Newcastle University Business School

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Newcastle University Business School welcomes enterprise educators from Azerbaijan

As part of the British Council Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Programme, Newcastle University Business School will be welcoming a group of enterprise educators from Azerbaijan to the University and City in May.

Creative Spark is a five-year initiative to support international university and institutional partnerships to develop enterprise skills and creative economy across seven countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan), South Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia) and Ukraine through UK support. The programme has been developed in response to an underdeveloped creative sector and a demand for entrepreneurship training in the programme countries, supporting wealth and job creation. Newcastle University Business School’s project with Azerbaijan was one of 38 partnership projects to be funded in 2018.

Led by Professor Matthew Gorton, the project sees Newcastle University Business School partner with the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication, and three universities: Baku Engineering University, Azerbaijan State University of Economics and Azerbaijan State Agrarian University. Newcastle University facilitated a ‘train the trainer’ programme in Baku, Azerbaijan in February and six participants from that programme have been selected for the return visit to Newcastle.

During their visit they will meet staff, students and graduates and learn about the Business School’s approach to designing enterprise and entrepreneurship curricula for business and non-business students, including the MA in Arts, Business and Creativity which is designed to meet the needs of those aspiring to work in the creative sector. They will visit the University Careers Service START UP team who work with students and graduates interested in working freelance or starting their own business, and learn about the START UP Founderships programme which provides six months of funding and intensified support.

The study tour will also see the Azerbaijani delegation participate in some of the activities taking place during Newcastle Startup Week. Founder Paul Lancaster wanted to give Startup Week an even more of an international focus this year and the Creative Spark visit was intentionally scheduled to coincide with the event. Dr Fiona Whitehurst, part of the Newcastle University team said: “Paul could not have been more supportive and ‘Day 2’ which features a VR/AR showcase event at PROTO, followed by a creative industries-focused event at Gateshead College, before the main ‘Getting Started’ event begins in the afternoon could have been specifically designed for us”.

Professor Sharon Mavin, Director of Newcastle University Business School, said: “As an international business school committed to collaborating with global partners and with world leading expertise in the creative industries through our participation in Creative Fuse North East and the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, we are delighted to be welcoming colleagues from Azerbaijan to the University and the City.”  

Creative Spark news item

published on: 9 May 2019