A partnership between universities in the UK and Ukraine, which aims to support the young entrepreneurs of the future, has won funding through a prestigious British Council project.
Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne and Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv have joined forces to launch the National Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship (NCCE).
The NCCE will be the first centre of its kind in Ukraine, acting as a national hub for aspiring entrepreneurs and supporting new start-up businesses, as well as providing online English language learning tools.
Northumbria University has an international reputation for supporting young entrepreneurs and is ranked number one in the UK for graduate start-up businesses, based upon estimated turnover.
Academics from Northumbria will now share their knowledge and skills with colleagues from Taras Shevchenko National University after their proposal was one of 12 selected to receive funding through the Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Programme.
Run by the British Council, the programme is a five-year initiative designed to develop enterprise skills and support the creative economy across seven countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan), South Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia) and Ukraine.
This will be achieved by partnering universities in the seven countries with higher education institutions in the UK, allowing for the exchange of knowledge and skills.
The Northumbria University project is being led by Professor Rebecca Strachan, Deputy Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor within Northumbria’s Faculty of Engineering and Environment.
Speaking about the impact the partnership will have she said: “Over the past seven years staff from Northumbria and Taras Shevchenko National University have worked together on a variety of projects and have developed a mutual understanding and respect.
“We understand that providing creative young Ukrainian entrepreneurs with the skills they need to develop their own businesses is a key priority, both for Taras Shevchenko National University and the country of Ukraine as a whole.
“Here at Northumbria we have developed a reputation for supporting budding entrepreneurs and will share what we have learnt with our Ukrainian colleagues to support the establishment of the National Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship – a very exciting development for Ukraine.”
Creative industries are one of the fastest growing sectors in the Ukrainian economy, with estimates that almost one million new jobs could be created within this sector in Ukraine by 2030.
Courses provided through the NCCE will include Leadership Thinking, Entrepreneurial Skills, and Marketing New Businesses. Online English language learning tools will also be provided and an Incubator Hub to support new business will also be created, based on a similar model currently being developed at Northumbria University.
Working alongside Professor Strachan on the Northumbria University project team is Professor Alfredo Moscardini, Dr Alison Pickard and Dr Tanya Vlasova from Northumbria’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences, as well as Enterprise Manager Graham Baty.
Professor Moscardini and Dr Vlasova recently visited Taras Shevchenko National University for a kick-off meeting to mark the start of the project. During the visit, Professor Moscardini delivered a guest lecture to current students.
The team from Ukraine will carry out a return visit to Northumbria University at the end of November, during which final details for the launch of the NCCE will be discussed and finalised.