Current Activities

  • iN4iN Africa Activities

    The African German Entrepreneurship Academy (AGEA)

    One important way of sustaining and extending the iN4iN Africa Network was to come up with a new project. In this vein, the African-German Entrepreneurship Academy (AGEA) was conceived. This is an extension based on the argument that the iN4iN Africa Network were only universities. The project will run for a period of four years (2017-2020). Similar to the erstwhile iN4iN Africa Network, the current AGEA project is generously supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).The main objective of the AGEA is to take our iN4iN Africa activities to the next quality level by creating the conditions that will enable more universities in Africa to establish Entrepreneurial Education Programs and Entrepreneurship Support Centres  After having trained universities in different parts of Africa through the iN4iN Africa Network, two universities have been chosen as hubs to connect with other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), business and business associations within and across respective countries. These two universities are the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana and INES-Ruhengeri, Rwanda. The choice of both universities is premised on the fact that they are positioned in both West and East Africa, therefore their cooperation will be a useful South-South engagement for the continent. Moreover, these two universities have attracted other HEIs in the iN4iN Africa Network and have conducted business trainings for small businesses in respective countries. They have accumulated knowledge capital which is being applied in running respective entrepreneurship/ incubator centres. Therefore, their knowledge can be shared among other HEIs who are still within the phases of starting entrepreneurship/incubator centres.  Furthermore the AGEA project will included businesses and business associations in Germany, Ghana and Rwanda. The inclusion of associations AGEA widens the iN4iN Africa Network, allowing new approaches to sustainability at the university and business levels. Mr. Richard Adu-Gyamfi, who was the project coordinator of the erstwhile iN4iN Africa Network, will once again coordinate the AGEA project.

    Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs and First Roundtable Forum in Tanzania

    The event dubbed “Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs” and the First Roundtable Conference were embedded in the overall programme that took place in Dar es Salaam from 21st to 25th  November, 2016. The Boot Camp was an activity that was organised mainly for Entrepreneurs in Tanzania, though it attracted another entrepreneur from Uganda. On 22nd November, 2016 the boot camp for entrepreneurs was rolled out at the Giraffe Beach Hotel, Dar es Salaam. It attracted entrepreneurs from the ICT, insurance, financial, tourism, transport, medical, educational services etc. The boot camp was therefore designed to facilitate entrepreneurs to have direct access to local and international trainers to help them scale up. Prof. Dr. Utz Dornberger and two coaches, Mr. Richard Adu-Gyamfi and Mr. Kwabena Obiri Yeboah introduced entrepreneurs to the management the following management tools: Value Proposition design, Ten types of Innovation and Business Model Canvas. The boot camp gave the entrepreneurs the exposure to reflect on an innovative business model. An evaluation can be found of the boot camp can be found in the Appendix file.

    From 23rd to 24th November, 2016, the First Roundtable Forum was organised at the Kisenga LPF Conference Centre in Dar es Salaam. The University of Dar es Salaam Business School Centre for Policy Advocacy and Research (CPRA) in collaboration with the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Business Environment Strengthening for Tanzania (BEST-D), Intelligence for Innovation Africa (iN4iN) Africa, funded by the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) organized the roundtable forum. The theme for the Roundtable was “Accelerating Innovation and Growth of SMEs through Responsive Policies”. It brought together stakeholders from the private sector, government ministries department and agencies, development partners and members of the academic community. The Roundtable Forum participants came from different countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Participant spent two days deliberating on policies issues affecting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Experiences were  shared from different countries. The discussions centred on themes such as industry-university linkages; Public Private Dialogue (PPD) and innovative policies; formalization and SMEs growth; rationalizing regulations; financial inclusion; participation of the private sector in PPDs; promoting and empowering SMEs;  and advocacy and dialogue experience. A detailed description of the Roundtable Forum has been provided in the Appendix file.

  • Praxis Partnership – Vietnam

    The International SEPT Program at the Leipzig University (LU) decided in 2005 to export its international MBA in Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Development to Vietnam. The foundation of the cooperation was a strong partnership with Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) which was already established in a context of faculty cooperation in 2004. The first MBA class started in 2006 and up to now more than 260 participants studied in nine intakes.

    In 2008 this MBA program located then in Leipzig and Hanoi was awarded by the DAAD and the Stifterverband der Deutschen Wirtschaft because of its extraordinary contribution to the development of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Germany and Vietnam.

    Because of this success, SEPT decided in 2011 to expand its activities towards the south of Vietnam based on a cooperation agreement with the Vietnamese German University (VGU). Now we already running two intakes (60 students) in our MBA programme in Ho Chi Minh City and the third intake will start on September 2014.

    From July 2012 until end of 2014, we are supported by the DAAD Praxis Partnership Programme in order to establish at the two destinations in Vietnam a partnership project with SMEs and SME support institutions in Vietnam as well as in Germany. The portfolio of actions consisted of

    a) implementing practical projects with SMEs in the context of the MBA in Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Development;

    b) a range of short-term training courses covering topics of growing relevance for Vietnamese and German SMEs; and

    c) an entrepreneurship training for undergraduates, graduates and staff members at the Vietnamese partner universities

    Our new project proposal “Academia meets Business” aims to institutionalize our approach and to secure the long-term sustainability of all activities. Furthermore, we want to increase the outreach of our activities especially in the context of the 40 Years of Diplomatic Relationship Anniversary between Germany and Vietnam in 2015.

    Therefore, the proposed project has the following specific objectives:

    • Establishment und Development of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre (EIC) at Vietnamese German University in Ho Chi Minh City

    • Implementation of the Bach Khoa Entrepreneurship Programme (BEP) at Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST)

    • Knowledge transfer to public and private economic support organisations as well as other Vietnamese universities

    For more information please visit: http://www.innovators.vn/

  • SME Development Training – Train the Trainer Program

    Entrepreneurship and SME development are considered as drivers of sustainable social and economic development of a country. Nevertheless, entrepreneurship is not a natural career path in a country like Saudi Arabia for a variety of reasons, which are deeply rooted in the social structure, belief and practices of the country. Therefore, stimulating entrepreneurship requires focused and sustained efforts from private and public sectors as well as social influencers.

    With this objective in mind, the Saudi Credit and Savings Bank (SCSB) initiated a timely and comprehensive program to support SMEs and enhance their survival rate and productivity. Having completed the program design, SCSB selected ETSC to kick start the Business Fundamentals program, and to establish and operate the Riyadh Business Center (RBC). ETSC worked in collaboration with the GIZ to address some of the key objectives of the RBC and the Business Fundamentals program. iN4iN took part of this project and accomplished the following objectives:

    1. Develop an evaluation framework to screen SMEs to be part of the training program;

    2. Evaluate, in consultation with senior RBC staff, the first batch of trainees;

    3. Design the curriculum and course plans, keeping in mind the target SMEs (2-10 years in business in a range of sectors);

    4. Run the Train-the-Trainers programs (deliver 1 set of courses using experts). Attendees will include 9 RBC business consultants, 6-8 local trainers and other RBC staff, a total of 20

    5. Monitor and co-deliver the training of the first batch of SMEs.

    6. Evaluate trainers‘ readiness and effectiveness

    The SME Development Training included courses on Management Skills, Business Idea Generation, Business Planning, Marketing in SMEs, and SME Finance and Accounting. Participants were able to develop for instance, a Business Model Canvas, a Marketing Plan and a Financial Plan. All of these are considered steps to develop a Business Plan.

    The first set of courses was delivered by our experts between February and April 2016. Dulani Business Center designed a course of three weeks based on the content provided in this first set of courses and was able to build a team of motivated coaches. Dulani organized three batches of trainings with different entrepreneurs as participants. Since May 2016, these courses are offered at Dulani Business Center.

    The Train-the-Trainers program was developed between May 10th and October 20th, 2016. Our iN4iN expert, Christian Hauke, supervised three times the implementation of the training at the Dulani Center in Riyadh. Mr. Hauke took part in the development of the different modules and at the end he supervised the coaching phase of the third batch of participants.

    Local trainers participated in supervision sessions where they received feedback from our expert, discussed some difficulties and learned how to improve their trainings.

  • Certified Innovation Manager Trainings in Costa Rica

    In 2011, iN4iN worked in a middle-term cooperation schema together with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications of Costa Rica with the purpose of developing the innovation competencies of different actors of the private sector, as well as, promotion and support organizations from both, governmental and private institutions. The objectives of the cooperation included the development of innovation management capabilities, and the development of implementable innovation projects by the participating companies and organizations.

    The National Technical University of Costa Rica (UTN) is our local academic partner. In 2011 iN4iN trainers provided the first edition of our Certified Innovation Manager (CIM) Training in San Jose. Since then, every year our experts visit Costa Rica to provide the training, sometimes more than once a year. In 2016, iN4iN finished successfully the 10th edition of this training. We believe that all these years of an active cooperation with our partner, UTN, clearly demonstrate the satisfaction of the participants and our partner, with our training.

    Our CIM program allows participants to learn about the application of different concepts and tools in order to improve innovation management in their organizations. In addition, the program includes coaching sessions for the participants, as a way of supporting them during the development of their innovation projects or the implementation of innovation systems within their companies.

    Each training has as a result the development of a variety of innovation projects. An important portion of them are successfully launched to the markets or implemented within the processes and structures of the companies and organizations.

    Additionally, iN4iN has conducted other shorter activities in Costa Rica, which are normally planned for specific target groups, for instance: personnel and affiliates of the Chamber of Exporters, Chamber of Food Manufacturer Companies, Chamber of IT Companies, etc.

    If you want to learn more about the results and the impact of the Innovation Management Trainings in Costa Rica, please click below to read the publication (only in Spanish):

  • Fostering Entrepreneurship at European Universities

    More Entrepreneurial Life at European Schools (MELES) is a project developed by a group of European Universities located in Poland, Portugal, Greece and Germany.

    This initiative started in 2014 and its primary goal is to introduce in the curriculum of these educational institutions elements in order to provide entrepreneurial skills and knowledge in this field. The project is implemented in the departments that have little experience in teaching entrepreneurship or do not have any experience at all. The classes are designed to equip young people with the right skills, so that they can consciously pursue new business opportunities, evaluate the risks of decisions in professional life and develop their interests.

    MELES allows both, students and teachers, to develop skills that have so far been neglected in the curriculum. In addition, it fosters the cooperation between higher education institutions with a variety of fields of study. Moreover, it introduces unconventional and innovative methods of teaching, displacing the traditional approach of the teaching process.

    Two summer schools were developed as part of this project. Each summer school had as participants 30 students from all partner universities. The first summer school was in Greece in 2015 and the second in Portugal in 2016.

    During these summer schools students presented different and very interesting business ideas. The best ideas were selected to be further developed with the support of experienced teachers from different European countries. Each summer school was organized for a period of two weeks. During this time students worked on the selected projects, participated in workshops to develop their skills, learned from entrepreneurs who shared their experiences and worked in teams to solve different challenges.

    The University of Leipzig, as partner of the project, sent six students from the International SEPT Program to participate and learn from this experience.

    Here you can find more information about MELES and a detailed description of its last summer school:

    http://meles-project.eu/index.php

    In addition, between November 17th and 18th 2016, the SEPT Program hosted the International Symposium on „International Entrepreneurship Promotion at Higher Education Institutions“ with the aim of finding efficient ways to support internationalization of start-ups. Participants from 28 countries, including international entrepreneurs, members of NGOs as well as academics, presented their experiences and the challenges of internalization. In this framework, the presentation of the MELES Project introduced all participants to the experiences in establishing entrepreneurial education courses in academic curricula, as well as the development of summer schools to teach entrepreneurial knowledge.

  • Development of University-Business Linkages in Sri Lanka

    iN4iN cooperated with GOPA Consulting to implement on behalf of the German International Cooperation (GIZ), within the framework of the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Development Programme, a consultancy project on strengthening University Business Linkages in Sri Lanka.

    Strengthening University-Business Linkages (UBL) in order to enable more technology transfer to SMEs was not a focus of previous development projects or university agendas. However, the Government of Sri Lanka has started to emphasise its importance. Nevertheless, UBL promotion and UBL initiatives are still at an initial stage in Sri Lanka.

    In order to reach the next stage of Sri Lanka’s economic and social development, strong UBL are essential, as well as regional innovation systems, which will foster the competitiveness of (local) SMEs.

    iN4iN contributed in this project to create conducive conditions for establishing such innovation systems and developing UBL. The consultancy projected included capacity building and consultancy for universities; consultancy on strengthening chamber links with universities, consultancy for the University Grants Commission (UGC), corporate involvement, among others.

    Besides, iN4iN worked with the UBL Units of four Universities in Sri Lanka to conduct workshops on “Business Model Innovation” for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). These events were part of the identified UBL initiatives to promote the relationship between universities and SMEs.

    One of the most important results of the project was that the University Grants Commission (UGC) in Sri Lanka decided in 2016 to introduce a fresh set of reforms to incorporate University Business Linkages (UBL) as a structural component of university curriculum. This decision was based on the extensive work done by UGC together with our consultants, who support them to develop an agenda with a set of guidelines for national universities of Sri Lanka on UBL implementation.

    The workshop was attended by the Acting Vice Chancellor and other senior staff and members of the University.

    The activities of iN4iN Africa have effected a new thinking at the KNUST Business School. There is a proposal to form a partnership with the KNUST Business School in Ghana to train members of the Association of Small-Scale Industries (ASCI) in Ghana to enable them export their products.

    To learn more about the project, here you can find some news:

    • “University Grants Commission introduces new reforms to formalise University Business Linkages in all universities” (Daily FT, September 9th, 2016). [+ Read More]

    • “Towards a promotive University-Business Linkage System in Sri Lanka” (Daily FT, September 17th, 2015). [Read More]

    • UBL program develops SME`s (Daily News, March 14th, 2016). [+ Read More