Nikola Mićunović, MA, welcomed the teachers. He emphasized that one of the ideas of the University of Donja Gorica is to support ideas, start-up companies and new initiatives of young and enterprising people. He emphasized that the Conference aims to bring together high school teachers in order to discuss challenges and potential improvements within the education system and that it meets its goal, as evidenced by the great results. However, he points out, the challenges remain numerous.

Namely, the conducted research yielded worrying data – the main difficulties and challenges are: insufficient involvement of youth organizations in decision-making, insufficient cooperation of youth and relevant institutions in policy making, lack of statistical analysis of youth work and activism, poor information of young people about current opportunities and initiatives, lack of cooperation of young people with schools and universities in creating educational programs and teaching in the field of entrepreneurship, as well as companies in assessing entrepreneurial skills as key competencies. He pointed out that this year’s Conference is organized at the regional level and that its goal is to find models for improving the situation in the education system through a constructive dialogue, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship, innovation, scientific research and application of digital technologies in youth education. It will deal with current topics in the field of education, including: ways to motivate students, the impact of the environment on young people, strengthening students’ self-confidence through the development of their ownpotentials and opportunities for students to focus as soon as possible on thinking about innovative solutions for their own future. At the very beginning, he introduced the Conference participants to the agenda and structure and that the Conference will be based on a combination of interactive lectures, training phases and teambuilding activities in which participants will have the opportunity to work as a team to address current challenges in education, science, entrepreneurship, research work and digitalization. The realization of the BYLEAP project, explains Mićunović, will result in a number of entrepreneurial initiatives on which teachers will work together with their students, who will start successful and competitive start-up companies in the Entrepreneurial Nest during their studies.

After Mićunović, MA, the General Manager of UDG, Dr. Sandra Tinaj, addressed the audience, taking the opportunity to greet the participants and welcome them. She sent a special greeting and a letter of thanks to the partners from the Junior Achievements Serbia. She said that she would not talk about the concept of teaching and the concept of entrepreneurship, but that she would share the University’s experiences related to the spheres of entrepreneurship, digitalization, initiatives and good practices, with the digression that although we work hard – there is undoubtedly room for improvement.

She pointed out that entrepreneurship and digitalization are the basic parts of the innovative model of UDG studies at all levels, whether it is undergraduate, master or PhD programs. In this regard, and for the sake of teachers who were at UDG for the first time, she explained that the model is based on the “Professor’s equation” S = z * i2. She explained that the knowledge equation refers to classical teaching, literature, exams, colloquia and everything that a classical model of studyimplies, while the intensity of life is elaborated through all those activities that make that knowledge turn into a certain ability.

Manager Tinaj spoke about entrepreneurship and digitalization – concepts that, as she says, permeate through both factors of the formula that defines the ability of a student. When it comes to entrepreneurship, UDG implements a whole range of activities and it is a process that lasts from the very beginning of the University. She also explains that entrepreneurship is a compulsory subject in every study program, and that it was not viewed in a narrower, but in a broader context – one that implies a proactive attitude towards life – the challenges and opportunities we encounter. The activities that are being implemented encourage young people to be entrepreneurially oriented. She listed some of the activities, among which are:

 

  • School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Youth – an entrepreneurial- research venture, organized by the Student Business Center of UDG and which has so far been attended by as many as 2537 high school students from all high schools and cities in Montenegro. The goal and vision of the organization of such a project, at the same time a competition for young people, is to awaken the spirit of research in high school students, point them to the world of entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as the importance of digital technologies in youth education.
  • Stock Market of Entrepreneurial Ideas – a project that brings together young people working on their ideas and Montenegrin companies that are willing to give support on the other hand. An atmosphere is created on the stock market in which young people see that there are people who would support their initiatives. She emphasized that there is often a competitive spirit among the companies, so they compete who wants to support a certain idea more. Young people on the stock market get the opportunity to feel the market and get input from the companies that operate on it.
  • Lovćen race on July 4 – an event that has a message to convey a healthy value system. “To get to the top, you have to work hard, invest a lot of energy, a lot of life.
  • Knowledge Factory – a project based on a set of activities that combine entrepreneurship and digitalization as two key areas of the 21st century. It gathers from 2000 to 2500 students and high school students.

 

She pointed out that UDG is especially proud of the Entrepreneurial Nest, a start-up center where all young people get the opportunity to start their own company without initial costs and get the full support of professionals. She invited all those interested to visit the building with her and get acquainted with all the contents oriented towards entrepreneurship and the development of the entrepreneurial spirit.

 

“When it comes to digitalization itself”, Tinaj emphasizes, “we are in the process of creating new postgraduate programs, in which advanced entreprenurialship and digitalization will be found as 2 compulsory subjects.”. In that context, she explains that the trends impose a large number of EU projects, some of which are being implemented by the University. Among them are Erasmus programs that influence the creation of new curricula, the development of international cooperation and the encouragement of student exchanges, but also more complex programs such as Supercomputing (Hyperforming Computing), in which 34 countries participate. She also emphasized that some projects are part of the Horizon 2020 program, which represents the very top of the EU’s technological progress. When it comes to artificial technology, UDG has submitted a proposal for an experimental project that would process poultry behavior on farms and gather information through sensors in cameras.

She concluded that the aim of her presentation was to provide basic information on the functioning of the University, and to invite teachers to visit UDG with their students, in which case they would have the opportunity to learn more about the opportunities on offer.

STUDENT COMPANIES

After the break, Nemanja Glavinić from the Junior Achievements Serbia addressed the participants of the Training. He spoke about entrepreneurship and enterprising generations in general. At the very beginning, he opened the question “What is entrepreneurial education?”,and explained that one of the biggest misconceptions in the business world is that entrepreneurs are born and that “maybe someone is born as an entrepreneur, but the largest number entrepreneurs are created.”. He pointed out that quality entrepreneurial education must be experiential and practical. It must develop skills, teach young people competitiveness and take responsibility. He explained that the function of entrepreneurship education is not reduced to the creation of young entrepreneurs, but the essence is in the creation of enterprising young people who have an enterprising approach to life. He motivated the audience with the words that “there is no better example of an enterprising person than an enterprising teacher”.

 

“By nature, young people are ready to take risks, have a positive attitude towards changes and innovations, and have a need for success and a strong desire for independence, which are all entrepreneurial qualities,” concludes Glavinić.

He emphasizes that they should be enabled and given support to realize ideas and to recognize their path within education, and then he presented the organization Junior Achievement Worldwide. Junior Achievement, he explains, is an organization focused exclusively on the entrepreneurial education of children, youth and teachers. Its essence is precisely in the merging of business and educational systems, ie systems that, in their essence, must rely on each other and cannot function without each other. It deals with the question “how to bring the economy into the classroom and how to take students out of the classroom into the business world.” He expressed the desire and optimism for Montenegro to become part of the Organization’s network during the current year and emphasized the possibility of opening its office in Montenegro.

 

He then explained and defined the student company as part of the educational program. It is founded and managed by students, which provides them with practical knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship, and they conduct it as an extracurricular activity. Such companies operate on the market, submit a company report at the end of the school year and enter the competition of student companies, and finally close it. He also categorized the types of entrepreneurs. Those are:

  • Independent innovators – those entrepreneurs who change the world through their activities;
  • Template multipliers – entrepreneurs who use successful business practice with some of their own innovation within it;
  • Team builders – use the acquired knowledge to start a new business investment, all through the pooling of knowledge and skills to, as a team, to present a business venture;
  • Entrepreneurs – those who perform their activities independently.

He concluded his presentation with a few quotes from successful entrepreneurs in order to bring the participants closer to the idea of entrepreneurial thinking and encourage them to work as a team.

 

Some of these quotes were:

  • “Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity regardless of the resources currently available.” (Howard Stevenson)
  • “Entrepreneurs are those people who create companies and organizations out of nothing, create and innovate, all without anyone’s permission.” (Charles Handy)
  • “If I asked customers what they needed – they would tell me: a faster horse.” (Henry Ford)
  • “If you don’t take part in creating your own future, others will create it for you, but to their liking.” (Edward de Bono)

 

At the very end, he introduced the coaches who will lead trainings for 11 teams in the next two days. Nikola Mićunović, MA, thanked Nemanja Glavinić, and presented the composition of the teams, as well as their hosts – students and associates of the University of Donja Gorica. He called on the teams to take team photos, respecting the measures.

The end of the day was spent in teambuilding activities aimed at getting to know the participants better.

TRAINING AND TEAMWORK

The second day passed in teamwork and training of teachers about the concept of Student companies. Training for the implementation of the Student Company program is intended for teachers at all high schools, no matter which subject they teach. During the selection of participants, the geographical distribution and inclusion of as many schools as possible was taken into account so that entrepreneurial content would be available to students throughout Montenegro. Participants’ applications were made through an official invitation to schools, so that schools delegated one or more participants, and school principals were recognized as a key link in the support and implementation of interactive content in schools. This way, a long-term network of partnerships with educational institutions is made to ensure teachers an ambient in which they can innovate content and offer the most modern methods in area of education.

The main goal of the Training was to introduce teachers to entrepreneurial learning, direct them in values and principles of methodology of the Student Company program and “learning through work”. Teachers from Montenegro worked with trainers from partner organization Junior Achievement Serbia during the two-day Training. All trainers have rich experience in implementation of the Student Company program, success on national and international competitions. Participants went trough all steps, from founding a student company, writing a business plan as well as stage presentations of business ideas – a simulation of everything that awaits students within this program during one school year. With this training teachers developed entrepreneurial and soft sills, especially teamwork, creativity, resource management, negotiation skills, public speech skills, taking initiative, and resourcefulness.

Training for teachers is realized through project “Balkans Youth: Linking Education, Abilities and Partnership Potential in Regional Employment Practice – BYLEAP” which is finances by European Union and is implemented in 6 countries of Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey).

PRESENTATIONS OF TEAM SOLUTINS AND CLOSING OF THE TRAINING

Training for teachers is realized through project “Balkans Youth: Linking Education, Abilities and Partnership Potential in Regional Employment Practice – BYLEAP” which is finances by European Union and is implemented in 6 countries of Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey).

On the third day, the presentations were finalized and teams presented their ideas to
the expert jury. The jury consisted of three members:

  • Marija Radunović – University of Donja Gorica
  • Srđan Obradović – Vocational Education Centre
  • Sanja Šunjevarić – Junior Achievement Serbia

Each team had 4 minutes to present their idea and an additional 4 minutes for answering questions. Teams presented following student company concepts:

Team 1: “DA&ES” Company would deal with alternative medicine in a way that would combine classic inhalation methods with modern technology – bees would create an aerosol with their movement that would contain a combination of propolis, honey and essential oils. The product would be intended for children and adults with diagnosed asthma and other respiratory problems

Team 2: “Školar” Company would produce a multifunctional table with a pull-out partition which, in addition to the basic functions, would provide users with the possibility of playing board games and storing personal belongings. It would be aimed at both the elderly and those who love board games.

Team 3: “Meow-meow” would be the first hotel for cats in Montenegro. Based in Donja Gorica, it would provide services for keeping and caring for these pets. They find their advantage in the willingness of the owner to provide their pets with a complete experience, but also accommodation in business or family travel situations.

Team 4: Following the examples from European cities, “Scooter line” would provide electric scooter rental services to enable faster and easier movement through cities. Such business would have an indirect impact on reducing the emission of harmful gases into the atmosphere as well as reducing traffic jams.

Team 5: “Vidi.me” would be engaged in the production of souvenirs using the technique of image transfer to wood. The advantages of the idea, according to team members, are minimal investments and the fact that it would be handicrafts.

Team 6: “MediteRaneAn Yellow hope” would cultivate Spartium – a plant characteristic of the Mediterranean countries. They decided to produce carpets and oils and presented a networking plan for schools dealing with marketing, tourism, cosmetics, and food technology.

Team 7: The NGO “Green Earth” would produce a Green drone with the aim of supporting local governments and rescue services in performing daily activities related to maintaining cleanliness of the environment and inaccessible places, but also responding to situations such as natural disasters and rescue operations.

Team 8: This team presented their idea of “Healthy Tea” – an antidepressant tea that would contain a combination of 4 medicinal plants, and would be intended for pregnant women, people with chronic diseases and the elderly population. Emphasis was also placed on recycling used packaging.

Team 9: “Goji Carbonado” would be a company that would produce goji berries, which with their composition and nutritional values are effective in the fight against more than 70 diseases. It would provide its initial investments through EU funds, and already in the first year of production, the initial investments would be repaid.

Team 10: “Tour net” – an application for mobile phones would be a specific kind of tourist guide that would help tourists to easily reach a particular landmark and get all the information about it. The application would also send an audible signal when approaching a certain tourist attraction, and it would be financed by membership fees of interested parties from the side of the tourist offer.

Team 11: “Smart pillow” is an idea that arose from the fact that 2 billion inhabitants of the planet Earth suffer from insomnia. Smart pillow would be a combination of a pillow with a wool filling (emphasis on wool as a natural material that is still underused), aromatic herbs and smart technology. The built-in module would measure vital parameters, and aromatic herbs would have a soothing effect.

After team presentations, the participants were addressed by Nikola Micunovic. He congratulated them on very interesting presentations, invested effort, and teamwork. After the coffee break, professor Nenad Vujadinović held a lecture on topic “Communication in the educational process – do we have an answer to the question: “Who are we dealing with?”.

At the very beginning, professor Vujadinović explained that he will cover the topic through two questions, first being “Who are we dealing with in the classroom”, then surprising teachers with a constatation: “Imagine you just got fired.”. He asked them to write down a profession they would like to do, as well as a person they would like to consult with about learning/doing a new profession, with a digression that it could be anyone. Professor pointed out that that two information will be essential during the lecture, and then defined atermmultipotentionlaite.  Multipotentionalites are children that constantly refuse to answer the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. They have different interests and everything is amusing to them, and they invest huge passion in everything they learn about. When they succeed in one area, it becomes boring, so they go to a completely different area to discover.

“Multipotentionalites are renaissance people of modern age” Vujadinović concludes. When they start doing anything – they can get everything out and be better than those who were focused on a single spot. “We, as professors, have only one job: when we step out in front of a student, we get our heart out on the desk – and we have 45 minutes for that heart to be given back to us.” He pointed out that Multipotentionalites have a huge advantage to easily adapt to a world that never changed faster than today, which is confirmed by the fact that the most popular professions today did not exist 5 or 10 years ago.

In order to demonstrate the speed of the world in which new generations live, he asked participants to take part in an Elevator talk simulation. Everyone who was interested had 24 seconds to attract the other person for another interview in the area they would like to start working in or business they would like to start. Participants expressed a variety of professions: from starting private businesses, learning criminology, agriculture, investing in bitcoin. They picked famous Montenegrin businessmen, public figures, and professors, amongst which was UDG rector Veselin Vukotić.

The second question professor Vujadinović targeted was “Who are we dealing with in the assembly hall?”. He presented GALLUP global analytics poll which classified workforce into three separate groups:

  1. Engaged workforce – workforce that speak (positively represent the organization between colleagues, potential clients, and general public), stay (have an intense willpower to continue working in the company disregarding numerous better offers on another workplace), work hard (invest additional time, effort, and initiatives in order to contribute to success of their company).
  2. Uninvolved workforce – carry an unjust name; they pay more attention to assignments than on goals: they like to know their concrete tasks and make difference between work and private life; they are very important for the functioning of an organization.
  3. Actively disengaged – they are always discontented with everything; they tirelessly sow the seeds of discontent and constantly undermine everything their engaged colleagues manage to do; they satirize teamwork and are generally undesirable in a company or organization.

With that in mind, he presented statistical data of successful and less successful countries. Denmark was used as a best practice example, with 21% of engaged workforce, 69% of uninvolved workforce and 10% actively disengaged workforce. Montenegro does not rank well, so professor did not want to present concrete data, but he used the info for the final and the most important question: “What do we do now?”. He paraphrased Mark Twain, explaining that he can provide the answer right away, and the answer was: he does not know. “You tell me, it is about you.”

After the lecture of professor Nenad Vujadinović, in front of the expert jury, the participants were addressed by the doctoral student at UDG Marija Radunović. She pointed out that UDG takes care of multipotentionalites from their very beginning of student life. Afterwards, she listed the criteria for grading presented ideas: quality of business plan, innovation, creativity, form of presenting, and manifested team spirit.

Team 5 was proclaimed the best, and it consisted of the following members:

• Vera Lalatović – PI Secondary School of Economics and Catering – Nikšić

• Nađa Jović – PI Vocational high school – Pljevlja

• Radmila Mugoša – PI ETS “Vaso Aligrudić” – Podgorica

• Gordana Vuksanović – PI Vocational high school “Ivan Uskoković” – Podgorica

• Rešad Kadić – PI Educational Centre – Šavnik

After declaration of winners, participants were awarded certificates, which represented the closure of Training for high school teachers in Montenegro.

CONCLUSION

In a great atmosphere, the participants of the Conference largely agreed on the profile of the profile of both teachers and young people who can choose their place in society through academic and professional development. The main goals of the Regional Conference have been met, but there is certainly a huge space for progress that will inevitably happen if this project meets with even greater response from the relevant institutions, as well as the schools themselves, and continues to expand with more and more participants. The results of the Conference will be synthesized into a joint document that will be sent to representatives of institutions, companies, and organizations, as well as to each participant and the school individually. The Student Business Center of the University of Donja Gorica will organize many more activities and events of a similar nature in the continuation of the academic year, all with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship and developing the entrepreneurial spirit among young people. Just a few of them are the Business Challenge, the Bank & Business Conference, the Entrepreneurial Research Venture: “Dig Deeper, Expand the Furrows”, the Entrepreneurial Ideas Exchange, the Western Balkans Business Challenge, SBC Sermon, and many others.

All projects, including this one, are completely free for participants.

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