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Fostering Entrepreneurial Spirit in Andalucía Region: The Case of “Chair of Entrepreneurs” at the University of Cadiz

The chair of Entrepreneurs is a unit within the University of Cadiz (UCA), in the Andalucía region of Spain. The unit’s aim is to nurture the development of entrepreneurial mind-set amongst the wider university community. The entrepreneurial strategy of the unit is underpinned by three pillars – proximity, co-creation, and academic rigor – that are geared towards the creation of a fertile ground for innovation. The idea is that proximity allows co-creation and joint problem solving with businesses and the community. In clear reflection of that the unit is striving to build a wider network i.e. UCA Network of Entrepreneurs. The ultimate objective is to contribute to the reduction of the highest unemployment rate that is affecting the Cadiz province and the Andalucía region in general.

The Unit’s Line of Activities

The Chair of Entrepreneurs unit facilitates entrepreneurial socio-economic development of the region through three interrelated activities: Events, Trainings, and Advice. The events are often organized either in the form of workshops or seminars. The events target a range of entrepreneurial competencies such as creativity, problem solving and team work. The idea is that the events will familiarize and motivate the academic community to engage in entrepreneurial thinking and behaviour.

The trainings are offered either in the form of a course or as an integrated master’s program. In terms of the first option, aspiring entrepreneurs could take the online course University Expert in Entrepreneurship and Innovation that lasts for about 200 hours. The online course consists of three modules divided into topics Ecosystem entrepreneur, Creativity, Opportunities and business models, and Business plan, feasibility analysis, procedures and support instruments. The second, option, i.e. the master’s program, is offered under the title of Creation of companies, New Businesses and Innovative Projects. The program consists of a number of courses worth a total of 60 credits. The primary competences targeted by the program include creativity, innovative problem solving, communication, team work, project management and business planning.

In addition to the events and trainings outlined above, the unit provides ongoing advice for prospective entrepreneurs who are in the process of setting up their business ventures. The advice and guidance include practical help in relation to business plan development, guidance in evaluating resources and capabilities relevant for the espoused business idea and advice on legal aspects of establishing an organization.

What has the unit achieved so far?

Ever since its establishment in 2007, the Chair of Entrepreneurs has made some positive contributions to the region in terms of development of an entrepreneurial mindset and business launch initiation. Thus far, the unit has organized more than 620 workshops and seminars that promoted various competences relevant to entrepreneurship. Additionally, the Chair of Entrepreneurs has provided personalized advice and guidance for over 856 entrepreneurs. Over 100 companies have been created as a direct result of the initiatives of the unit, leading to the employment of more around 250 people.

More information about the program in: http://catedraemprendedores.uca.es/

This article is based on a case study originally prepared by Spanish Chamber of Commerce developed as part of the WEXHE Project.

©all rights on images used in this article belong to University of Cadiz. 

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