In February 2023 the FH JOANNEUM and the Burkina Institute of Technology (BIT) successfully completed a project funded within the framework of the Cooperation Development Research programme.
Since 2020 the Department of International Management and Entrepreneurship at the FH JOANNEUM has been in a partnership with the BIT, a higher education institution in Koudougou in Burkina Faso, which is characterised by technology courses with a pronounced focus on entrepreneurship.
The funded project aimed to strengthen the entrepreneurial skills of lecturers in Burkina Faso in order to contribute to the economic development of the country. Within the framework of this project lecturers from Burkina Faso carried out two study visits to Graz in 2021 and 2022. They were able to exchange good practices on entrepreneurship education with lecturers of the FH JOANNEUM, get to know the start-up ecosystem in Graz and further develop their own teaching in Burkina Faso through the impressions they gained.
The highlight of the project was a joint conference in Koudougou on 22/23 February 2023. Numerous entrepreneurs from Burkina Faso met with lecturers from the BIT and the FH JOANNEUM to discuss strategies and success models for cooperation between educational institutions and start-ups and to generate joint ideas for promoting student employability and strengthening the start-up ecosystem in Burkina Faso. Workshops with BIT students on design thinking and entrepreneurship for engineers rounded off the conference.
Arnaud Valea is Head of Department of the degree course in Electrical Engineering at the BIT. He summarises his impressions after two visits to FH JOANNEUM as follows: “These two study visits gave us an insight into entrepreneurship education in Graz. We learned how to conduct a workshop on entrepreneurship, how to identify the different skills needed for a given entrepreneurial field or topic.”
Doris Kiendl and Bojan Jovanovski from the FH JOANNEUM’s Department of International Management and Entrepreneurship led this project and concluded as follows: “The implementation of the project, which was approved in 2020, was initially very difficult due to COVID. Instead of some planned mobility activities we had to carry out our activities purely online. In the end, however, it worked very well and we learned a lot through the cooperation with our colleagues from Burkina Faso and mutually benefited from the professional and cultural exchange. The students and lecturers at the BIT are keen to learn and have a lot of enthusiasm. We will definitely continue the exchange with the BIT.”