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Sergio Arzeni

Biography Dr. Sergio Arzeni (Italy & France).
Dr. Sergio Arzeni
Dr. Sergio Arzeni

Sergio Arzeni is the Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Local Development of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France.

The Centre oversees the work of the Programme on Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED), the Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship, the Tourism Committee, the Caribbean Rim SME and Local Development Initiative, the Modules on Women Entrepreneurship and Fostering Entrepreneurship in the OECD-MENA (Middle East and Northern Africa) Project and the OECD-LEED Trento Center for Local Development in Italy.

As an economic journalist he has contributed to several Italian and international newspapers.

He holds a First Class Honours Degree in Political Science from the University of Rome and specialised in Industrial Economics at the International University Institute of Luxembourg and in International Economic Relations at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., USA.


Contact details

Sergio Arzeni
E-mail: sergio.arzeni@oecd.org   
Website: www.oecd.org


MODULE – Entrepreneurships, SMEs and Local Development


Objective

The course aims to show how public policies can spread a culture of entrepreneurship ensuring job and wealth creation. It will give participants a better understanding of how best new entrepreneurs can use public policies and social capital to gain a competitive advantage in creative and innovative industries as well as in global markets.

Short description

The course will explain the drivers for job and wealth creation which make countries, regions and cities competitive. The emerging trends of the 21st century will be set against a historical background that enables the understanding of success and failure in public policies and in the development of individual firms. Tools for entrepreneurship promotion such as business incubators, science and technology parks, venture capital, innovation centres, industrial clusters and local development agencies will be examined and discussed. A third strand will focus on the policies and initiatives set in motion by national governments and international organisations to make economies and societies more entrepreneurial. In this respect, policies to reduce red tape and corruption, to enact bankruptcy laws, to stimulate the internationalisation of small firms, the agglomeration effect and social capital, the enabling environment to high growth, new firms, the so called "gazelles" and the importance of externalisation for the competitiveness of firms and regions will be addressed in an interactive fashion with case studies.

Students organised in teams will discuss:

  • Pros and cons of entrepreneurship
  • Framework conditions for an entrepreneurial society and public policies
  • Tools for fostering entrepreneurship
  • Local development and the social dimension of entrepreneurship and creativity in a global world

Course structure

Part 1 – Entrepreneurship

  • Advantages and disadvantages of being an Entrepreneur. Students will be asked to interview an entrepreneur in their community and write-up their interview in a one-page report which includes answers to a defined set of questions.
  • Opportunity recognition and the crucial difference between an idea and an opportunity. Where others see problems, entrepreneurs recognize opportunities; thus students will have to explore what is frustrating in a neighbourhood, then generate at least 3 business opportunities from their findings and evaluate each of them with a SWOT analyses, and look at the entrepreneur as a problem solver to satisfy consumer needs. Entrepreneurial profiles: immigrant, minority, ethnic technological, woman, social, creative, franchising, part-time, underground, illegal, criminal, financial, youth, adult.

Part 2 – Framework conditions and Public Policies for Entrepreneurship and SMEs

  • The legal framework at the foundation of the entrepreneurial economy's success, reducing red tape and enacting efficient bankruptcy laws and the value signals stemming from government example.
  • Creating financial markets and exit routes which enable access to start-up (up to 300.000 US$); early stage (300.000 to 3 million US$) and venture capital stage (3 million US$ and upwards).
  • Providing public funding for basic research and thus allowing universities and labs the license for commercial use of any and all of the technologies developed with public money and strengthening intellectual property protection.
  • Investing in technically talented people and enabling them to move to high-growth news firms.
  • Opening new markets through deregulation of protected industries and investing in tangible and foremost intangible infrastructures such as education and training.

Part 3 – Tools for Entrepreneurship and SMEs

  • Business Incubators and Business Innovation Centres.
  • Science and Technology Parks.
  • Local Development Agencies and Local Partnerships.
  • Industrial Clusters and poles competitiveness.
  • Universities, Chambers of Commerce, Entrepreneurs Associations and the importance of role models.

Part 4 – Entrepreneurship and Local Development

  • The growing importance of externalities and the competitiveness of cities and regions.
  • The Mayor and the Governor as entrepreneurs of their communities.
  • The role of Universities in local development.
  • Territorial marketing and the attractiveness of the region.
  • Foreign Direct Investments and Local Development.
  • Local contexts, barriers and opportunities, for entrepreneurship development.

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