Prepared by: Mr. Anton Jurovicki, University of Donja Gorica (UDG)
Entrepreneurship among youth Youth should be a stimulating force in every country; the force of positive change in fields such as the economy, information technology, science, medicine, tourism, sport, culture and many others. Through their enthusiasm, youth people become the drivers of entrepreneurial innovation at both local and global levels. They are the ones who shift the flow of events in the world. We listen to news about entrepreneurship on a daily basis, we see that young minds change the way we do things, the way we communicate, the way we do business. Young people introduce us to new innovations that affect us all. Nowadays, as the world is facing economic recession, one of the things that brightens up our day is new innovation; something that an entrepreneur has accomplished, solved, made, helped to create, and has contributed to. Europe, in particular, is facing numerous social challenges which are growing day by day. Innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship are strong vectors with which to address these challenges. One of the reasons why young people should try dedicate themselves more to entrepreneurship, rather than waiting for jobs to turn up, is the fact that they represent one fifth of the world’s entire population; 50% of the total unemployed global workforce. Youth unemployment is one of the major challenges faced by most governments in the world today. The importance of entrepreneurship was stressed by the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, in December, in Turkey when he addressed to thousands of young people at the Global Youth and Entrepreneurship Summit in Istanbul. He declared, “We’re all here because we believe in the power of entrepreneurship to transform lives and lift up entire communities and nations. It is no coincidence, ladies and gentlemen, that 19 of the top 20 most prosperous countries in the world are also the most entrepreneurial countries in the world, according to leading international indexes.” One of the messages that Biden spread to so many young minds was that they should do what is natural; to dream and to risk. In his speech he stressed that entrepreneurship is crucial for the development of mankind and that, as such, it should drive innovation. He also said that young people should be inspired by the memorable words spoken by Steve Jobs, ``Think different.``
However, entrepreneurs all around the world still face challenges such as not being taken seriously by colleagues or business contacts, age discrimination by suppliers or customers, difficulties in attracting funding to their business, a lack of career information and business possibilities, problems with business registration procedures and costs, a lack of ICT infrastructure, a lack of business experience and skills and a variety of other important problems connected to property rights, copyright, patents and trademark regulations. These obstacles don’t stop entrepreneurs, but rather give young entrepreneurs an advantage. They are filing less afraid to develop new markets, to create new products, to promote the use of modern technology in small-scale manufacturing, to enhance higher productivity, and to reduce the negative aspects of the informal economy.
All of this shows that being an entrepreneur is not easy; it is very risky, but despite this, young people still decide to get involved. Every successful entrepreneur brings benefits not only for himself or herself, but also for his or her municipality, region or country, something that is very important during these difficult times. Innovation is the engine of progress and is most often delivered by entrepreneurs! We should mention the institutions supporting entrepreneurial initiatives at the national level as for example: Business Incubator Inventivnost- which directs all of its available capacity to launching and supporting new businesses; the Directorate for the Development of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Investments, Business Support Center Bar, and the Development Fund, later provide credit to support to help small and medium enterprises.
When mentioning this, it is important to state that entrepreneurship in Montenegro is on the increase. Montenegrin high school students study entrepreneurship as part of their education, contests are held and there are also special schools that offer courses on entrepreneurship. A good example of this new type of innovation is the second School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Youth which was founded by the first generation of UDG students. This year the school hosted 70 students (in the first year there were 35 high school students) which shows that interest in entrepreneurship is definitely changing in a positive way! The school comprises educational and extracurricular activities, all of which encourage creativity, networking and socializing between participants. By the time the courses end, participants will have all learned new things and made new friends; the synergy of entrepreneurial language. There are also other institutions that are willing to help to boost entrepreneurship in Montenegro. Lack of funding may no longer be an excuse for the lack of creative projects, because Montenegro Telekom has recently launched Inovatorium- a program that will allow students and young entrepreneurs to get full support in realizing their business ideas in the areas of information technology and telecommunications. As time passes we are witness to the fact that progress is generated from young brilliant minds that are ready to change and create. Ideas change the world. Ideas are the most marketable goods! Therefore we must be aware that the proverb “the world is in the hands of on young people” was said with good cause. Young people are the creative force of today, and of the future!
We Introduce: Christmas Discussions on topic ‘Culture and Development’ Each year discussions take place on the 6th January on Christmas Eve according to the old Julian calendar. This year it took place at the University of Donja Gorica (UDG) from Podgorica. This, now traditional, event was first established in 1992. The host and the founder of this event is Professor Veselin Vukotic, and the topics of discussion are related to economy issues. The discussions are very popular with students as they are a good social event and also stimulate discussions about various topics. The main topic was ‘Culture and Development’; the importance of culture, seen as a basis for future development. The first Christmas Discussions was attended by only 12 people, while this year’s event - the 20th consecutive year hosted over 300 people! Participants in the Christmas Discussions were: Veselin Vukotic, Dean at the University of Donja Gorica, Dusan Janjic, the Forum for Ethnic Relations and the Institute of Social Sciences, Professor Branislav Micunovic, the Montenegrin Minister of Culture, Professor Branko Baletić, the director of the Montenegrin Cinematheque and Veselin Jevrosimovic, CEO of the software company ComTrade. The Professor Vukotić, gave the introductory speech and stated: “Some of the socalled opinions held by 'left-wing intellectuals' regarding free markets leading us to a crisis are about as true as saying that cyclists are to blame for traffic jams. It is evident that the market and even the whole world, have never been regulated to the extent they are today. In previous times our behavior was controlled through the 10 commandments, but today we are ruled by over 10 billion pieces of legislation. Instead of being surrounded by rainforests, we live in a jungle of bureaucratic regulations.” Later he added, “Today when we cross over from industrial capitalism to cultural capitalism, ideas will become the most convertible currency. That will mark a transition from material things being most highly valued to the importance of having ideas being of most value.” For the daily news “Vijesti”, Professor Vukotić stated that culture becomes an economic issue, and it slightly becomes the basics of modern society, similar as the power of politics and economic power. “Nowdays, industrial capitalism is increasingly evolving into a new type – which is more and more defined as a cultural capitalism… Market of ideas increasingly becomes important. There is increasingly demand for the people who have ideas and the power of creation, the power of research, not just the power of imitation and passive use of the already achieved knowledge.” Dušan Janjić stated: “This crisis represents the acceleration of globalization, and that globalization has brought about the spread of cultural values. However, at the same time he stressed the need to protect national values.” Branislav Mićunović stressed that it is "difficult to preserve cultural heritage within the environment of a restrictive budget". He explained that the preservation of culture should be seen as a general concern in Montenegro as it has great potential in the context of the development of tourism. Branko Baletić agreed with all of the above comments and concluded that Montenegro’s main problem is a lack of knowledge. Regardless of the crisis, the budget for culture in EU countries is presently increasing, because there is an understanding that new creativity is necessary in order to solve existing problems. "Culture is the foundation of all relationships in society, but in transition periods it has remained in ‘no man's land'," concluded Baletić. He also recalled that "the cultural identity is the basis of all identities." Veselin Jevrosimovic stressed that information technology, often referred to now as digital economy, is becoming an important and crucial activity within the infrastructure of all countries. He also announced the introduction of a new initiative, the Knowledge Factory which will be organized in Montenegro with the assistance of the University of Donja Gorica (UDG). These most recent Christmas Discussions were much better attended than were previous ones. The discussions finished late at night, concluding the formal part of the evening; the participants then continued with a party that was held in the student club.