The “MULTUS International”- concept – an invitation & short introduction
Saxion University of Applied Sciences Enschede The Netherlands
ABO Small Business
Dear Colleagues at the International Week at Saxion,
We invite you to join us as partners in the “MULTUS International”-concept.
We would like to speak to you next thursday (March 15 / time: 13.15 / place: Elderink 1.01) regarding this idea.
Jeroen Renssen and Herman Wieser from Saxion will give a short presentation. Afterwards we’ll answer your questions and invite you formally to join us as partners to get European Funding for our mutual “MULTUS International”-concept.
Short history of entrepreneurial education at Saxion:
After thorough investigation in Europe and in cooperation with Dutch entrepreneurs and scientists Saxion started a new approach to Education for Entrepreneurship in 1996. The concept was called“PSEE” (Problem Solving and Entrepreneurial Education) and was built around the idea that future-entrepreneurs were not “made-in-a-classroom” but needed a challenging and real environment to develop the competences of an entrepreneur. Small companies were created in school which (with about ten students each) developed products and sold them; thus creating a business-surrounding for themselves. Supported by tutors and coaches, and by lectures, workshops and trainings, the first-year-students Entrepreneurship worked on their knowledge, skills and attitude. After some minor improvements and the introduction of a “professional profile of the entrepreneur” (created at Saxion and made obligatory by the Ministry of Education for all Higher Vocational Entrepreneurial Education in the Netherlands) we changed our concept profoundly in 2009 by introducing the “MULTUS-concept”.
The “MULTUS-concept” in short:
• Goal: To develop young people who create jobs – first for themselves and second for others. In other words: to ‘produce’ entrepreneurs (and intrapreneurs).
• By: [ as part of a larger curriculum ] creating a challenging, as-real-as-possible entrepreneurial business-environment in which they have to develop their entrepreneurial (and management)competences (defined as: “The effective functioning as an entrepreneur”, as regards knowledge, skills and attitude (KSA)).
MULTUS is the name of the (as-real-as-possible; depending on the local legal situation) company all the students are working in. At Saxion it consists of 4 business units (each with a business unit director), each BU divided into 4 departments of about 10 students (each with a department head), and 4 staff departments (Finance, HRM, Communication and Projects). Each student has (besides his taking part in the department) to work & learn in each of the mentioned staff departments for a full month, while continuing working in the “home”-department (also being the linking pin). The company is managed by the concern management group – consisting of the 4 BUdirectors, and the Heads of the staff departments – ‘CEO’ is one of the BUdirectors. During the start these top manager functions are filled by the “teachers” – later on students apply for these jobs so that MULTUS is fully run by students – and the team of teachers function as “consultants, lecturers, trainers, coaches,…”.The 16 departments are the entrepreneurial “core” of MULTUS in which the students have to have their ‘own’ company (within the mission statement and the strategy of the concern). The organisational structure around the departments is the management part of the concept, in which they can develop management competences and expand their span-of-control. Most of the questions like “What to do in this situation?” are simply, but consistently answered by saying: “What happens in a real company in this kind of situation….!”
We have placed a “shell-of-learning” around this giant, year(s) lasting role playing game by making use of lectures (by our own lecturers and specialists from outside as guest speakers), by all kinds of training and workshops (for instance in sales, leadership, project management, presentations, formal business conversations, product development, networking, social media, and so on….). But before using these (and more) instruments we always try to use the MULTUS-environment for practising and learning. MULTUS has at its disposal a dedicated group of advisers consisting of entrepreneurs, managers – specialists in their field of experience, knowledge and skills. Also important to MULTUS is the growing group of former (and still related) students who own (sometimes big) companies or are managers in every field of business.
Last but not least: MULTUS is “assessment-driven” – we assess KSA individually.
November 2011 we joined with Tshwane University of Technology (South-Africa) to explore an international partnership. Now we would like to take it to the next level: a group of partners to make a really unique concept possible, watched by multinationals…: “MULTUS International”. Who wouldn’t want to be part of it…
Drs. Hans Weusthof – Director of ABO at Saxion