Dynamic Entrepreneurship: The Role of Universities in Regions European Union Regional Policy Conference: Regions for Economic Change March 7-8, 2007 Karen Wilson & Bert Twaalfhoven European Foundation for Entrepreneurship Research (EFER)
The Role of Gazelles in the Regions • Gazelles (successful high growth oriented entrepreneurs) are engines of economic growth and job creation in the regions. • Gazelles serve as role models for other potential entrepreneurs, creating an entrepreneurial culture and networks. • Many gazelles start more than one company and give back to the local community in multiple ways.
How Regions Breed Gazelles • Higher concentration of high growth entrepreneurs in regions with dynamic entrepreneurial clusters • U.S.: Silicon Valley, Boston/Route 128, D.C. area • Europe: Cambridge, Munich, “Medicon Valley” (Copenhagen/Malmo), Grenoble • Universities play a key role in breeding gazelles • Breeding and training gazelles • Spinning off technology • Facilitating entrepreneurial networks
jump across the U.S. and globe Lack of European-wide Gazelles Stay Mostly Local How can European Universities encourage more gazelles?
Universities As Prime Actors In Entrepreneurial Regions • Providing entrepreneurship education and training • Students, alumni, companies, entrepreneurs • Importance discussed at EC DG Enterprise conference in Oslo 2006 • Developing and commercializing/spinning off innovative technologies • Particularly technical and scientific universities • Deepening knowledge and research • Creating links/networks between academia and business • Serving as an intellectual hub in the community • Providing connections between innovators, researchers, students, entrepreneurs, companies and venture capital firms • Developing practically oriented course materials such as case studies • Attracting funding and building a critical mass of innovation and entrepreneurship
EFER/EECPCL Program: Participating universities
EFER Study on Universities as Entrepreneurial Hubs Entrepreneruship Curriculum Partnerships Student Activities Faculty Centers of Dynamic Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship Activities Joint Ventures Students Spin-outs Alumni Involvement Funding www.efer.nl
Several Key Themes Are Evident Across the Schools • Entrepreneurship courses offered for students across disciplines • Degree programs or specialization available • Joint ventures/partnerships with other schools (often between business schools and technical universities but also across borders) • Strong links and partnerships with the business community • Particularly building links and engaging local entrepreneurs • Recognition and involvement of the school’s alumni often leading to significant financial support • Funding and support for entrepreneurial ideas developed by researchers, students and alumni • Creation of spin outs (from the technical universities) • Developing and sharing entrepreneurship research, courses materials and cases • Encouraging exchange of practices with other schools and across borders, including running workshops and training programs for teachers (professors, entrepreneurs and others)
Recommendations • Identify the key universities in your region and encourage the sustained development of entrepreneurship programs. • Leverage lessons learned from best practice in entrepreneurial regions across Europe. • Connect universities with local (and alumni) entrepreneurs, companies, venture capital firms and other financial players. • Support entrepreneurship training programs for European faculty. • Build and strengthen faculty networks, collaboration and exchange with other regions and across borders. EFER CAN HELP YOU ACHIEVE THESE GOALS IN THE REGIONS!
EFER Mission The European Foundation for Entrepreneurship Research (EFER) fosters and promotes research and teaching in the field of entrepreneurship at institutions of higher education across Western and Eastern Europe. www.efer.nl (soon to be www.efer.eu)