Goals of the project
|Entrepreneurial learning - entrepreneurship education|
|Regional dimension and cooperation|
|Enterprise, industry and SMEs (incl. entrepreneurship)|
The triple helix approach is turning out to be increasingly more valuable in the region of Hoogeveen, yet continuity is key. Via this project we hope to maintain en strengthen the close cooperation between school/local government and entrepreneurs. The partners are looking forward to establishing the same in their own country as they recognise and embrace the idea of connecting the school with the entrepreneurs and local government. In addition, this collaboration could result in a transnational platform where transfer of knowledge will continue to be realised via regular symposia on different topics. Martin and Hoogeveen are already twin partners and now Jicin is interested in being twinned with Hoogeveen as well.
Regionalisation versus globalisation. In all of the regions involved in this project, unemployment rates are high due to a variety of reasons. When one takes into account that small and medium sized companies (SME's) in the areas involved produce about half of the nation's economic output but account for approximately 20% of exports, a lot can be done. Most SME's in these regions are struggling to survive yet are extremely hesitant to look across borders when in fact the world is at their doorstep. Experts state that in a globalised world, SME's need to be able to confront an increasing competition from developed and emerging economies and to plug into the new market opportunities. There is a direct link between internationalisation and increased SME's performance. International activities reinforce growth, enhance competitiveness and support the long term sustainability of companies.
In turn, companies indicate that there is a considerable gap between education and the labour market/industry. VET students lack hands on compentencies. As VET centres, it is our responsibility to take this to heart because we are able to change the mindset of our students to thinking globally and acting locally. After all, our students will be the next generation of entrepreneurs. Both of the above-mentioned issues need to be addressed and dealt with in close cooperation with all parties involved. This is why this project involves schools, companies and local government (also referred to as the triple helix principle). In this project the focus lies on two departments; the Economics department and Tourism department.
Ergo, this project is not solely a result of schools working together, the key to successful international entrepreneurship revolves around the participation and cooperation with local businesses/local government and organisations as the Chamber of Commerce, Export Clubs and other Business clubs ( Rotary). The municipalities of each of these towns have agreed to sign the Letter of Support in order to emphasize that they are adament to join forces. Several chambers of commerce and/ or business clubs have agreed to sign this Letter of Support as well. Because of the expertise of all these parties involved, the students will learn from existing companies and obtain valuable knowledge and skills.
They will be exposed to the cultural differences and entrepreneurial skills by means of presentations of Chambers of Commerce. With this information students have to conduct an International Market Research that will result in identification of the needs of the local entrepreneurs, which could lead to import/export of products but also of ideas and knowledge. Please note that the Tourism students will research, map out and promote the recreational opportunities in the countries involved and this might boost local economies as well. Hence, all students will gain (international) insights, allow students to enter the labourmarket better. Each partner will set up case studies of good trade practice in their country to be shared across the group. The findings; its benefits and challenges will be explored and analysed and presented in a Business Plan.