Alma Mater Europaea – ECM specializes in educational services related to career building in scarce professions. In the next academic year, the Management study programme will have a new major in Family Entrepreneurship.
Maribor24.si reporters had an interview with Dr Barbara Toplak Perovič, Director of Study Programme in Business System Management at Alma Mater Europaea, about the indicated major, teachers, education offer for mastering popular professions and tips for prospective students who are participating in the enrolment campaign this year.
– This academic year, you are offering a new major in Family Entrepreneurship as part of the Management study programme. For whom is this programme?
– In Slovenia, approximately 70% of all enterprises are family-owned. Studies have recorded serious difficulties in transferring enterprises to the next generation of owners. The second generation of owners takes ownership successfully of only 30% of enterprises, and the third generation – of only 12%, while only 3% of family enterprises are run by three or more generations of the same owners. Due to poor awareness of the industry and mistakes in transferring enterprises from one generation of owners to another, significant opportunities are lost both for the economy and for families who do not pass successful business traditions on to their successors. Successful enterprises must accumulate knowledge and move on to the next generation of owners without any problems.
The summer Family Entrepreneurship module is designed for everyone who in one way or another participates in managing a family business, regardless of industry, as well as for Management students who want to specialise in family entrepreneurship. This is a training course that includes both the psychology of management and the elements of law and economics, taught as a separate module or as part of the Business Systems Management study programme at the level of higher vocational education or Master’s degree.
– Family business is the driving force of the Slovenian economy. In your opinion, is the level of education possessed by the heads of family enterprises sufficient? What is the added value that students receive by studying under your programme?
– Family entrepreneurship is not only an essential driving force of the Slovenian economy but also one of the most important forms of doing business on a global scale. Therefore, training courses in Family Entrepreneurship are already a constant practice abroad. Family members taking the enterprise into management, as well as their parents who opened the business, should establish stable cooperation between generations, since in the family business parents and their successors have a common brainchild – the enterprise. Parents, in fact, are the guardians of the enterprise that they have once established. They often prevent young people from implementing their own ideas and applying more modern approaches to doing business. Therefore, the main threat to the existence and development of the family business, first of all, stems from the incorrect or inappropriate way of transferring rights, taking ownership (legal issues), as well as other difficulties in the family regarding poor-quality analysis and determination of current and future challenges, and, as a result, poor planning. Young people should understand the advantages of the traditional values of their parents, while parents should allow the use of new modern approaches to enterprise management and respect the priorities of the younger generation. A key role is played by communication, mutual respect, and industry-related knowledge in managing a family business.
Therefore, Alma Mater offers the subjects dealing with strategic management, financial activities, legal knowledge, enterprise digitalization, organisational culture, etc. under the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programme in Business System Management within the Family Entrepreneurship major. The advantage of this programme also lies in the interdisciplinary approach, when current problems and solving of urgent issues in family business are of paramount importance with case studies that can be applied to all sectors.
– What teachers are working under the new programme?
– The programme has a clear international format – mainly thanks to foreign experts, for example, Dr Laurence Hewick from Canada, who has been running the Family Entrepreneurship Institute in his country for many years and helped us launch the Family Entrepreneurship programme here. Alma Mater Europaea places a significant emphasis on the participation of practicing specialists in the academic process, and this programme is no exception. An important role will also be given to Slovenian entrepreneurs, who, participating in the programme as invited teachers, will share with students the examples of successful practice, in particular, competencies for overcoming unforeseen and crisis situations.
– The choice of the major is essential because it influences the subsequent employment. It is known that for several years, Alma Mater has been implementing programmes for training specialists in popular professions. What are the areas of greatest interest?
– Indeed, our students should ultimately be sought-after specialists and not just job seekers. This is our main credo, the goal of work and training at Alma Mater. Therefore, we offer the knowledge and competencies that the market needs. Young people also understand this, so the number of Alma Mater applicants is growing every year. The popularity of health care programmes is steadily increasing – Physiotherapy, Health Care and Social Gerontology, which, given the serious demographic changes, is understandable. The demand for health care professionals in neighbouring Austria is very high, so the Austrians are ready to give scholarships to our students in order to ensure qualified personnel.
We also record a significant increase in the popularity of the Management programme at all educational levels, both among local students and foreigners. Successful managers representing 11 countries and 6 continents are trained on the PhD programme in Project Management. At the same time, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes are mainly chosen by ambitious Slovenian students who want to gain relevant knowledge, master modern approaches to enterprise management and innovative ways to solve problems.
– What do you advise future students – applicants entering Alma Mater this academic year?
– Choose an industry that interests you. Love for work will allow the achievement of excellent results. We are here to help on your path to success, to share our experience and art of problem solving with you. We are aware that our (and your) future depends on you!