The COEUR Project

The COEUR Project is an initiative of European higher education institutions. The aim of CŒUR workshops (COmpetence in EURopreneurship ) is to bring together European students from different backgrounds. These annual workshops allow intercultural teams to pool their talents, their skills as well as their personalities to develop entrepreneurial projects intended to enrich the European market.

While the 6th workshop was held in China on the campus of Nanfang (from 27 March to 4 April 2009) the 7th workshop took place from 7 to 11 September in Burgundy.

Why COEUR is so prized by entrepreneurs…

The first "workshop" was held in Mainz (Germany) in 2004, and the 7th workshop for international students took place from 7 to 11 September 2009. COEUR ("Competence in European Entrepreneurship ") is an initiative of European higher education institutions which aim to develop and implement opportunities to learn by encouraging students to think and act with an entrepreneurial spirit.

COEUR: learn creativity

For COEUR, the behaviour of an entrepreneur is strongly linked to their creative capabilities, which lie at the heart of innovation. The team structure is the driving force, and students are thus obliged to develop various methods of work, to solve problems and provide added value.

The last workshop brought together 27 students and 12 educators of 9 different European cultures, in an open atmosphere that was a source of inspiration. In these intercultural teams, participants relied on their experience, talents and personalities to develop entrepreneurial projects intended for the European market.

COEUR: learn to be an entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs working at an international level joined the Group of students to share their experience in their respective areas of expertise in order to reinforce the notion of "added value ".

Stephan Clarke, the renowned English writer, highlighted the pitfalls that beginners could meet at the start of their careers, while Anastasia Smitdas, creator of "Vis Age" talked about her career. Guillaume de Horsey, a local entrepreneur with a strongly international profile, also underlined the importance experiencing failure and learning from one’s mistakes.

COEUR: there is something for everyone

Geert Hofstede, a Dutch researcher who is recognised for work in the field of cultural differences between societies, developed the notion of the «cultural onion». This comparison is justified by the discovery of the true values of a culture by separating the layers of an onion: the outer part represents obvious symbols of a culture (for example, the national flag, major brand names and touristic sites that simple visitors discover during their first day in the country), whereas the heart of the onion reveals the true values of the society in question, which are deeply rooted in members of this society.

Today more than 500 students from around the world have already taken part in the COEUR project, and members of the former participants’ network will always keep in mind this fundamental experience:

COEUR helps students to discover and understand the inner layers of entrepreneurship while allowing them to see where their entrepreneurial talents lie within these layers.

COEUR, a subtle approach

At the beginning, students are not aware of the abstract values of entrepreneurship. The almost ‘hidden’ scope of the programme shows them the objectives of the CŒUR network. The positive feedback from students at the end of each workshop is a clear indication of their appreciation, and the number of former participants is growing year by year. They now constitute an international network of young professionals and future entrepreneurs who maintain contact with each other.

Try the CŒUR experience: next workshop March 2010 in Brazil

As well as the network of European institutions of higher education that organise the annual workshops, more and more institutions from all over the world are showing their interest. Since 2009, «COEUR Mundus», an international network of higher education institutions that organises workshops outside Europe, is developing fast. In March 2010, the 2nd COEUR Mundus workshop will take place at the University of Santa Caterina in Brazil. Students who are interested in taking part should start making contact now.

CŒUR International network

Fachhochschule Mainz, Germany
The Robert Gordon Aberdeen University, Scotland
Wroclaw University of Economics, Poland
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal