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The EIT conference “Youth and Entrepreneurship – Drivers of Innovation” will bring together entrepreneurial students with entrepreneurial role models, representatives from the EIT/KICs community, academia, businesses and policy makers to interact in an open, creative and inspirational way.
Discussions will focus on various fields of importance for future entrepreneurs such as developing ideas, transforming them into a business and securing access to finance. Students will be offered the opportunity to learn from inspiring role-models about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. They will also get more insights on the EIT and KICs’ entrepreneurship and education activities.
The overall aim of the conference is to empower students and young entrepreneurs, whilst at the same time receiving input to further develop the EIT’s entrepreneurship and education agenda. Moreover, the conference will help student participants to identify with and start thinking like entrepreneurs, in their respective area of knowledge.
Europe needs a strong focus on Entrepreneurship
Europe is facing numerous societal challenges which are growing day by day. Innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship are strong vectors to address these challenges. Europe already disposes of great assets, notably excellent universities, research organisations and strong industries. However, although many creative ideas are generated, they often do not make it to the market. The problem is not new and the EU’s current growth strategy EU2020 sends a clear message: Europe needs to put significant additional efforts into becoming a knowledge and innovation based economy.
How to make it happen? Entrepreneurship and Youth within the EIT
Supporting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education is central to the EIT’s mission. The EIT has established a new configuration for education, research and business to work together: the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs).
KICs aim at fostering innovation in terms of new products and services, through new business creation or within existing companies. In addition, they are supporting entrepreneurial talent. In doing so, they not only help to generate growth and new job creation but also to address European and global societal challenges: Climate Change, Sustainable Energy and future ICT for the three first KICs.
However, entrepreneurship is essentially constituted by a behaviour and attitude. In this view, the EIT addresses students not only by providing them with the necessary set of entrepreneurial tools and skills, but also by creating a true spirit of entrepreneurship through its KICs.
Have YOU got it?
It is said that true entrepreneurs always recognise each other. But how would you know if you could become an entrepreneur? The conference will plunge wannabe entrepreneurs in a bath of exciting sessions to test their motivation and knowledge, to get inspired by role models and find answers to the questions which they encounter on the way to setting up a business. By providing an opportunity to meet with other students and interact with key actors of the world of entrepreneurship, the conference will enable entrepreneurial students to:
- sharpen their business ideas
- get a clearer understanding about creation or scaling-up of their business
- discover their passion for entrepreneurship
- establish a network of contacts to support them
- learn about the EIT and KICs as a resource for their future activities.