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First Ukrainian Cisco Entrepreneur Institute Opens in Kiev


Talent Initiative is First in Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region
KIEV - June 2008 - Cisco today announced that Ukraine’s first Cisco Entrepreneur Institute has opened at the National Technical University of Ukraine - Kiev Polytechnic Institute (NTU KPI), the leading technical university in the country. The Institute, which offers in-person and distance learning workshops, has been created to help entrepreneurs improve their skills and enhance business development opportunities. It will also provide a forum for leaders of Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) to share business experience and collaborate with each other.

While the first Ukrainian Cisco Entrepreneur Institute is in Kiev, Cisco intends to partner with business and government leaders in other regions of Ukraine to establish other Institutes in the future. Cisco’s long-term plans in Ukraine call for other new projects in economic, social and academic spheres involving broad audiences of business participants.

The Entrepreneur Institute fosters the entrepreneurial spirit in emerging markets, encouraging innovative solutions and business opportunities that increase competitive advantage of entrepreneurs. It also helps sustain economic growth by enabling successful new ventures to create more jobs, especially in communities where Cisco does business.

Aimed at facilitating socio-economic transformation in countries, Cisco Entrepreneur Institutes are also being established in Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Mexico, Chile and, in the next 12 months, up to five Arab countries. The Ukrainian initiative is the first in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region.

“Ukraine’s progress will not be determined by individual specialists or professionals. It will largely depend on the ’architects of change’ - people with creative and systematic thinking, trained at the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute,” said Professor Alexander Zinchenko, head of the steering committee of Kiev Polytechnics Science Park. “The Entrepreneur Institute is a good step forward for Ukraine’s local businesses, helping make organisations more successful in an open and competitive knowledge economy.”

The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute aims to develop the human aspect of modern business by building a community of entrepreneurs. Participants will gain new knowledge, and will also be able to collaborate and communicate with each other, and with established business leaders.

“Our university aims to improve the competitive edge of its graduates,” noted Mikhail Zgurovsky, dean of the National Technical University of Ukraine (KPI). “This goal is facilitated by this initiative with Cisco to set up the Entrepreneur Institute. It provides business owners with access to practical knowledge in building and growing new businesses using modern information and communications technologies.”

Initially, the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute will offer two workshops: “iExec Business Essentials” and “Starting a Business”. The workshops will run over two calendar months, and include more than 50 hours of in-person workshop time. All course materials will be available in Ukrainian language, and include theoretical and practical components as well as analysis of business results of various local companies. The workshops will be delivered by Institute instructors and by guest speakers, with some materials available online. Successful participants will receive a certificate of completion from the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute as well as a national managerial skills upgrade certificate from the University itself.

The “iExec Business Essentials” workshop consists of e-learning programs, in-person sessions with instructors and collaboration in groups. The workshop is devoted to the efficient use of the Internet and information technology in business. Its main purpose is to demonstrate the role of ICT in developing new strategies to make businesses more competitive. The workshop will help the participants to clearly define the needs and priorities of the company and to use ICT to solve business problems.

“Starting a Business” workshop has been developed for the individuals who want to open their own companies. The course is offered by My Own Business, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. My Own Business has also collaborated with the World Bank to offer courses through their small business initiatives. In order to achieve success in business, one has to first choose the right business, fulfill intricate legal requirements in the process of registration, and learn the fundamentals of accounting, management and marketing.

Sessions include in-person facilitator-led classes, collaboration in groups, e-learning and development of an individual business plan. On completion of the workshop each participant should have an individual business plan and a plan of action optimized through efficient usage of information and communication technologies.

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