RInovatoRI is program to encourage the development of entrepreneurial competences of children.
Regular curriculum of Croatian primary education does not contain in sufficient scale the activities supporting the development of entrepreneurial skills of children. To bridge that gap, City of Rijeka launched 1st program for encouraging the development of entrepreneurial competencies of children in the year 2008, as a pilot project, along with City institution Youth Center Rijeka responsible for implementation. In the year 2018 the program was improved and redesigned into new brand RInovatoRI. It consists of 3 main program sections: (1) Regular program: weekly workshops during school year with study visits, case studies, guest lecturers and field activities, (2) Weekend School of Entrepreneurship: 3-days workshops with trainers and external experts/mentors on specific topic in castle Stara Sušica with an aim to develop an innovative product prototype, (3) Summer RInnovation Lab: 3-week summer workshops and study visit around topical issue resulting with innovative ideas and solutions. Thematic focus of RInovatoRI program varies from STEAM topics (e.g. use of Artificial Intelligence, Smart and 3D technologies, Creative industries) to more common fields – SWOT analysis, business model canvas, social media, 4P etc. The program is also addressing actual issues, such as innovation in the times of pandemic, internet security, business ethics, sustainability and innovative tourism. The program beneficiaries are pupils of higher grades of Rijeka’s elementary schools, age 11-14.
Average annual costs: 8.000,00 Eur. The program is co-financed by founder City of Rijeka (60%), implementer Youth Center Rijeka (15%) and program users (25%). Number of trainers: 1 for regular program, 4 for Weekend school, and 2 for Summer program. Management and administration: 1 person.
Evidence of success
So far, 560+ children have participated in the program.
Weekend School of Entrepreneurship 2018 ‘Smart cities and Artificial Intelligence' has been awarded with the Charter for ‘Best action’ on national level, as a part of the initiative ‘Children friendly cities and municipalities’, organized by the Union of Societies ‘Our Children’ Croatia.
In 2019 program RInovatoRI was declared the national winner of European Enterprise Promotion Award 2019 for Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit.
Targeted promotion: a key mediators in promotion of RInovatoRI program are Rijeka elementary schools. The success of promotion is depending upon their willing to support the program, which is not always at satisfying level. New solutions must be applied and tested, respecting the budget limitation.
Potential for learning or transfer
Program RInovatoRI provides to its young users basic knowledge for problem solving and creation of their own business ideas. It enables a direct insight into entrepreneurial practice and learns how to develop a new product/service based on identified needs and risks. The children are encouraged to work in a team, to think and act responsible and out-of-the-box, and to be more self-aware and self-confident. The program allows participants to meet experts and new places, to get familiar with latest tools and events, and to adopt entrepreneurial culture.
The practice can be easily applied in any local ecosystem, respecting the need that the connection with the business sector is crucial for implementation, as well as permanent improvements and refreshing of program content, structure and visibility.
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