- Published: 31 December 2020
On September 22, 2020, YEP, jointly with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Startup Fund, with the support of the USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine (USAID CEP) presented the Entrepreneurial University initiative. Its main goal is to bring university entrepreneurship in Ukraine to a qualitatively new level and develop a trend to create startups among youth and students. Odessa National Maritime University became a participant in this project.
Within the pilot project, in the autumn semester of 2020, the academic course "Innovative Entrepreneurship and Startup Management" was launched and integrated into pilot universities' curricula.
108 teachers and 2,500 students from 64 universities from 29 cities of Ukraine took part in the pilot semester. For 4 months teachers have conducted almost 3,000 lectures and workshops, and students worked on more than 400 startup ideas. From September to December, more than 600 feedbacks were received from teachers and 5,671 feedbacks from students. The average rate of the guideline's quality is 7.55 out of 10 (under the teachers' estimation). The rate of interest and usefulness of the course is 4.53 out of 5 (under the students' estimation). According to both teachers' and students' feedback, the course is one of the most useful courses at universities. It is essential that most universities have already confirmed their participation in the project in the following semesters. Besides, for the spring semester of 2021, 26 more teachers from 12 new universities are already confirmed to join the course.
Moreover, not only students are interested in creating startups, but also teachers. At the end of the semester, we have at least three startups with teachers' participation. This shows the creation of a new entrepreneurial culture and community at various university levels.
On December 18, YEP conducted a final Entrepreneurial University Forum for teachers of the pilot semester. The results of the first half of the year showed a high level of interest and openness of universities to the topic of entrepreneurship, considerable potential of university entrepreneurship in Ukraine. At the forum, the teachers confirmed their thirst for development in this direction. This is also very important in terms of the entire ecosystem and digital economy development in the country, which was also confirmed by the active participation and feedback from the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine (FB Mykhailo Fedorov, MDT) and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (Ministry of Education and Science). At the same time, the realization of such potential requires further efforts of the team and continue to develop of the "Entrepreneurial University" initiative: improving the content and methodological materials, attracting new universities, continuous training of teachers, development of innovative management level of universities' leaders, creating opportunities for further development of student startups (incubation, competition, etc.). To the effective and systematic implementation of these activities, it is planned to strengthen the management and expert team of the project, attract additional international expertise, and launch a series of regular events (competitions, seminars, conferences) for students, teachers, and rectors. In addition, by the beginning of the second semester of the 2020-21 academic year, the release of an updated methodology of the course "Innovative Entrepreneurship and Startup Management" is planned.
In February 2021, it is also scheduled to conduct the first national final of the students' startups competition. More than 90 applications have already been received from student teams to participate in the contest.
Entrepreneurship University is an initiative aimed at creating business universities in Ukraine, i.e. universities with a strong business culture and startup infrastructure. In September 2020, the course "Innovative Entrepreneurship and Startup Project Management" was launched at 76 universities. The initiative is implemented by the network of startup incubators YEP together with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Startup Fund, with the support of the USAID Competitive Economy of Ukraine Program.
YEP network of startup incubators - creates an ecosystem of youth entrepreneurship in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, which provides opportunities for young people for personal and professional development. This is a risk-free opportunity to try yourself in business and start your own startup in 3 months.
The USAID Competitive Economy of Ukraine (USAID CEU) program supports startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to increase their competitiveness in Ukraine's domestic and international markets, helps build a simplified and transparent business climate, and promotes effective trade policy to enable SMEs to reap the benefits of international trade.