The transparent, equal and common principles and activities encourage the whole university of applied sciences into entrepreneurship. SAMK practices open innovation activities and aims at transferring the results of RDI activities to its partners and interest groups as effectively as possible.
Three parts of entrepreneurship
1. Entrepreneurial action
2. Enterprise activities
In the Enterprise Accelerator the students can complete up to third of their studies in developing their own business idea and enterprise. A new degree programme, Entrepreneur’s Degree Programme, is started in autumn 2017. In this programme present and future entrepreneurs as well as those going through business succession link their studies to the functions and development of their own entrepreneurial activities.
3. Innovation activities
SAMK aims at transferring the results of RDI activities to its partners and interest groups as effectively as possible.
SAMK makes investments in start-up companies and if necessary provides them with research competence.
Entrepreneurship studies for all students
All students have compulsory entrepreneurship studies, which focus on understanding the meaning of intrapreneurship in the employment market and as a general factor promoting employment. The entrepreneurship studies are based on the framework of effectual entrepreneurship. According to it, the student considers entrepreneurship from his or her own perspective, which includes self-image, personal competence and networks. The course aims at identifying the students’ own abilities for entrepreneurship and providing information of entrepreneurship as career choice. If the student decides take the entrepreneurship path he or she will be appointed a personal Enterprise Accelerator mentor.
The Enterprise Accelerator is a pedagogical method which supports the student’s way of becoming an entrepreneur and professional already during studies. It functions in all degree programmes at SAMK. Both mentoring and UAS studies create a strong basis for expertise and entrepreneurship. As a result, nearly 300 students have become entrepreneurs and 500 enterprise accelerator contracts have been made since the Enterprise Accelerator was established in the 1990’s. After three years 90 % of all the enterprises are still in function.
In the Enterprise Accelerator developing the business idea, working as an entrepreneur and development of the enterprise are included in the degree studies. In other words, the studies are partly completed in the Enterprise Accelerator (elective studies). Thesis Studies and Practice can also be planned according to the needs of the student entrepreneur and the established enterprise. The student can complete up to third of the studies to develop his or her business activities. However, the studies have to comply with the requirements of the degree.
The Enterprise Accelerator focuses on
- the mentors’ support and advice
- study performances related to one’s own enterprise
- personal study plan
- making use of networks and support from RDI activities
- business succession
In 2015 a common enterprise accelerator ALL IN was established for all higher education and vocational education institutions in the Satakunta region. This is a unique form of co-operation and entrepreneurship is promoted in Satakunta confidently and with clear goals. As stated above, entrepreneurship is emphasized in all SAMK’s activities and there is a growing demand for entrepreneurship education. Therefore, SAMK is introducing a new Finnish-language Entrepreneur’s Degree Programme. This programme is intended for those who want to develop the functions of their company and to improve their professional competence in business, entrepreneurship and their own specific field. This new programme is based on the premise that learning and working as an entrepreneur can be combined.
SAMK works in close co-operation with the network of business angels of Satakunta and Finland (FiBA) to support start-up enterprises. Co-operation focuses on arranging pitching events. SAMK also wants to invest in start-up enterprises and the board of SAMK has decided to invest a large sum of money in start-up enterprises in Satakunta and Finland. These activities are supported by 20 entrepreneurs in Satakunta. They offer broad experience of entrepreneurship, vision and practical skills. Through this community of entrepreneurs SAMK’s students are provided with key components for being successful as entrepreneurs.
All students can develop their entrepreneurial skills in environments supporting entrepreneurship. In these settings the students’ intrapreneurship is developed in cooperation with over 100 companies and communities annually and over 500 students study in them. Apparaatti refines the product and service ideas into complex, innovative activities. Proto Garage is a concept aimed at companies which need quick product or service development. IdeaWorkshop provides customised workshops on quick production of ideas for companies/communities. In ProductWorkshop students develop commissioned physical products (e.g. a prototype or a demo) or immaterial goods like a service or a model. IdeaDrill is a pop-up competition, where student teams develop practical blanks, product and service ideas or other solutions which can have an impact on ordinary citizens, companies or organizations. Soteekki is a service centre which offers well-being services for companies, communities and individuals by students.