On July 12&13, Al Hussein Technical University (HTU) in Amman, hosted a two-day workshop on entrepreneurship and LEAN start-up. This was facilitated by SPARK  and attended by two other Jordanian universities who wanted to explore new ways of teaching entrepreneurship.  

Educating minds to be self-reliant

Dr. Bram Kuijken, Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, conducted the ToT workshop by eagerly sharing his expertise gained at the faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Amsterdam. In his courses, students set up real businesses within one semester, a unique approach in this field. This practical experience enables students to create their own jobs as well as experience to face the labour market.

Dr. Kuijken found the workshop truly rewarding: “It was great to see all the enthusiasm in the room and to experience the willingness of the participants to improve their entrepreneurship education in order to be able to provide their students with important skills needed to set up a business.”

Putting practice above theory

The workshop attendees were from different Jordanian universities such as the German-Jordanian University and some faculty members from HTU. Dr. Mohammad J Alawamleh, from the American University of Madaba was among them.

He agreed on the importance of practical knowledge over theoretical knowledge and said: “It was a great course. It expanded my knowledge to move towards practical knowledge rather than teaching theories. I will advise my students to build their business model as soon as possible: the earlier you start to build, the more original ideas are in your head and the sooner you can validate your assumptions.”

Students can be taught how to write business plans, conduct market researches and foresee opportunities and threats. these are the skills that can create a successful business out of an idea and can only be gained through practice.

Smarter minds create jobs instead of looking for them

Unemployment among university degree holders in Jordan is 21.4% which is at its highest rate in 25 years.  The Crown Prince Foundation (CPF) recently established HTU to create more job opportunities for the unemployed. The university will offer a platform that will support initiatives by Jordanian youths. To make this happen, earlier this year, HTU teamed up with SPARK to work on the development of its entrepreneurship curriculum. SPARK’s collaboration with HTU falls under its  Improving Employment Opportunities Programme funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs .