Supporting youth entrepreneurship is one of the key points of the state's youth politics and one of the important stages in developing small and medium businesses. Universities and other higher education institutions may act as start-up platforms for those students who want to run their own businesses.
Supporting start-ups and entrepreneurship in universities has become even more important considering the National Technological Initiative and the concept of University 3.0. Universities are now considered to be not only educational and research centres, but also the centres of technological and business competence. They should become centres of industrial changes and innovations, centres that will play a huge role in the development of the region and the whole country. Before a university becomes such a centre, it is necessary to develop an entrepreneurship culture and improve the innovation infrastructure.
A lot of universities in Russia have already started working on this. Among the most interesting examples are the InSight business incubator of Voronezh State University, Mozgovo innovation centre of Perm State University, and the technology transfer centre of the P.G. Demidov Yaroslavl State University. This list includes a lot of other universities in St. Petersburg, Samara, Novosibirsk, Belgorod, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg, and Tyumen. Many regions in Russia now have a well-developed and effectively functioning innovation infrastructure, and, although there is still a lot to do, this is really great. One of the current objectives is to attract prominent research teams and interesting projects to business incubators and technoparks. In order to achieve this objective, a lot of universities establish entrepreneurship clubs, where students can learn how to conduct projects, communicate with other young businessmen, and develop their business skills. Such clubs are supervised by the administration of these universities, and may be part of some other student societies.
Our National Entrepreneurship Network together with Rybakov Fond, actively supports students’ entrepreneurship. This summer we helped students of 56 Russian universities to start their own clubs, and now, in October, we have over 100 new applications. Every Thursday we organize open meetings with the most successful Russian businessmen at various universities. These meetings are broadcast live on 120 channels all over the country. This October we are launching a competition among higher education institutions for grants within the framework of the Programme for developing the innovation and entrepreneurship infrastructure in Russian universities.
The programme provides the following services to universities.
- Information about key business events.
- Study guides and materials that help to develop business environment at the university.
- Aids for establishing students’ business communities.
- Online communication platform that can be used to organize events and exchange knowledge with other regions.
Universities that actively participate in the programme also acquire the following benefits.
- Seed financing and venture capital financing of small and medium innovative businesses established on the university basis.
- Commercialization of research results and support for business projects, including the technology-oriented and the social ones.
- Participation in competitions for grants, and collaboration with development institutes and international corporations.
- Attracting students, developing the alumni community, and employment aid for graduates.
- Promoting the university in Russian and international rankings.
For more information about the programme, please send your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +7 495 150 40 74 1617.
development director of the National Entrepreneurship Network