Birth of a Program
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The initial motivation behind the intention to write the book and implement the training and advisory Program on entrepreneurship on a larger scale was my willingness to share my personal experience acquired during the start-up and management of Ernst & Young in the years 1990 to 2003. I took part in building the company from scratch and I managed it to a point where headcount reached over 1,000 employees and the company was ready in organisational and professional terms comparable to European audit and consultancy firms boasting several decade-long experience.

Yet when it comes to sharing experience one may start to wonder whether teaching effective entrepreneurship skills to other people is at all possible? Are not innate abilities decisive in success potential in this area?

However, the answers to the above queries may be positive and reference may be made to the extensive international achievements pertaining to the various forms of training entrepreneurs to be. In the case of US schools such achievements are impressive. At present entrepreneurship programs are available at 1,600 academic centres throughout the US and it is not only business schools that offer such opportunities but also technical or agricultural universities alike. The basic program offered in the syllabus has always featured and will continue to feature a subject on new venture creation. The said programs and their effectiveness clearly added to the generation of an alternative career model for university graduates. Earlier, the top of the tops were headhunted to the best multinational corporations whilst today a large number of graduates set on to start their own business straight after graduation.

In Western Europe the interest in entrepreneurship teaching programs on at academic institutions surfaced over the past few years. To exemplify let me refer readers to a comprehensive modern textbook in German which was published in October 2004 (Fueglistaler, U., Mueller, C., Volery, T. (eds) , Entrepreneurship, Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2004).

In Poland we may easily shorten the distance between our country and the most developed nations. What we are dealing with at the moment is the particular effect of ‘latecomer advantage' which stems from the possibility of applying modern information technologies. Arguments to support this approach have been put forth by me at the ‘E-learning in academic terms' conference which took place at the Warsaw School of Economics in Warsaw on 17 November 2005. (Cieślik, J. Modern technologies vs. ‘latecomer advantage’). In the first place we may take advantage of the available access to the rich resources of knowledge and practical experience in academic entrepreneurship training across the world. What is more, thanks to modern technologies there exists the possibility of raising awareness of the so-called good practices on a national scale. This educational and advisory vortal is one such example.

There is one more key factor decisive in the success of the entire venture. What I have in mind is the so-called network effect encompassing collaboration between all stakeholders of the Program, and primarily between instructors involved in the execution of the entrepreneurship programs. The benefits to be obtained therefrom are obvious and the collaboration opportunities are presented in the Collaboration Proposal bookmark.