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The Future of Business Depends on Developing Countries

The Future of Business Depends on Developing Countries

The 6th International Summer School ‘Exploring Entrepreneurship’ in Moscow has come to an end. At the school, students from Russian, Dutch, British and other European universities tried to identify the main factors that will influence the future development of small and medium-sized businesses around the world.

Aside from the HSE Laboratory of Entrepreneurship Research, the co-organizers of the school were the University of Sheffield (Great Britain), the University of Twente (Enschede, the Netherlands), and the University of Groningen (the Netherlands). Lecturers included Arnis Sauka of the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, as well as researchers from various Russian universities.

The School’s organizers traditionally formulate a general topic for the school on which they base lectures and raise questions to be answered in participants’ individual work and final presentations. There were eight groups at the 2014 School consisting of three-five people each.

‘In my opening speech, I told students that I was more or less certain of what the theory of entrepreneurship would give me when I'm 64.  But as for them, one needs to dream a little and understand that the theory of entrepreneurship will need new approaches, maybe new methodologies. They must understand which now seemingly indisputable theses will change in 15-20 years due to the development of the economy, the appearance of mass entrepreneurship in Asia, an aging population, and the influence of other factors,’ notes Alexander Chepurenko, who recently turned 60.

Final presentations were evaluated both by a jury of lecturers and by the students themselves. Most attention was paid to projects that studied the growing influence of Asian entrepreneurship – and more broadly, entrepreneurship in developing countries – on the global economy.

The authors pointed out that the governments of many developing countries – not just Asian, but also Mexico, for example – are creating conditions at the state level to stimulate entrepreneurial activity. Additionally, data from a report on the effects of the global economic crisis show that one of the few areas where the crisis actually increased the number of entrepreneurs was the IT industry. This ‘crisis’ growth in fact stems from companies created in the Asian region.

‘Asian economies are gaining momentum; it is a very promising area of ​​research,’ St. Petersburg State University student Tatiana Pavlova said, explaining her interest in Asian studies. Her team, which presented a report on the potential of Asian entrepreneurship, was voted best by their Summer School cohorts. This was Tatiana’s first time coming to the Summer School on entrepreneurship. At the university she studies mathematical methods in economics, but she is also a student in St. Petersburg State University’s business school. Her interest in entrepreneurship is therefore not only academic in nature, but also quite practical.

‘I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but it was interesting for me to take a look at entrepreneurship from another, research-based perspective. I liked the very idea of the school, and I hope that I can use the knowledge I gained here in my future work,’ notes University of Twente student Martine Koot.

The Summer School presented participants with the opportunity to participate in intensive cross-cultural communication, and all students noted the value of this experience. ‘It's amazing how quickly we were able to get to know each other in spite of our differences,’ Martine says. He adds that on the first day of the School he was afraid that his English was not good enough and that this might be a hindrance. Similar doubts were expressed by HSE alumna Natalia Khoreva. She was recommended to attend the School by her friends, previous Summer School participants, but this did not prevent her from becoming a sort of guide around Moscow for foreign students. In addition, the jury named her group presentation as the School’s best.

‘Talks will take place in the near future with a number of European business associations that may be able to take the School’s best participants as interns so they can put their skills into practice,’ Alexander Chepurenko concludes.

More on previous summer schools of entrepreneurship  here (in Russian).

Oleg Seregin, HSE News Portal

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