01 Jul BLUES starts the summer savouring the success of its pilot face-to-face courses
The quality of the projects developed by the students and their own feedback as participants give top marks to the methodology and structure of the course
Santander, July 1, 2019
BLUES programme partners are delighted with the result of its pilot courses in Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. According to the evaluators of the course -a team of academics working with experts in entrepreneurship and local entrepreneurs-, the quality of the projects developed by the students show a high level of knowledge and assimilation of good practice principles.
During the months of April, May and June, the participants -university students from different degrees and backgrounds- have worked in teams to turn their initial ideas into business projects, using the knowledge acquired first in the MOOC What, Why & How. Your Road to Entrepreneurship, and afterwards in the face-to-face sessions with teachers, experts and local entrepreneurs (who have been their mentors as well).
In the University of Cantabria, Spain, where the course was delivered in partnership with the Santander International Entrepreneurship Centre, there were a number of participants who were students from the Master Course in Enterprise and Information Technology , whose director María Elena García Ruiz was impressed with BLUES results: «For ETi Master’s students, BLUES has meant a very unique and meaningful opportunity to get in touch with the reality of the business world: They have learned about tools to develop entrepreneurship projects and have seen how an idea can be turned into a real enterprise not only because they have been guided and mentored by experts and entrepreneurs who have done it before but also because they do exactly that during the course».
BLUES coordinators at University of Perugia Marina Gigliotti, Francesco Rizzi and Antonio Picciotti reported that the seven groups of students who took part in the face-to-face pilot in the Italian university demonstrated to have understood well all the concepts taught both online and in the class. «After the students’ final presentations, they said, their mentors, the experts involved in the training, the course coordinators and representatives of local institutions positively evaluated the projects, with particular reference to their ability to identify solutions to real and latent consumers’ needs, as well as to propose innovations based on new communication technologies. Furthermore, the evaluators were impressed by the effectiveness of the presentations and the motivations of the students who were able to communicate all their involvement and their confidence in the projects presented».
In Portugal, it was Universidade NOVA de Lisboa who delivered the face-to-face pilot course. Coordinator Carla Portela explained that it was inspiring to see the students «motivated, committed and eager to learn» throughout the duration of the course. As she described it, «they were a intensive and hard working weeks, where students that didn’t know each other formed teams and worked on an idea that brought them together, building bonds and discussing how to solve everyday problems with innovative solutions«. For these students, BLUES Programme was their first contact with the entrepreneurial world, and «after working with the mentors and visiting the incubators -the ‘real deal’-, things got into perspective and started to become, in fact, real. If on one hand it felt overwhelming for them, its was also a true inspiration for the students to see that if others can do it, why can’t they! The first edition of our pilot course was full of insights, new ideas, new contacts and we believe it was a great experience. Overall, they are now more bold, more bright, more ‘BLUES’«.
During the pilot face-to-face course, the students give shape to the concepts learned in the MOOC by applying their acquired knowledge to the development of a business project in teams. They also learn, through a combination of lectures, visits to business incubators, sessions with mentors and workshops, how to build teams and set up a business. Experts in business law, finances and communications help them realise the practicalities of the day to day running of an enterprise.
This is all based in the methodology designed by BLUES partners to innovate in the teaching of entrepreneurship. This methodology and all course materials are available to download for free, and it will all be discussed during an international entrepreneurship event that will take place in November in Santander (Spain).