Today, entrepreneurial education is of great importance and strategic value to Russia. The participants of the Educating Entrepreneurs session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum discussed the current state of entrepreneurial education, its challenges, opportunities, and prospects.

Among the participants were Alexander Auzan, dean of the Faculty of Economics at Lomonosov Moscow State University; Elena Volotovskaya, Vice President for investments at Softline and head of Softline Venture Partners; Sergei Ermakov, general director of SantechUral; Yana Kudashkina, co-founder and head of corporate development at Autocentre Duke and K; Vladimir Litvinenko, Rector at St. Petersburg Mining University; Yelena Lyapuntsova, chair of the coordinating council of the League of University Professors; and Nina Yanykina, Rector of the University of National Technology Initiative 2035. Also participating were Anna Danilina, Vice President of the School of Technological Entrepreneurship, and Anastasia Hafizova, director of Talant Plus. The discussion was moderated by Sergei Borisov, chair of the board of trustees of the Russian Non-Governmental Organisation for Small and Medium Business (OPORA RUSSIA). ITMO University was represented by its Rector Vladimir Vasilyev.

Prof. Vasilyev shared his opinion as to what qualities a modern entrepreneur in a tech-driven sector should possess. He also highlighted how exactly higher education may help develop these qualities and what its capabilities and limitations are in that regard.

“Education in the deep tech field is first and foremost about people who are open-minded and ready to take risks. They are those who know how to turn risk into experience and bear responsibility for the decisions they make. An educational institution should provide freedom in the general sense of the word: not to herd everyone down the same “tunnel,” but to give them the opportunity to find their way. If we’re talking about training entrepreneurs, these qualities should be an integral part of the university’s strategy. If they’re not, then it’s better not to get into that business at all.”

A full recording of the Educating Entrepreneurs session is available on the SPIEF website.

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