Introduction to new business development for young people from all over the world
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Have you ever thought of starting your own business? Being a job creator instead of a job seeker? Would you like to gather the right people for
improving life in your community? For developing and selling a new product or service?
This course is addressed to people from anywhere in the world, particularly to students and young graduates who want to learn about new business
development and to see if this is something for them. We welcome people from “developing countries”, as well as from industrialized economies.
The course is a joint initiative with UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (http://unctad.org/) which has installed
entrepreneurship centers, and is delivering Empretec, a behavioral entrepreneurship training programme (http://empretec.unctad.org), in 36
The course gathers 8 leading experts from Polimi and UNCTAD to let the participants:
- Learn why and how new business enterprises are the motor of innovation and development
- Understand how to behave as an entrepreneur
- Understand why and how living in a country with limited resources, or being a young person or a woman is not at odds with new business development
- Learn how new enterprises can grow by entering international markets and joining global value chains
- Learn about new business models that deal with emerging societal challenges
- Understand the way forward, getting acknowledgeable about next steps to make entrepreneurship a profession, including the enrollment in more advanced entrepreneurship and social business curricula (e.g. PoliMi ones) or in business incubators
Each week of this course:
- opens by asking thought provoking questions on entrepreneurship and business development in developing countries
- addresses the issue offering keywords, plain definitions, a few conceptual arguments supported by figures and graphs, successful examples of entrepreneurial activities in harsh
- concludes by summarizing main lessons learnt and bridging the student toward quizzes, the discussion forum, and materials and videos that help attendants getting familiar with
the building blocks of business development and great entrepreneurial experiences.
The course is the main dissemination deliverable of the Polisocial Award project (www.polisocial.polimi.it) “Young and Sustainable
Entrepreneurship in Egypt”.
The program hosts short video interviews with testimonies, i.e. young entrepreneurs in developing countries, and the experts of entrepreneurship, social innovation, business growth also in developing
countries (Emanuela Colombo, Rector’s Delegate to Cooperation and Development, Politecnico di Milano; Massimo Colombo, Full professor of Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Entrepreneurial finance,
Politecnico di Milano; Ayman Ismail, Assistant professor of Entrepreneurship and Venture Lab Director, American University in Cairo, AUC Venture Lab; Jennifer Klein, Entrepreneurship section, UNCTAD;
Tatiana Krylova, Head of the Enterprise Branch, Division on Investments and Enterprise, UNCTAD; Stefano Mizio, Head of Startup Mentoring, PoliHub Startup District & Incubator; Andrea Sianesi - Dean
of MIP, Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business).
You can access the course absolutely free of charge and completely online.
The course materials will still be available to all registered users for a long time, even after the closing of the edition.
No formal requirements, but the course is recommended to people enrolled in or recently graduated from higher education programmes. Mathematical formulas or highly abstract arguments are not used.
A Forum section is available. The Forum is designed to allow students to exchange opinions and discuss open questions. The instructors participate in the Forum as well, as Administrators, and oversee the developing of the threads.
Quizzes and scores
The course is organized into different weeks and modules. At the end of each week, you will find a quiz to check your understanding. The final grade for the course will be calculated based on your performance in the weekly quizzes and the final quiz.
Certificate of Accomplishment
The Certificate of Accomplishment will be released to anyone who successfully completed the course by answering correctly to at least 60% of the questions. You will be able
to download the Certificate of Accomplishment directly on the website.
Once you have successfully passed the course, you can request the Certificate of Accomplishment without waiting for the end of the edition.
The Certificate of Accomplishment does not confer any academic credit, grade or degree.
For further information, see FAQ page.
Mario Calderini, Politecnico di Milano, School of Management
Mario Calderini has graduated in Mechanical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino and has completed a PhD in Economics at University of Manchester. He is Full Professor at Politecnico di Milano -
School of Management in the subject Management and Economics. He is deputy director of Alta Scuola Politecnica, and has been Full Professor and Researcher at Politecnico di Torino. He is counselor
of the Minister of Education, University and Research. He has been member of G8 Task Force for Social Impact Finance, member of Jury in the European Commission Social Innovation Competition.
Fulvia Farinelli, UNCTAD
Fulvia Farinelli works at UNCTAD since 1998. Her academic background focuses on issues related to entrepreneurship and SME development, including innovation, business linkages and global value
chains. She holds a PhD on Economic and Policy Studies on Innovation and Technical Change from Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
Paola Garrone, Politecnico di Milano, School of Management
Paola Garrone is Professor of Business and Industrial Economics at Politecnico di Milano. Her research interests include utilities economics and policy, and technological change in regulated
industries. She has coordinated several national and international research contracts and grants in these fields. Recently, she has been working on the issues of surplus food redistribution,
water innovation and infrastructure investments in developing countries.
Boris Mrkajic, Politecnico di Milano, School of Management
Boris Mrkajic is a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano. His research interests revolve around applied innovation and entrepreneurship. In particular, Boris
studies human capital of new technology-based business ventures, as well as support systems of sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem such as Venture Capital and Business Accelerators. He teaches
Business and Industrial Economics course at the master’s level (Politecnico di Milano).
Fiorina Mugione, UNCTAD
Fiorina Mugione is an Economist with more than twenty years’ experience in international organizations, working primarily in the areas of research and analysis in enterprise, investment and
development issues at ESCAP, OECD and UNCTAD. She leads the Entrepreneurship Programme at UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise. The programme aims to strengthen the supply capacity
of small and medium enterprises through entrepreneurship and business linkages development. She also coordinates the EMPRETEC programme in 37 countries around the world.
Lucia Piscitello, Politecnico di Milano, School of Management
Lucia Piscitello is Professor of International Business, and Development Economics at Politecnico di Milano. Her research interests cover the economics and management of MNEs, the international
aspects of technological change, the geography of innovation. Her recent studies focus on agglomeration and MNEs’ location strategies, globalization of R&D and technology development in the global
network of MNEs, offshoring and global sourcing, MNEs in and from emerging countries. She has published her work in many international journals and books, and she serves on the editorial review
boards of several journals.
Alejandro Rubias Hernardez, UNCTAD
Alejandro Rubias-Hernandez is an Economic Affairs officer in the Division on Investment and Enterprise of UNCTAD, where he works to support developing countries and economies in transition in
the design of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. He also provides technical assistance to training centres across the globe that have adopted UNCTAD’s EMPRETEC entrepreneurship program.
He is specialized in youth entrepreneurship, and is the project leader for French-speaking countries.
Lorenzo Tosini, UNCTAD
Lorenzo Tosini is a Programme Officer in the Division on Investment and Enterprise of UNCTAD, where he works to support developing countries and economies in transition in the implementation
of technical assistance projects to promote entrepreneurship and SME development. He is in charge of Empretec and Business Linkages UNCTAD’s technical assistance programmes in Africa and is
coordinating the global network of Empretec centres. He is also working on the standardization of training materials.