International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development
IKED - International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development

Activities

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..:: New Approaches to Entrepreneurship Training

Of particular importance for countries to pave the way for an entrepreneurial era in which there will be a stronger fluidity of new firms and industries, and greater dynamism in the creation of new jobs, is the development of effective and inspiring programmes for “training-the-trainers”, embracing both university faculty and students.

Since 2009, IKED has engaged with partners in Europe and the Middle East to build state-of-the art competencies in this area.  Such programmes must cover several domains, including creativity-innovation, soft skills, networking abilities and technical competencies. Regular curriculum and on-campus activities need to be complemented by extra-curriculum features, e.g.: student clubs; student leadership and scholarship opportunities; professional certification programs; industry involvements and special projects; internships and well-planned industry based placements. More specifically, students should develop a creative-innovative” mindset apt to continuously observe ways to improve their immediate surroundings. Often referred to as “thinking outside the box” - such a creative-innovativemindset should be accompanied by complementary “attitudes” and “behaviours” that are conducive to “learning organisations”.

Meanwhile, Soft Skills and Networking Abilities play an important part, in many cases more so than Technical Competencies, in advancing careers and entrepreneurial ventures. Highly developed interpersonal, communication, negotiation, interview, conflict resolution, team, leadership and crisis management skills complemented with a “strong business development mindset-attitude” can benefit students in multiple disciplines. At the same time, students must also master the Technical Competencies (Hard Skills) of their respective careers. Ways of achieving positive synergies between learning of these different kinds need to be further enhanced within a specific institution and local context. There is a need of raising competencies in “learning how to learn” approaches, rather than to be restricted to traditional “rote-learning” approaches. Graduation from a specific discipline should be viewed as a starting-point, rather than the “end of learning cycle”. Continuous learning, striving for globally successful work practices, coupled with advancements in English proficiency are most likely to prepare graduates into contemporary and emerging dynamic professional settings. Students should be exposed to and be consciously aware of how to build and practice comprehensive skill-sets from an early stage of their university experiences.
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