News Release

Cisco Entrepreneur Institute Established at the Faculty of Technical Sciences of Novi Sad University

Courses in Strategic and Business Planning, Financing, and the Use of ICT Help Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
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Mar 26, 2009

NOVI SAD, Serbia, March 26, 2009 - Serbia's first Cisco® Entrepreneur Institute was inaugurated at the Faculty of Technical Sciences of Novi Sad University. The opening ceremony was attended by Serbian Minister of Telecommunications Jasna Matic and U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter. The first two groups of 20 students each will start the course, a combination of e-learning and tutor-led classes, in the first week of April. The institute was established with the collaboration of Novi Sad University, Cisco and USAID.

Facts / Highlights:

  • The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute is founded on the experience gained with the iExecutive Education Program (iExec), which was launched in Serbia in 2006 as part of an international pilot in cooperation with the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Novi Sad University. The program was designed by Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) to help leaders and managers develop the strategy and management skills necessary to modernize their organizations. At the training sessions led by professor Bojan Lalic, more than 160 attendees from some 100 companies and institutions have successfully completed the course since 2006.
  • The objective of the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute is to help foster the creation and success of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The institute provides practical business knowledge for entrepreneurs, facilitates knowledge sharing with local business leaders, and shows participants how to take advantage of information and communications technology (ICT) to speed up business growth.
  • The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute will seek to expand its activities to other educational institutions in Serbia, including the Belgrade Business Incubator at the Belgrade University and the Business Innovation Centre in Kragujevac. It is expected that by the end of 2010 there will be a network of 10 training centers across Serbia, thus enabling business owners and entrepreneurs from all parts of the country to access a high-quality professional education.
  • Cisco is providing the institute with an online course-management system and a choice of three levels of business curricula: "Starting a business", "Growing a business", and the iExecutive Education Program (iExec). The course contents were developed by Cisco in collaboration with business experts from Stanford University, Cornell University, and My Own Business Inc. All courses are localized and will be delivered in Serbian.
  • The Faculty of Technical Sciences at Novi Sad University is currently offering two of the available courses:
    • iExecutive Education Program (iExec) is a monthlong program comprising courses in strategic and business planning, financing, the development of venture capital relationships, and the use of information and communications technology to achieve better business results. Facilitators from the university deliver 70 percent of the content via workshops with discussions, group exercises and case study reviews, while 30 percent is based on e-learning. Workshops also make use of Web 2.0 technologies, with innovative tools such as Moodle and the Cisco WebEx┬« collaboration platform.
    • Starting a business is a one-semester course that provides entrepreneurs with an understanding of the legal requirements and accounting, management, and marketing skills needed to successfully start a business. It includes facilitated discussions, group exercises, case studies and online workshop materials.

Quotes:

  • Goran Obradovic, general manager, Cisco Serbia
  • "Cisco has a long track record in education with the Cisco Networking Academy. Building on this experience, the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute is focusing on entrepreneurial skills and promoting SMB development through the strategic use of ICT. We found that there is a lack of practice-oriented business and entrepreneurial courses that incorporate an understanding of how ICT can help a company succeed, and we hope that the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute will help fill this gap.

  • Ilja Cosic, dean of Faculty of Technical Sciences, Novi Sad University
  • "We are proud that a global leader and innovator like Cisco chose FTN as its partner to open the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute and training center. Building on the experience from the pilot program, we are confident that we are providing a program that today's managers in Serbia need."

Supporting resources:

Tags:

Cisco, e-learning, SMB, Small business, corporate social responsibility, Networking Academy

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