Two partnership projects between Henley Business School and overseas universities have been made possible thanks to Creative Spark funding from the British Council.
The projects will see Henley working with institutions in Ukraine, Germany and Kazakhstan to engender new ideas within the creative industries.
The first is a collaboration between Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship and Kyiv National Economic University (KNEU), a leading business and economic institution in Ukraine. It aims to establish a sister centre for entrepreneurship at KNEU in Kiev, co-developing new programmes, as well as replicating a number of successful Henley initiatives, such as IDEAFEST, the annual student business competition. They will also be working alongside the University of Jena, Germany.
The centre will include an English learning programme focused on English for entrepreneurship and management, along with new digital learning platforms, online courses and MOOCs. Modules, transferred from Henley, will teach students about managing creative and cultural organisations, how to finance entrepreneurship projects, and how to bring innovative products to market. Extracurricular activities will include a weekend ‘idea hub’, a drop-in session where students can explore topics relating to design and engineering and meet guest experts.
Innovation, market entry and entrepreneurship modules for undergraduate and postgraduate students will begin in late January, with approximately 500 students expected to join. A business incubator at KNEU will be established in the spring. In total there will be around 1,000 participants in the project, with more than 800 already signed up.
Dr Maksim Belitski, associate professor in entrepreneurship and innovation at Henley Business School, said: “The partnership offers many excellent opportunities for future entrepreneurs, including in-depth training activities, TED talks, competitions and awards such as those already offered here at Henley. We hope the business school will become an influential provider of entrepreneurship education and business incubation in the Ukraine and wider Eastern Europe.”
The second project is a partnership between Henley, the Kazakh-British Technical University (KBTU) and Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory, both based in Kazakhstan. Henley and KBTU already have a longstanding partnership through the Kazakh-British Centre for Competitiveness, created in 2015.
The Creative Spark funding will enable the development of a creative enterprise hub, the first of its kind in Kazakhstan and the Central Asia region. It is intended that the platform will reward the best local creative and innovative talents, and will be aimed at musicians, IT-design developers, artists, film-makers and others in the creative industries. It will look to foster economic growth and contribute to creating new jobs by identifying and exploring market opportunities.
The creative hub is expected to be launched in April 2019 in KBTU, Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Professor Yelena Kalyuzhnova, vice-dean (international) and director of the centre for Euro-Asian Studies at Henley Business School, said: “This new British Council grant will provide sustainability for our joint Kazakh-British Centre for Competitiveness. It is a very exciting project, at the core of which are the creative industries in Kazakhstan. We are also pleased to welcome Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory, our new partner. Our aspiration is to make the creative enterprise hub one of the powerful instruments of commercialisation of the creative industries in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.”