Tempus Project

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.




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Background of the Project
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Entrepreneurship activity in Croatia and Western Balkan is behind the world average


The Western Balkan and Croatia continue to face high unemployment rate (18% in Croatia) for a number of years now. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor shows that Croatia has a weak indigenous entrepreneurial base, particularly the “middle business” sector, with more necessity than opportunity based entrepreneurs. Low competitiveness, lack of innovation capacity and the absence of an entrepreneurial culture are identified as the main obstacles to more sustainable growth of Croatia.


The education system is lagging behind the changed educational needs due to changes in political, economic and social system


Inherited low entrepreneurial culture from former Yugoslavia system, changed structure of employment in 1990ies (doubling employment in small businesses, halving employment in big companies) and the introduction of parliamentary democracy are major causes of changed educational needs in Croatia. New knowledge and skills, particularly in the field of entrepreneurship was missing. Despite those mega challenges, educational system did not respond at the expected pace, which was confirmed by many surveys, including the World Bank report.  Higher education in Croatia has low rate of efficiency (average graduation period is 6.9 years and only 30% of enrolled students grauate) and lacks educational programs focused on growing, innovative small businesses, corporate entrepreneurship and overall entrepreneurial culture.


J.J. Strossmayer University in Osijek (PC institution) has been pioneering in university based entrepreneurship education in Croatia, from 2000


J.J. Strossmayer University in Osijek is one of the six public universities in Croatia, located in eastern Croatia. Being strongly aware of local development issues, emphasised by the war devastation, and the recent introduction of entrepreneurship educational programs at the top universities in the world, the J.J. Strossmayer University in Osijek introduced the first master's degree program in entrepreneurship in year 2000, using the best practice from the Durham Business School in UK, as benchmark. The program is highly successful, delivered in Croatian and English language, it attracts students from all over Croatia, including students from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. From 2005, the undergraduate program in entrepreneurship has been started. Through its linkages to the local small business development center, several executive programs have been started (for managers in growing small businesses, franchising…). Continuous demand for master's degree program opened needs for bigger faculty, as well as for up-grading learning/teaching methods, to be in the line of the entrepreneruship educational content. The ICES project directly responds to these needs.






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