Entrepreneurial Management and Entrepreneurship

Level of studies

Study holder

J.J. Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Economics in Osijek


In accordance with the identified regional and national needs, the Academic council of the Faculty of Economics in Osijek, J.J. Strossmayer University in Osijek on May 5, 2004 accepted the concept of the foundation of the Centre for international entrepreneurial studies as a course of studies at the Faculty of Economics in Osijek, which is to include the following:

  • Educational vertical from undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate (doctoral) programmes of studies
  • Life Long Learning programme – short educational programmes for entrepreneurs ( in the cooperation with the Centre for entrepreneurship in Osijek)
  • Research (both scientific and applicative) in entrepreneurship

a) Reasons for the initiation of the programme

There are three basic reasons for the strategic orientation towards entrepreneurship:

  • Unsatisfied needs for entrepreneurial education (demand)
  • Unsatisfactory supply
  • Being in step with the trends in the developed world

Unsatisfied needs/demand

High unemployment rate in Croatia and above average unemployment rate in Eastern Croatia evidently ask for a change in the education and training of the young people: it is necessary to improve the possibilities for self-employment of the young people and thereafter enlarge the capacity of the employees for the management of the company growth, based on knowledge and innovation. The process of restructuring of the big public enterprises, as well as restructuring of the armed forces are to intensify the problem of self-employment and management of small and medium enterprises with the potential of growth. At the same time, Eastern Croatia is characterised by the lowest entrepreneurial activity in the country, measured by TEA index: for 1 start-up business per hundred adults (18-64 years of age) in Eastern Croatia there are 4.3 in Zagreb and 3.1 start-up businesses in Istria.

Unsatisfactory supply

There are no undergraduate or graduate programmes in entrepreneurship in Croatia. Only J.J. Strossmayer University in Osijek, at the Faculty of Economics offers a programme for the acquisition of the title Master of Science in Entrepreneurship.

Being in step with the trends in the developed world

There are about 500 university programmes in the field of entrepreneurship in the USA, primarily at the highly ranked universities. In Europe, the leaders are the United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries. The reasons for this trend lies in the identification of the needs for the development of the entrepreneurial culture and the small and medium business sector, which is in, all the above mentioned countries, the dominant source of employment (about 90%). European Union has recognized the importance of the entrepreneurial culture in the creation of competitiveness, and numerous initiatives have been launched for the improvement of university education for entrepreneurship. There are two basic European Union documents which are binding for Croatia:

  • European Charter for Small Enterprises, 2000 – Croatia has accepted the obligations from that document in 2003. The first, among the ten items, is education and training for entrepreneurship, and the development of the entrepreneurial culture.
  • Entrepreneurship in Europe, Green Paper, European Commission, 2003 which defines entrepreneurship as a way of thinking, and a process of creation and development of economic activity through combination of taking risk, creativity and/or innovation, with effective management inside a new or already existing business system.

Examples of government initiatives for stimulation of entrepreneurship:

Denmark wants to become “a part of the European elite in entrepreneurship” and has, therefore, identified a number of measures for the introduction of education for entrepreneurship for all students at universities. The United Kingdom has established a particular governmental initiative for the introduction of education for entrepreneurship at universities.

The foundation of the Centre for international entrepreneurship studies is the answer to the unsatisfied needs, non-existent supply and the trends in the developed world, and is to be presented through following activities:

  • Initiate the whole vertical of university education for entrepreneurship, with the focus on the needs of micro, small and medium businesses, as well as entrepreneurship in restructured big companies ( along with the existing master’s programme, initiate the doctoral programme – in progress, initiate the undergraduate programme – in progress)
  • Connect the university programmes with the programmes of education and training for owners of micro, small and medium businesses in the Centre for entrepreneurship in Osijek through the development of Life Long Learning programmes
  • In cooperation with the Centre for entrepreneurship develop centres for family business and franchising.
  • Develop Distance Learning capacities of the studies in entrepreneurship in order to eliminate the problem of low mobility of Croatian students, i.e. if students cannot come to us, we shall reach them by means of modern technologies
  • Continue with research projects in the field of entrepreneurship and present ourselves as a respectable group of researchers for the inclusion into international projects (as it is already the case with the participation in projects by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Designing an SME training model for Croatia, financed by the European Training Foundation, in the Business Confidence Index project in cooperation with CEPOR – SME Policy Think Tank in Zagreb, etc.)
  • All mentioned activities (the vertical of university education for entrepreneurship, Life Long Learning programme and research) have to have international openness, which puts students, teachers and researchers among international competitors.


b) Proposer’s former experience

Undergraduate and graduate programmes of studies in ENTREPRENUERSHIP are to be managed by a group of teachers from of J.J. Strossmayer University in Osijek: at the undergraduate programme primarily the teachers from the Faculty of Economics in Osijek, while at the graduate programme, apart from the teachers from the Faculty of Economics in Osijek, there are to be teachers from other members of the university, such as from the Faculty of Law, Food -Technology Faculty, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Mathematics. The group of teachers from the Faculty of Economics in Osijek has a five-year experience in conducting the Masters programme in entrepreneurship, and some teachers have a long-standing experience in conducting research projects and coaching master and doctoral candidates in the field of entrepreneurship.

c) Possible partners in the programme

Teachers from other universities, such as Allan Gibb, professor emeritus, Durham University, UK, David Pistrui, DePaul University, SAD, Sanda Erdelez, University of Missouri, who have been involved in the development of the Masters programme in entrepreneurship are to be involved in the graduate programme in entrepreneurship. Preparations for the TEMPUS programme are in progress in cooperation with Turku University in Finland, Strathclyde University in UK, Durham University in UK to cofinance the development of the graduate and doctoral programme in entrepreneurship with the cooperation of these universities.

d) Openness of the programme towards mobility of students

In the graduate programme, due to the specific quality of the programme, the mobility is expected to be very low.