cooperate in various ways. A familiar effective way nowadays is through the companies’ establishment by students within the academic community. For this reason the particular article proposes a new policy that comes through the need of students from academic communities located in various countries of the European Union to cooperate for business purposes. This will be feasible through the creation of a European pool of students who wish to deal with entrepreneurship. Ways will also be suggested to support start up companies such as, through an independent business advisory portal that will target at all the educational communities in the European Union. Therefore, the entrepreneurship will be empowered through the enhancing of business foci in the areas of the academic community giving thus a flourishing entrepreneurship within European community and beyond.

 

1 INTRODUCTION

Nowadays, it is obvious that compared to the past decades the participation of the young people in tertiary education has been increased. Also, such participation will be further increased since it is one of the objectives of the European Union through the strategic Europe 2020 [1]. Since a large proportion of young people is in the area of tertiary education then a large percentage of the elite of ideas and of talents lies within the academic community. Sometimes, many of these ideas are quite practical and so entrepreneurship applicable.  Therefore, after years small enterprises by students within academic community have begun to be established. However, the rules that exist and the opportunities that are given for establishing such enterprises in any institution/country of the European Community are not always the same. Therefore, business ideas that could not thrive will drop. On the other hand, there are students with the appropriate entrepreneurial spirit who have the need of suitable partners for the implementation of the idea. Also, a creative and efficient student can spring from any institution regardless of how high reputation have compared with others. Therefore, these concerns lead us to the need to bring together students from different countries/institutions for the implementation of a business idea. 

Everyone knows that through the famous and successful program ERASMUS [2] mobility can exist for students to study abroad and as well the program offers student placements in enterprises. Imagine the benefits that would exist if there was a relevant mobility scheme for the implementation of enterprises/research ideas that arise from cooperation between students. There is also an interesting program called Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs [3] which however refers to the mobility of young entrepreneurs to learn from experienced owners of small business in other European Union countries. However, here the objective is to bring together students from various countries for the implementation of a business idea. Definitely it is a difficult task. But if we take advantage of the thirst of young people for collaboration and exploitation of new ideas a spark for implementation of such an attempt can be given. Especially the students from academic areas offered for commercial applications always have a hidden desire to establish an enterprise. Obviously the academic nature of the university can not be forgotten and can not be everything baptized commercial.  However, that a healthy enterprise leads to the upgrading of the academia and that their cooperation is needed today, should not be forgotten. These concerns and similar solutions have been proposed recently through an abstract by Gioannis [4]. Here, however a more comprehensive aspect will be presented.

2 Student Entrepreneurship

The ideas for the solutions to bring together students from different countries under business cooperation arise through the absence of the appropriate policy within the European Community. Clearly, such ideas concern not only the international but the national level as well, since the causes analyzed above lead to the need of such partnerships in any level.

2.1 Student Entrepreneurship Pool

One way to bring close students fro a business purpose is through a pool. The pool will consist of students from institutions of European Union countries. Thus students will have the flexibility to choose the appropriate partners to implement a business idea. Now the problem is how students could come close with each other since they may be in different countries. One way is to embody it to the European Union mechanisms and specifically to the successful program ERASMUS [2]. Another way is the distance collaboration. Difficult attempt but for some scientific areas may be feasible based on the facilities that communication technology provides today.

Of course to find partners there exist other ways such as through Linkedin [5] or through social networks which have become familiar today. However, easily in such networks someone can get lost through the huge mass of contacts that are offered. The right therefore is the pool to be addressed only to student community and initially to be offered only for the specific purpose of business partner choosing.  In that way the students will feel safer and will be encouraged into this direction. Perhaps the future pool could be offered for other purposes. But firstly it is needed to be established properly and the time will show if such an attempt is possible and necessary. Certainly such an expansion if is done should not lead to the loss of the original purpose.

2.2 Why only students?

This restriction was proposed for several reasons. First of all, it is obvious that the students are on the same wavelength and most importantly they can more easily trust each other. They can more easily take a risk than people who are not students. Also they can set their own work rules and this might lead to the birth of new ways of working. Sometimes they are trapped to the teacher aspirations and fail to escape.  The secret is to let young people to nominate by themselves their future.

2.3 Student Entrepreneurship Portal

In order the establishment of a business idea to be feasible many times the advices from the experts of the field are necessary. Because there is a mix of students from different countries (and thus different business rules) then such an issue becomes more complicated. Therefore, an independent global student entrepreneurship portal is suggested, addressed to all member states of the European Community so that the young people can obtain the appropriate help. The portal could provide help such as for legal issues, instructions for granting a patent, for solving economic question issues and several others. It can also encourage the entrepreneurship through competitions as it is usual in such cases. An example of rewarding is to give funding for granting a patent.

2.4 Sustainability

The sustainability of such an attempt is the ensuing target. Finding a solution will rely on the good intention that will hopefully come mainly from the future companies that will arise through such a process. As the time passes by, some companies that will be created will be profitable and so they can become independent from the academic community. Perhaps they could become successful and business giants. Certainly they will not forget the help that have received in their first steps. Therefore, they could offer funding through a portion of their profits and so making such an effort viable for the next generations.

Clearly, in the initial steps no any profitable company will exist. For this, hopefully sponsors from different areas will offer their support. As mentioned above, the embodiment into the successful program ERASMUS [2] will help a lot and will certainly give a prestige on the whole effort.

3 Economy Benefits

Nowadays within the European Union unemployment is rising rapidly especially in a higher degree among the young people. Also, through these young people there is a large number of highly scientific skilled. Obviously through such an attempt a chance will be given for young people to use any business ideas they have or to contribute to the implementation of a business idea that has been suggested by other young scientists across the European Community. Therefore, before they even come out into the market they will have gained a significant experience. The main thing is that the young people always offer innovative ideas which in turn will give a boost to the economy. Clearly, that the small businesses are the backbone of the today’s economy should not be forgotten. Through this process not only small enterprises will be established but after their independency from the academia it is certain that they would enhance their human resources with people outside this community.

Another important possible situation is that some partners can return to their home place (or elsewhere) and then can create a branch or an original enterprise or a completely independent new company.

4 Conclusions

The birth of enterprises through the university community is always a pleasant event. Especially when students from different countries cooperate then it adds a greater value. It will be quite interesting if the whole attempt is adopted by the European Community.

A future progress could be the cooperation, not only among students in tertiary education but in other education levels as well. Such an issue arises because the talent can exist at younger ages too. 

Also, in the future the possibility of contribution of students outside of the European Union may be offered.

 

REFERENCES

  1. European Commission (2013, June 28). Europe2020. Retrieved June 28, 2013, from http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htm.
  2. European Commission (2013, June 28). The ERASMUS Programme - studying in Europe and more. Retrieved June 28, 2013, from http://ec.europa.eu/education/lifelong-learning-programme/erasmus_en.htm.
  3. European Commission (2013, April 17). Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs. Retrieved June 17, 2013, from http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/promoting-entrepreneurship/erasmus-entrepreneurs/index_en.htm.
  4. Gioannis, P. (2013, June 17). An EU Student Entrepreneurship Pool. Open Education 2030. JRC-IPTS Call for Vision Papers. Part III: HIGHER Education, 110.
  5. Linkedin (2013). Retrieved June 17, 2013, from http://www.linkedin.com/.