By Marju Mäger, Tiiu Männiste, Andres Rõigas
Tartu University Viljandi Culture Academy
The role of entrepreneurial competencies in entrepreneurship education in the field of culture management
Keywords: entrepreneurship education, competencies, creative industries, culture management.
Entrepreneurship education, which today plays an important role in the educational landscape, provides grounds to claim that the entrepreneurial experience gained at the university increases the probability of starting a business. Therefore, there is generally no doubt about the need to implement entrepreneurship education in higher education. Entrepreneurship education based on the creative economy has come to the fore as a separate field of research. Creative entrepreneurship and the creative industries are seen as an opportunity to improve regional competitiveness or regional specialization. In the case of regional developments, regional universities (including those specialized in creative fields) play an important role. In today’s situation, we can rely on the data of the last decade, where entrepreneurship based on the creative economy contributed to mitigating the effects of the economic crisis and expanding the field of activity of traditional activities.
In 2015, the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy was the first in the Estonian education system to switch to compulsory entrepreneurship education in all disciplines, and the whole process is called total entrepreneurship education. Many years of experience make it possible to analyze learning outcomes related to entrepreneurial competencies and forms of study that develop creative entrepreneurship in the diploma studies of the Culture Academy.
Based on a qualitative content analysis, this study examines the learning outcomes related to entrepreneurial competencies and forms of study developing creative entrepreneurship in the diploma studies of the Culture Academy and the impact of entrepreneurship on study tasks and dissertations.
The study revealed that economic knowledge directly related to entrepreneurship is recorded as outputs mainly in entrepreneurship courses and interdisciplinary projects, which have the characteristics of an educational environment supporting entrepreneurship. But there is no comprehensive learning culture supporting it. The transfer of entrepreneurial competencies has had a greater impact on culture management students in carrying out tasks in entrepreneurship studies as well as in the project related to the dissertation.
On the one hand, the research results so far allow to state that there is insufficient connection between the courses developing entrepreneurship and the learning outcomes of creative courses, and the culture supporting entrepreneurship have not been connected to form a whole. On the other hand, it is clear that there are differences between disciplines and the transfer of entrepreneurial competencies has had a greater impact on culture management students in carrying out assignments in entrepreneurship as well as in carrying out a dissertation project.
Based on this knowledge, we can shape the attitudes of teachers to implement formally well-functioning entrepreneurship education, to involve supervisors and mentors, and thus to better implement its competitive advantages, based on education and knowledge throughout the region.
Creative economy within the context of entrepreneurship education at Viljandi Culture Academy
The educational and developmental activities together with the mandatory entrepreneurship education carried out at the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy can be linked to the fields of creative economy, thus being a unique step within the context of the whole creative field, broadening the possibilities for students concerning their future career choices (Rõigas, et al 2016). The introduction of mandatory entrepreneurship education as of the academic year of 2015/2016 across all programs has been generalized under the term of “total entrepreneurship education” (see Paes et al, 2014). This process is based on the approach of the triple helix concept (university, industry, public sector) (Martin and Etzkowitz, 2000) according to which an entrepreneurial university combines education, science and development of its local region. After the example of Viljandi Culture Academy, the local development organizations of the third sector are also added to the developmental work related to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education.
Upon implementing entrepreneurship education, Viljandi Culture Academy draws on the development plan for the University of Tartu for 2015-2020, which specifies that “The entrepreneurial attitude of the members of the university, and their attitude valuing entrepreneurship, is one of the key factors in the development of the university” (University of Tartu, 2014). Thus, the planning of the study process proceeds from the principle that there must be possibilities to implement the knowledge related to entrepreneurship in a safe environment over a longer period of time, and that the basic knowledge is acquired during the university studies. The students have the possibility but not the obligation to create their own team-based enterprise during their studies. Considering the versatility of the specialties taught and the multidisciplinary nature of entrepreneurship education, sights have been set on creating interdisciplinary teams, favoring primarily the development of business ideas regarding creative entrepreneurship.
Description of the entrepreneurship education process
The positive aspects of study methods with practical outcomes, and their fruitfulness have been drawn attention to by Fayolle et al (2006) and Souitaris et al (2007); from the perspective of students’ practical experience Rasmussen and Sørheim (2006), as well as Chang and Rieple (2013). Damasio and Bicacro (2017) have, within the context of creative disciplines, depicted in their study that upon covering entrepreneurship education, the main educational issue that arises is the fact that despite the heated discussion about integrating creative disciplines into entrepreneurship and creative industries, students do not consider entrepreneurship education very important. The second problem mentioned in relation to creative economy is the tangible need for and interest in entrepreneurship education which, however, lacks the necessary experiential knowledge together with institutional and human resources. Thirdly, it has been brought out that developing entrepreneurship education within creative disciplines without proper interdisciplinary merging is likely to result in a failure.
All of the above was taken into account upon introducing entrepreneurship education at Viljandi Culture Academy, however, not all of the circumstances were applied fruitfully. It is possible to discuss, as a separate unit, the study process together with its problems as well as the application of experience and competencies after the school graduation regarding the curriculum for the specialty of culture management. Culture management students participate, subject to general principles similar across the school as whole, in the mandatory entrepreneurship education, often taking on the leadership positions in group work (or team work) obtaining the managing experience required in the field of culture management.
The course starts with Market of Ideas – an intensive two-day event of generating business and project ideas and forming teams. After that, the student teams will develop – under the supervision of their mentors and with the support of constant feedback – their business ideas across the term, at the same time also gaining theoretical knowledge of creative economy, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial environment and competitive environment. The process concludes with the defense of their business model and financial forecasts. During the second term, students perfect their actual product or service, assessing their resources and markets among other things. The final goal is at least one sales deal, completion of a prototype or carrying out project-based activities. There are around 90-130 students in the whole of the Academy each year, depending on the number of students admitted to the specialties, who start their entrepreneurship studies, forming 20-40 entrepreneurship interdisciplinary teams.
Introducing and initiating such a program involving the whole school requires necessary knowledge, most significantly, however, interdisciplinary competencies. It is of importance which competencies were imparted during their earlier studies and which competencies regarding entrepreneurship their lecturers have.
According to Sánchez (2011), we treat competencies here as a body consisting of knowledge, features, attitudes and skills, which affects the productivity of work, lends itself to setting specific requirements to it and can be bettered through training and developmental activities. Upon studying the field of entrepreneurship, it is possible to distinguish between entrepreneurial and management competencies, an integral part of which is formed by the skills to lead as well as keep busy the team in creation, or, according to Man, Lau and Chan (2002), entrepreneurial competencies presuppose comprehensive knowledge of the specialized field. Bacigalupo et al (2016) have specified five categories of entrepreneurial competencies: action, vision and idea generation, decision making and learning through value creation. Thus defining them as knowledge, skills and attitudes that affect readiness and ability to create new values through entrepreneurship (Fisher and Koch, 2008; Sánchez, 2011). They can also be approached that way from the perspective of directing and teaching the entrepreneurship of creative economy, where an entrepreneur is seen as a versatile person with great imaginative, adaptive, creative and innovation abilities (Nieuwenhuizen and Niekerk, 2001), who is ready for conceptual thinking and seeing possibilities for business within the context of constant changes as well (Sarasvathy, Simon and Lave, 1998). The courage of the entrepreneur to take great risks and their belief in success (Segal, Borgia and Schoenfeld, 2005), on the other hand, or their attempt to be self-sufficient and independent or their own master (Fisher and Koch, 2008), is, in many cases, not the strongest aspect for the creative sector. The latter statement also involves contrary opinions (see Björkegren, 1996, Carey and Naudin, 2006).
Entrepreneurial competencies while teaching creative disciplines
Proceeding from the above, it is not possible, within the field of entrepreneurship education, to ignore the topics involving all fields of the humanities such as little contact with economy or the often described lack of skills of creative personae to participate in team work. In addition to the belief that it is possible to live on “making art”, the issue is further complicated by the fact that a certain amount of opposition can already be detected in the ideology contrasting business and high arts (see Männiste et al, 2018, Rõigas et al, 2019), thus constituting one of the reasons why entrepreneurship education is a relatively new discipline within the context of creative disciplines. That is why entrepreneurship and the competencies related to it tend to be linked, in common knowledge, merely to the archetypical field of economy, whereas from the scientific perspective, the entrepreneurial competencies are seen as connected, interdisciplinary and universal competencies across fields (see Abreu and Grinevich, 2014).
The above reveals that, on the one hand, an entrepreneur is expected to have, in addition to a multitude of personal characteristics, extensive universal competencies. On the other hand, however, many features are not necessarily as specific to an entrepreneur as they are characteristic to any practical and successful person active in whichever field. Mitchelmore and Rowley (2010) have developed a framework for entrepreneurial competencies that could form the basis for studying the essence of entrepreneurship and its processes, and for comparing different sectors, trainings, development activity, economic policy and investments. Bacigalupo et al (2016) have reached, while creating the framework EntreComp attempting to unify the entrepreneurship education, a common definition of competencies related to entrepreneurship, the aim of which is to connect the worlds of education and work, and support, on common principles, all the initiatives developing entrepreneurship education further.
Therefore, in a simplified way, we dare to claim that considering the sustainable development of economy, it is more practical to teach entrepreneurship as an additional option to whichever program or specialty, bringing out its accompanying strengths and opportunities. Lackéus (2013a, 2013b) integrates entrepreneurship studies into different parts of interdisciplinary studies, carrying all stages also out as practical activities and obtaining from it better opportunities, equipped with entrepreneurial competencies, to enter the labor market. The competencies necessary for entrepreneurship have similarly been taught at Viljandi Culture Academy, across the courses taught to culture managers, which supports the trueness of the model of entrepreneurial competencies prepared by Lackéus within the context of creative economy (see Männiste et al, 2018).
The model and its interpretations contain both general (knowledge, skills, attitudes) and more specific entrepreneurial competencies (readiness and ability to create value through entrepreneurship). For example, the subtopic of knowledge represents the well-known cognitive aspects of the learning process (mental, declarative and reflexive knowledge). The subtopics of the skills and attitudes in the model, and the interpretation of the presented competencies contain both the features of the field of entrepreneurship and those characteristic to any practical and successful person active in whichever field, which also allow broad interpretation of the entrepreneurial competencies of creative disciplines.
Based on the earlier studies (see Männiste et al, 2018; Rõigas et al, 2019), the present study focuses more closely on the entrepreneurial competencies detailed in the curricula of the culture management program. The study aims at analyzing the competencies in the curriculum of the culture management program of Viljandi Culture Academy, developing creative entrepreneurship, and the impact of entrepreneurship education on specialized employment, on the basis of the evaluations by the Academy graduates.
The following became the fundamental questions of the study:
- How have the Academy graduates integrated entrepreneurship competencies in their professional work?
- How do the graduates evaluate the implementation and accomplishment of entrepreneurship education?
- What are the major problems and development needs in the application of the entrepreneurship education?
The need for a follow-up study was triggered by insufficient information concerning the readiness of the university graduates to enter the labor market and cope with it, taking into account the experience acquired through entrepreneurship education, and the ability to apply these competencies to everyday work.
The methodology of the study
There are seven applied higher education curricula at Viljandi Culture Academy: culture management, community education and hobby activity, music, heritage technologies, dance art, theatrical art and visual technology of theatrical art. Upon analyzing the objectives and learning outcomes of the modules of the curricula at Viljandi Culture Academy, the specialties can – within the context of entrepreneurship education – roughly be divided into four categories: artistic, servicing, production and educational creative disciplines. The curriculum for culture management belongs to the servicing type within the context of entrepreneurship education (Männiste et al, 2018).
The present study assessed the entrepreneurial competencies according to the curriculum for culture managers. The web-based questionnaire with open-ended questions involved ten culture management graduates from 2019, most of whom are employed in the fields that are related to culture management. The graduates were asked for their evaluation concerning entrepreneurship education from the perspective of their jobs, and, based on this, for suggestions to develop entrepreneurship education. Data analysis was carried out following the method of qualitative content analysis. As a result of the open coded approach, the main categories that emerged were entrepreneurial competencies in the curricula, implementation of entrepreneurship education, attitudes toward entrepreneurship, problems of entrepreneurship studies and its development needs. On the basis of the study, it is possible to evaluate both the attitude towards entrepreneurship education and the implementation of the acquired competencies and skills in one’s professional work.
Entrepreneurial competencies as seen by the university graduates
On the basis of the previous studies (Männiste et al, 2018), it can be claimed that all the curricula at the Culture Academy include entrepreneurial competencies (see Lackeus, 2013a, 2013b), however, this is not sufficient for a statement that they have consciously been constructed that way. It is rather a case of knowledge, skills and attitudes supporting professional identity. It is also possible within a field to distinguish between competencies and the tutoring ability which support entrepreneurship education as well as specialty related knowledge (including being a mentor of student groups) that can be applied depending on the field of activity of the enterprise while tutoring in one or another field.
According to the evaluation of culture management graduates, entrepreneurship education does not form a set of competencies as a whole. Students are provided with narrow subskills rather than the teamwork skills necessary in entrepreneurship and the skills to independently solve tasks. The connection between the specialized courses for culture management in supporting entrepreneurial competencies was credited instead, however, also the theoretical focus of several courses related to economy and entrepreneurship. On the authority of the Lackéus model (2013b), these can be categorized as entrepreneurial competencies in the field of culture management, such as knowledge of creativity and opportunities; adapting to new situations, communication skills and strategic skills.
Half of the respondents do not consider what they acquired during their entrepreneurship education relevant in their job at the moment. Those who do consider so, have specified that they have benefitted from different knowledge – how to prepare a business plan, general entrepreneurial knowledge, knowledge regarding budget and fiscal issues, preparing selling strategies, etc.
Product development, marketing (including determining client profile and marketing channels), financial accounting and skills to prepare business and marketing plans were evaluated as important concerning entrepreneurship knowledge acquired from the university. Outside the box thinking, enterprising attitude in finding new professional opportunities, goal-setting skills, initiative, courage and open-mindedness were mentioned among the attitudes required in entrepreneurship that were developed during their studies.
Other courses across the culture management curriculum supporting the acquisition of entrepreneurship and competencies that were mentioned as valuable were on issues of law, media studies, project work, accounting and organizational courses with strategic planning. The skills related to organizing events that are gained during the placement, and carrying out the graduation paper are considered very important. Concerning the field-specific knowledge, it was the knowledge acquired through the courses of music criticism, play theories and intercultural communication that was highlighted.
Proceeding from their professional work, over half of the respondents have emphasized as “of paramount significance” the need to develop skills required for project management: skills to make long-term plans, seeing the big picture together with goal-setting and execution. The above relies on the sustainable allocation of different resources (money, acquaintances).
According to the graduates, it is important that students both develop general knowledge of being an entrepreneur and obtain narrower knowledge of types of organizations and functioning mechanisms, of organization management as well as legal knowledge and skills related to market research and data management. Pertaining to general skills, it is considered important that students develop openness, courage to try and fail, and planning skills, including goal-setting and analytic skills. Graduates evaluate that more attention must be paid to entrepreneurship within general courses on economy, marketing, negotiations techniques and, in connection with research, within the course of research methodology.
Concerning the school-related projects developing entrepreneurial skills, graduates brought out all of the various school events (concerts, plays, festivals), organized by both culture management students and the students of creative disciplines. They also mentioned practice placement performed in enterprises and organizations as well as graduation paper projects; the latter being public cultural events. Practical studies have thus a very important role in developing an enterprising attitude and skills and designing competencies.
Compiling teams during idea generation was seen as the biggest problem of entrepreneurship education because the choice could only be made between the students taking the course at the same time which could inevitably lead to the breakup of the team. They also brought out some problems regarding the administrative and information-related issues.
All things considered, it can be said that from the perspective of culture management graduates, the enterprising study culture primarily emerges in the joint events and practical studies across different disciplines, because this enable the implementation of actual team work and develops problem-solving skills. A suggestion resonated in the responses of the graduates: the different courses within entrepreneurship education must also be further tied to practical outcomes, like projects carried out in real life. However, it must be noted that the conditions of an educational institution do not enable the setting of an actual entrepreneurial environment, school can only provide prerequisites for it, but it is possible to generate simulation opportunities in a school environment. One of the major tasks of school is to create the theoretical entrepreneurship framework in as true-to-life situation as possible.
Conclusion and suggestions
In view of the present study, it is possible to assess the role of entrepreneurship education at higher educational institutions in developing global and regional economic climate through the integration of entrepreneurship education within the context of creative disciplines and present crisis situation. The Estonian entrepreneurship education for creative fields today is based on the triple helix concept (Martin and Etzkowitz, 2000), which has been studied after the example of the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy (Paes et al, 2014), thus providing favorable ground for the analysis of entrepreneurial competencies through follow-up studies (Männiste et al, 2018, Rõigas et al, 2019). Proceeding from the above and taking into consideration the characteristic features of entrepreneurship education from the perspective of creative economy, entrepreneurship education as a young discipline is in constant need for adaptation and changes.
In addition to earlier studies, a need emerged to analyze the evaluations provided by culture management graduates of the entrepreneurship education course they completed, because the necessity and practicality of entrepreneurship education is only recognized when faced with a specific work situation. The study results revealed that graduates apply the knowledge they had acquired from the entrepreneurship education, primarily, skills related to budgeting, preparing business and marketing plans, goal-setting, client communication and product development, marketing, management and initiation skills, courage and open-mindedness. Considering the courses of the culture management curriculum, half of the respondents deemed those relating to marketing the most important within the context of entrepreneurship; the relevant skills and knowledge obtained through the courses of project management, professional practice placement and while preparing the graduation paper were also emphasized.
The actual content of the curricula and the evaluations provided by the graduates also underline the importance of practice and event organization which, together with their specific courses, support entrepreneurial competencies the most. The analysis relying on program managers (Männiste et al, 2018) and the feedback from the graduates enable showcasing the opportunities, encouraging the further development and needs for development. The latter are not merely idiosyncratic of the culture management curriculum, they include, in broader perspective, the whole school, and provided there is sufficient common ground, they presumably allow being extended to both pedagogical and creative disciplines in general. As the main results of the study, the following conclusions and suggestions have been brought out:
- Questions addressing better linking between the theoretical and practical course of entrepreneurship education have been brought up. Due to the fact that the theoretical part is too extensively relying on general economics and classical entrepreneurship education rather than being directly based on the characteristic features of creative economy, it does not provide sufficient foundation knowledge in order to carry out entrepreneurship practice (or even to start with a real enterprise) related to creative economy.
- Methodological changes aiming to make entrepreneurship education more practical and lifelike, compared to its present, state and are therefore offering project learning as an example. There is also a need seen for greater and better merging concerning entrepreneurship education, which manifests itself in the integration of different courses both within a discipline and in interdisciplinary collaboration.
- Proceeding from the above, it is suggested that entrepreneurship education be better merged with projects across the university. When introducing and developing entrepreneurship education, it is important to take the specific characteristics of the educational institution into account, and skillfully use the inclusion model as well as strategic communication. Interdisciplinary collaboration renders better results when the curricula and the related practical activities have been connected, to a required extent, for productive entrepreneurship education.
- The goals of entrepreneurship education must be better communicated to students: what the purpose of entrepreneurship process simulation is, where it is possible to apply the acquired knowledge and skills later in life, etc. Students erroneously think that the purpose of this education is to establish a functioning enterprise or create a product/service that is successful on the market. At the same time, however, university offers support to those who have managed to put together a functioning team and actually wish to execute their business idea.
Questions for further discussion
- How do the gained experiences contribute to the creation of new companies and the self-realization of creative entrepreneurs?
- Does researching entrepreneurship education and describing a longer time series provide input for improving the quality of entrepreneurship education, thereby strengthening the image of creative entrepreneurship among students?
- How to effectively contribute to interdisciplinary cooperation within the learning process?
- Is the experience of cultural organizers necessary for other disciplines and can the field of research be extended in a similar way?
- Do the application of entrepreneurial competencies in the learning process and the cooperation of companies with the university create opportunities for creative economic specialization in small towns?
ABREU, M., GRINEVICH, V. (2014). Academic entrepreneurship in the creative arts. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 32(3), 451–470.
BACIGALUPO, M., KAMPYLIS, P., PUNIE, Y., VAN DEN BRANDE, G. (2016). EntreComp: The Entrepreneurship Competence Framework. Retrieved from http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC101581/lfna27939enn.pdf.
BJÖRKEGREN, D. (1996). The culture business: Management strategies for the arts-related business. London: Routledge.
CAREY, C., NAUDIN, A. (2006). Enterprise curriculum for creative industries students: An exploration of current attitudes and issues. Education+Training, 48(7), 518–531.
CHANG, J., RIEPLE, A. (2013). “Assessing students’ entrepreneurial skills development in live projects”. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 20 Iss 1 pp. 225 – 241
DAMASIO, M. J., BICACRO, J. (2017). Entrepreneurship education for film and media arts: How can we teach entrepreneurship to students in the creative disciplines? Industry and Higher Education, 31(4), 253–266.
FAYOLLE, A., GAILLY, B., LASSAS-CLERC, N. (2006). Assessing the impact of entrepreneurship education programmes: A new methodology. Journal of European Industrial Training, 30(9), 701–720.
FISHER, J. L., KOCH, J. V. (2008). Born, not made: The entrepreneurial personality. London: Praeger.
LACKÉUS, M. (2013a). Links between emotions and learning outcomes in entrepreneurial education. Paper presented at 22nd Nordic Academy of Management Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland, 21–23 August 2013.
LACKÉUS, M. (2013b). Developing entrepreneurial competencies: An action-based approach and classification in education. Gothenburg: Chalmers University of Technology.
MAN, T. W. Y, LAU, T., CHAN, K. F. (2002). The competitiveness of small and medium enterprises: A conceptualisation with focus on entrepreneurial competencies. Journal of Business Venturing, 17(2), 123−142.
MARTIN, B. R., ETZKOWITZ, H. (2000). The origin and evolution of the university species. Journal for Science and Technology Studies, 13(3–4), 9–34.
MITCHELMORE, S., ROWLEY, J. (2010). Entrepreneurial competencies: A literature review and development agenda. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 16(2), 92–111.
MÄNNISTE, T., RÕIGAS, A., ARASTE, L., MÄGER, M. (2018). Looverialade ettevõtlusõppe rakendumine ettevõtluspädevuste mudeli kontekstis. Eesti Haridusteaduste Ajakiri, nr 6(2), 180–211.
NIEUWENHUIZEN, C., NIEKERK, A. (2001). Entrepreneurship education for professionally qualified people. In R. H. Brockhaus, G. E. Hills, H. Klant, H. P. Welsch (Eds.), Entrepreneurship.
PAES, K., RAUDSAAR, M., RÕIGAS, A., BARKALAJA, A. (2014). “Total Entrepreneurship Education“ model for implementing entrepreneurial university concept: The case of Estonia in the field of creative industries. In L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres (Eds.), ICERI2014 Proceedings (pp. 3091–3099). Seville: IADIS Press.
RASMUSSEN, E. A., SØRHEIM, R. (2006). Action-based entrepreneurship education. Technovation, 26, 185–194.
RÕIGAS, A., MÄGER, M., KÄHRIK, A., MÄNNISTE, T. (2016). Viljandi Kultuuriakadeemia regiooni edendajana. Riigikogu Toimetised, 34, 55−70.
RÕIGAS, A., MÄNNISTE, T., ARASTE L., MÄGER, M. (2019). Entrepreneurship education in the study programme of professional youth programmes. In: Mike Seal (Ed.). Teaching youth work in higher education: tensions, connections, continuities and contradictions (188−204): Tartu Ülikooli Narva Kolledž.
SARASVATHY, D. K., SIMON, H. A., LAVE, L. (1998). Perceiving and managing business risks: Differences between entrepreneurs and bankers. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 33(2), 207–225.
SÁNCHEZ, J. C. (2011). University training for entrepreneurial competencies: Its impact on intention of venture creation. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 7(2), 239–254.
SEGAL, G., BORGIA, D., SCHOENFELD, J. (2005). The motivation to become an entrepreneur. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 11(1), 42–57.
Andres Rõigas is scientist of cultural enterpreneurship at Viljandi Culture Academy, Tartu Universtiy Estonia. MSc in Human Geography at the University of Tartu in 1997. Research areas are business and economic development, cultural economy and rural communities development. Earlier work experience is related to both state and local government institutions and therefore he is able to focus on public sector issues, project-based activities and regional politics.
Tiiu Männiste is a lecturer in cultural history at at University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy. PhD in Media and Communication Studies. Research areas are lifelong learning in a transforming society and enterpreneurship education studies in cultural economy areas.
Marju Mäger holds a Master degree in the field of music and culture management from the University of Tallinn, Estonia. In 1997-1998, she studied political sciences at WWU Münster, Germany, where her research topic was EU enlargement. From 1999 until 2004, Marju was a research fellow at the Institute for Future Studies in Tallinn, after which she studied (for two years) Government and Administration at University of Tallinn, Estonia. Since 2004, Marju works at University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy, as lecturer and programme manager of Culture Management, being involved in research and the development of the entrepreneurship programme at Viljandi Culture Academy.