Workshop MC4E/City of Maastricht – “Think tank”

In order to improve the entrepreneurial environment in Maastricht, Anna Mihail from the Maastricht Center for Entrepreneurship (MC4E) and Brenda Firth from the municipality of Maastricht organized a “think tank”. The participants of this workshop were asked to brainstorm in three groups about what and how to improve the entrepreneurial environment in Maastricht.

The first group presented their idea to create more spaces in which entrepreneurs can develop and exchange their ideas at low cost. They also suggested to promote entrepreneurship not only via the MC4E but also by involving secondary and even primary schools. The role of the municipality here could be as a catalyst for the relationship between schools and the business world.

The second group recommended to construct a campus for entrepreneurs where networks can be developed in Rotary-like clubs and where businesses could make use of the entrepreneur’s problem solving skills. Furthermore, they emphasized to offer language courses to combine the local with the international environment.

The last group proposed a model of awareness, retention and growth. Promoting activities should increase the awareness of entrepreneurship on a larger but also a younger group to stimulate start-ups. The creation of clusters for entrepreneurs and businesses should stimulate growth and simultaneously retain skilled people in the Maastricht area.

Firth positively reacted on the participant’s suggestions, where the promotion of entrepreneurship on elementary schools was the most essential. Bringing primary scholars in contact with the entrepreneurial mindset overcomes problems like not being able to think out-of-the-box. Overall, the think tank was very effective with quite some valuable outputs.

Article written by Rob van de Mortel, ICC@M2013 corporate events team

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