Central to the course is an understanding of the unique historical and economic environments in each country and their impact on the business ecosystem. In Madrid, the students consider the role of startups in the economic recovery that followed Europe’s “Great Recession.” Later, the group travels to Sarajevo and analyzes the entrepreneurial environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a transition economy and emerging market with a complex post-war administrative structure, currently recognized as a potential candidate for EU accession.
The multi-city course, developed and led by Accent faculty from the University of Alcalá and University of Sarajevo, helps students to understand the role of the European Economic Area, its policies, and their impact on small and medium enterprises. With the support of local startup accelerators classes are complemented with several hands-on activities. Highlights include on-site lectures led by entrepreneurs and business experts, and visits to museums and local companies.
Together with a historical overview of both countries, the course sets the framework necessary for students to achieve their final academic goal: a consulting project aimed to provide Madrid and Sarajevo startups with professional consulting on a particular aspect of their young businesses. As student consultants, small groups work to analyze two companies based in Madrid and Sarajevo – both operating in the same sector – and present each with a series of recommendations to improve operations and guide future strategy.