About Us

Our Aim

A network of four Visegrad organizations from Czechia, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary and two organizations from North Macedonia aims to develop a Book of case studies & video collection on Visegrad Entrepreneurial Stars. Matching teaching notes will help lecturers use the cases in the classroom. The aim is to showcase role models for youth that business success is possible in/from Central and Eastern Europe and stimulate entrepreneurial intentions.

Project Rationale

Our project is dedicated to bridging the educational gap by developing classroom-ready case studies. In 2019, extensive research focusing on the drivers of entrepreneurial intentions (EI)  was conducted in the Visegrad countries and the US. The goal was to determine the significance and mechanisms through which role models and entrepreneurial education impact the entrepreneurial intentions of university students. Several related papers project provide compelling evidence that entrepreneurial education (EE) positively contributes to the entrepreneurial intentions of university students in the Visegrád countries (Nowiński et al., 2017). Similarly, studies conducted in the Republic of North Macedonia also demonstrate a positive relationship between EE and EI in the country (Tomovska-Misoska et al., 2018; Pop Kostova et al., 2019; Temova et al., 2019).

However, we found that the direct impact of entrepreneurship education was significant in only one country: Poland. Poland stands out as the only country among the four to have introduced entrepreneurship education at the high school level. Additionally, when comparing genders, we discovered that although women generally exhibit lower entrepreneurial intentions and self-efficacy, they benefit more from entrepreneurial education than men. Furthermore, the research highlights the influence of inspiring role models on entrepreneurial intentions and entrepreneurial education, as demonstrated by a Polish study (Nowiński et al., 2019).

While there has been a limited attempt to showcase Eastern European Entrepreneurs in the book “Entrepreneurial Icebreakers: Insights and Case Studies from Internationally Successful Central and Eastern European Entrepreneurs” (2015), its applicability and teaching notes are hindered by its heavy narrative.

In addition, traditional educational materials in the area of business and entrepreneurship (where available) are based on theoretical concepts and rarely include contemporary didactical tools across all Visegrad countries and North Macedonia. Rarely and time-allowing secondary schools use guest lecturers, and one guest lectureship is not sufficient to increase the EI among students. The same applies to higher educational institutions, even though they have more time and flexibility than secondary school programs. The current teaching material, where available, showcases American and Western European entrepreneurs. These are considered by the youth (14-23) as non-reachable considering their market potential and exposure. The reaction of the students in the classroom is disappointing and reverses their intentions to become future entrepreneurs, as we have noticed during our frequent interaction with the student during our events. One of the partnerships experience with two higher education institutions and the situation is alike. The development of case studies for local younger and/or nationally or internationally successful entrepreneurs would provide a solution to the current teaching materials repository. Moreover, even though there are case studies available, schools/universities rarely provide the lecturers with case teaching notes, which is another barrier for them to discuss them in the classroom. Our approach would encourage lecturers and thus foster students’ identification with entrepreneurial role models and, enhance entrepreneurial identity formation and ultimately EI.

Through the project Visegrad Entrepreneurial Stars, we aim to address these gaps and provide comprehensive and practical case studies that educators can utilize to inspire and educate the next generation of entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe.

Our Added Value

Our project brings added value to the existing practices by emphasizing the Central and Eastern European context, the manners of doing business in regions that future entrepreneurs are more likely to do business with, thus bridging the cultural difference in the region and preparing them for market situations and challenges. The cases will focus on business topics with regional relevance.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Trained project staff and high school and/or university lectures to development of short business case studies and accompanying teaching notes
  • Publish e-Book of 15 business case studies showcasing Visegrad young entrepreneurs. Case Study Accompanying Videos. 3-5 minutes videos of the entrepreneur/s to complement the case study-based lecturing approach
  • Disseminate the case-based teaching method among the JA nationwide networks of business teachers and beyond
  • Increase the entrepreneurial intentions among the youth and reverse the brain drain to Western Europe in the medium-long run by showcasing the local business potential.
  • Develop specific business skills among youth and awareness of the local culture of doing business in V4 and North Macedonia. Enable a stimulating environment for the development of entrepreneurial spirit among young people in the V4 countries and North Macedonia via showcasing Visegrad’s successful entrepreneurial stars as role models. Showing that success is possible in CEI, V4 countries, and North Macedonia