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University to Provide Business Education for Schoolchildren

Daria Shipacheva

Moscow State University began an educational program Sunday for high-school students to stimulate early interest in entrepreneurship.

The PRE.Incubator program, which is being run by the university's economics department, is intended for children in grades eight through 11. After completing the program, students will be able to receive funding for starting their own business.

On the first day of the program, more than 80 participants were invited to take part in a game that illustrated the main aspects of running a real business project: planning, operational control, marketing, logistics, human resources and financial management. One of the main goals was to show the complexities of managing an actual business.

"We are at a stage when the world's leading classical universities are obtaining features of business schools, with a more practical approach to education," said Natalya Ivaschenko, head of the department's innovative economy section. "Our department is following this global trend, and PRE.Incubator is part of that."

PRE.Incubator is a joint project between the innovative economy section and Center Ltd., a company that attracts seed money from external sources, including the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, to support entrepreneurs.

"PRE.Incubator is a program aimed at establishing a project- and practice-oriented mindset among schoolchildren," program director Alexander Morozov said.

Morozov said the program is designed for three to four years. In the first year, students will be exposed to the basics of project management. The second year will be devoted to work with real entrepreneurs.

During the third year, participants will be able to develop their own business project, and the program will help them obtain initial funding.

"We are going to assist them with receiving City Hall grants and provide funding from our sources," he said.

Apart from the business experience the students will gain, participation in the program should help them study when they go to college.

"I hope all of you will be admitted to our department," Ivaschenko told them. "Experience gained in this program will make you more prepared for university courses."

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