Slovenščina English (United Kingdom)

Spletna revija IBS Poročevalec je namenjena domačim in tujim znanstvenikom, raziskovalcem, strokovnjakom, študentom in praktikom na področjih mednarodnega poslovanja, trajnostnega razvoja, tujih jezikov in javne uprave. Najpomembnejši del IBS Poročevalca je objava recenziranih znanstvenih, raziskovalnih, strokovnih in poljudnih člankov, ki obravnavajo teme kot mednarodno poslovanje, trajnostni razvoj, organizacija, pravo, okoljska ekonomika in politika, trženje, raziskovalne metode, menedžment, korporativna družbena odgovornost in druga področja.


IBS Mednarodna poslovna šola Ljubljana

Vabimo vse, ki bi želeli prispevati v IBS poročevalec, da se nam oglasijo s prispevki na

2022 > Letnik 12, št. 1


natisni E-pošta

Every society needs good entrepreneurs - both to increase added value in new and existing companies, as well as to increase entrepreneurial activities in the public sector.

For young people today, entrepreneurship is no longer just a career choice, but is becoming an increasingly attractive way of life. They are constantly on the lookout for new opportunities. They focus on various activities, and are undoubtedly influenced by the success stories of domestic and foreign entrepreneurs.
At the same time, the development of one's own business idea also means self-affirmation and realization of ambitions, independence and creativity at work. Great potential is represented by start-up entrepreneurship.

The article presents the national and local support environment for the development of entrepreneurial ideas. Excerpts from a survey conducted in the Dolenjska region are also presented. We were interested in how well young people know start-up entrepreneurship and if they would like to become entrepreneurs themselves.
Key words: entrepreneurship, young people, start-up company, supportive environment

Vsaka družba potrebuje dobre podjetnike – tako za večanje dodane vrednosti v novih in že obstoječih podjetjih, kot tudi večanje podjetniške dejavnosti v javnem sektorju.

Za mlade podjetništvo dandanes ni več samo karierna izbira, pač pa postaja vse bolj privlačen način življenja. Nenehno so v iskanju novih priložnosti. Usmerjajo se v različne dejavnosti, nanje pa nedvomno vplivajo tudi zgodbe o uspehu domačih in tujih podjetnikov.

Hkrati razvoj lastne poslovne ideje pomeni tudi samodokazovanje in uresničitev ambicij, samostojnost in kreativnost pri delu. Velik potencial predstavlja start-up podjetništvo. 

V članku je predstavljeno državno in lokalno podporno okolje za razvoj podjetniških idej. Predstavljeni so tudi izvlečki iz raziskave, ki je bila izvedena v dolenjski regiji. Zanimalo nas je, kako dobro mladi poznajo start-up podjetništvo in če bi se želeli tudi sami podjetniško udejstvovati.
Ključne besede: podjetništvo, mladi, start-up podjetje, podporno okolje

Entrepreneurship is and will continue to be the main driver of every economically developed country. According to the predictions of Perry Timms, a HR futurist, the traditional eight-hour workday will slowly die out, and contracts for an indefinite period will become very rare. We will specialize in work at which we will be good, we will look for projects and clients ourselves. As many as 80% of people will have an entrepreneurial status (Dakić, 2016).

Education is also an important factor in adapting to the “new times” to come. However, the question arises as to whether today's school curricula are already adapted to the requirements of the modern digital age, as different skills are needed today than those offered by the school system. It is increasingly important to think for yourself, be creative in finding ideas and solving challenges, think critically and be able to express your opinion clearly. We are convinced that today's youth see their future in entrepreneurship and want opportunities to develop their potential. The article also presents the findings of a research, by which this has been confirmed.

The purpose of the article is to present a supportive environment available to young people on their path to entrepreneurship. In our region there are many opportunities, programmes and solutions for the development of entrepreneurial ideas at the national level (start-up programmes, "coworking", business angels, various entrepreneurial projects, entrepreneurial fund), as well as at the local environment (Novo mesto Development Centre and Start-up Novo mesto). There is also more to be done in the educational process.

 A start-up is most often a newly founded, small but fast-growing company. Young entrepreneurs set it up with the aim of seeking, developing and validating a scalable business model, developing and creating a new product or service. In principle, this product or service does not yet exist anywhere on the market, so it is an innovative business idea. With a carefully designed business strategy, the company wants to achieve fast and high initial growth and high earnings. A very important factor in this form of entrepreneurship is also the relaxed working climate among the young startuppers, which contributes to a better way of doing business. Startuppers are also characterized by a high level of cooperation and integration, as start-up companies are often created and developed in "coworking" systems and business incubators.

 Motivational meetings are events that are organized throughout Slovenia. Experienced start-ups share their knowledge, recipes for success and also describe the dangers of failure. The purpose of the meetings is to motivate, connect and train future start-uppers or talented individuals before further launching their own start-up. Motivational meetings are organized by several different communities, such as Start-up Associations, Initiative, Young Entrepreneur, Creator, Accelerator and others.

Student competitions - student competitions vary between different levels of competition. This can take place only within a closed group (students of higher vocational colleges) or in the form of a much larger global student competition Imagine Cup (Student Developer Competition) where more than 450,000 students from all over the world are competing for the "Oscars of Innovation". The competition is a great springboard that provides companies with excellent media recognizability. During the preparation and the competition, young people can gain new skills, find mentorship, and forge a network of connections with entrepreneurs that will benefit them when starting their own business.

»Coworking« is a term that describes the working environment by bright, creative people who are either self-employed or work for different employers but share an office on a temporary or permanent basis. They do not only share the office and the equipment but also their ideas, and knowledge. The concept enables entrepreneurs to gain insight into the operation in a different way through networking, cooperation and networking with companies of the same profession, thus enabling better quality project implementation. They gain new experiences, ideas, get involved in new projects. In this way, the transfer of knowledge and experience is also improved (Orel, 2015).

Geek House is an initiative that has developed in several locations across Slovenia. The community operates in Ljubljana and elsewhere in the country. They offer a variety of business workshops, act as an accelerator, offer various premises to newly emerged start-ups, host appearances in the data centre, business support.

Podim is a non-profit platform founded in 1980 and run by Tovarna podjemov. Podim organizes events where 1,000 representatives of start-ups and scale-ups, established international investors, representatives of large corporations and other stakeholders of the start-up ecosystem gather annually and presents an opportunity for effective networking, business deals and exchange of experiences. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event has been held in a virtual form for the last two years, and with the normalization of the situation, it is expected to return to its original form of physical meetings. Podim conference is one of the 30 best start-up events in Europe.  

Start-up weekends - this is a fun entrepreneurial weekend event that anyone can attend. It usually starts with an introductory motivational lecture, which presents a success story of an entrepreneur and, if possible, is based on a start-up weekend. At the event itself, participants are divided into teams and start looking for an innovative idea. Each team member contributes to the best possible realization of the idea with his knowledge and ideas. In the following, they process the idea with the most modern methodologies and present the company's business model. In the local environment, this project is being implemented at Start-up Novo mesto, where the project has been assessed as very successful.

POPRI Competition has been promoting and supporting entrepreneurship among young people for more than a decade. Every year, a competition is organized in three age categories: primary school students (young people from 7th to 9th grade), high school and university students and other young people up to 29 years of age who do not yet have a registered company. Each of the competitors applies for the competition with their innovative idea, which they describe in detail through the canvas business model (through the nine building blocks of this model). Each year, the committee that evaluates the presentation of an innovative idea includes various entrepreneurs employed in important positions in the company, teachers and other entrepreneurship professionals who select ten semi-finalists from each age category. Competitors gain experience of public speaking; rankings in the first three places bring points to obtain a Zois scholarship. The winners are awarded rich prizes, the first three ranked student teams get the opportunity to travel to the US and participate in the Genius Olympiad competition. Last year the competition took place in a virtual environment, and this year more than 1,200 projects and 2,000 students from different countries from around the world are expected to participate.

Štartaj Slovenija (Start Slovenia) is a project under the patronage of three partners - Spar Slovenia, POP TV and the advertising agency Formitas Creative, which gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to start a business. Spar helps develop the product, POP TV presents success stories and delivers the first order to Interspar, while the advertising agency takes care of advertising and communication via traditional and digital media. The agency also helps entrepreneurs with packaging design and marketing. So far, 44 entrepreneurs with 200 products have received this opportunity.

Razvojni center Novo mesto (Novo mesto Development Centre) was established with the aim of developing entrepreneurship, establishing a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and connecting development partners with an effective network of qualified staff. As part of its tasks, it organizes and implements various educational programmes and projects in the field of entrepreneurship, which are intended for pupils, students, potential entrepreneurs and start-up entrepreneurs, start-up companies in the south-eastern Slovenian region. The aim is to promote an entrepreneurial mindset, acquire the necessary competencies, create new jobs, reduce youth unemployment and make it easier for them to enter the labour market.

Start-up Novo mesto is a community within which individuals connect and realize their entrepreneurial desires. It represents a simple link between young people, their ideas and between different educational institutions (primary schools, secondary schools and different faculties) and the economy. The company offers a supportive environment for young Slovenian companies and also represents a link with foreign countries.

When young people decide to found a start-up company, funding for such a venture is one of the first questions. In Slovenia today, there are quite a few possibilities for public sources of financing.
Slovene Enterprise Fund

The fund offers start-ups several forms of financing for different development phases: start-up incentives, seed capital, venture capital for global growth, microcredits and also bank loan guarantees.
Start-up incentives are aimed at innovative companies that are at the beginning of the path and have the potential for growth. The company develops innovative products, processes and services with high added value. Seed capital is intended for young companies to enter the market. These are companies that are showing growth potential in global markets, developing new products and increasing the number of employees. Venture capital includes entry into the ownership structure and management of the company together with private investors. Microcredits are intended to finance smaller investments. The company has access to favourable financing and the possibility of smooth operations as well as further growth and development. Other products include guarantees and special incentives.

Start-ups can also receive content support, e.g. through vouchers intended to promote small values for various topics such as training abroad, digital competence development, digital marketing, cyber security, internationalization, visits to fairs abroad, market research, prototyping … Companies increase their competencies by acquiring vouchers and competitiveness.

Business Accelerators
Entrepreneurial talents are looking for optimal working conditions, experienced mentors and investors or access to capital, and above all a constructive and stimulating environment where they can focus 100% on developing their ideas and building a successful company. Business accelerators help them with this. Among the most interesting in Slovenia for young people is certainly Geek House, where ambitious and daring ideas of talented future entrepreneurs find their co-working space.

Business Angels
The Club of Business Angels has been in existence since 2007. It brings together the most ambitious entrepreneurs who have extensive entrepreneurial experience, vast knowledge and social capital (smart money). They have connections with start-up ecosystems around the world. Business angels are ready to help and participate in the design and development of fast-growing companies. To this end, they closely monitor start-up teams, from their interpersonal relationships, through ideas, business plans and strategies.

They are prepared to invest exclusively in those start-ups that have innovative ideas and potential for growth in the international arena and are willing to work hard for their success. Such companies should place Slovenia on the map of successful locations for young start-ups. Experienced business angels also know that they will have to wait for the return on their investment, so they can be a source of “smart and patient capital”.

Business Incubators
The purpose of business incubators is to provide support to all those who have an entrepreneurial idea, want to realize it, and need help in overcoming initial problems. For a certain period, newly established companies have access to facilities, consulting, expertise from various fields - marketing, management, finance, technical networking knowledge, under favourable conditions. They can also help in finding staff, sources of funding, connections with potential investors. 

One of the forms of financing start-ups is also mass financing or the so-called crowdfunding. It is a way of raising funds to finance projects and companies, and it allows you to raise money from more people through online platforms. The power of the web lies in wide insight and access to new markets and new customers. Online platforms allow for interaction between fundraisers and the public. The platforms should provide a secure and user-friendly service. Many platforms operate on the principle of "all or nothing" - if the goal is not achieved, the money must be returned to investors. There are several forms of crowdfunding, e.g. mutual loans, grants, profit sharing, hybrid models …

For eight years in a row, we have been carrying out a project for our students which we named Entrepreneurial Thinking. It is our desire to connect education and the real world of entrepreneurship as much as possible, to equip students with knowledge and skills in the field of entrepreneurship and thus increase the quality of the educational process. The purpose of the project is for students to learn about the process of developing an entrepreneurial idea, acquire basic entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, and learn about the importance of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship - qualities that are sought after in the labour market. In the project we are cooperating with the Novo mesto Development Centre, the Novo mesto Start-up Community and individual entrepreneurs. The project is cross-curricular and involves four lecturers. Students get acquainted with the concept of canvas business model, design thinking and lean entrepreneurship, and on this basis develop their entrepreneurial idea.

Lean Entrepreneurship
A lot of work and various activities are involved in the development of an entrepreneurial idea, and each of them requires its own time. One of the ways to save time and money for a start-up is certainly the method of lean entrepreneurship. The pioneer of the introduction of a lean approach in production was the Japanese businessman Taiichi Ohno in Toyota, and from the field of production this model has spread to other areas such as sales, software development … It is the development of a product, service or process co-created by a group of people who will use it. By eliminating redundant resources and working resources, we must still achieve higher added value for the user. The principle of doing more with less applies. The basic tool of the approach is the lean canvas, which is also available on the Internet and allows us to build a service, product or process quickly and concisely. The production of such a framework in comparison with the business plan takes much less time, we can share it and we always have it with us. With the help of sticky notes, we supplement it with ideas based on market findings (interviews) (Maurya, 2014, 39).

Design Thinking
Design thinking offers an innovative approach to solutions in creating user-friendly products and services. It allows companies to understand the business from the perspective of their customers and users, helping them to create competitive advantages. It is based on finding and creating solutions that meet their actual needs. The process covers five stages of problem research:
- Empathize – the team tries to get an understanding of their user’s problem.
- Define – an actual definition of the user’s problem resolved.
- Ideate – the team generates a range of creative ideas to solve the problem.
- Prototype – the team elaborates a prototype of the solution.
- Test – the prototype is tested and the results are monitored.
- Implement – students put the vision into effect.
Creativity with the help of design thinking generates useful solutions, which in turn generate long-term stability and success.

design thinking method
Figure 1: Design Thinking Method (Karl, 2020)

Business Model Canvas
The business model is about how a company manages its resources, generates positive cash flow and increases its value. The business model Canvas consists of nine building blocks: value proposition, customer segments, distribution channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partners and cost structure (Savić, 2014, 129–130).
It is necessary to approach the design of the Canvas in an interdisciplinary and team manner. According to these building blocks, the students develop an idea and change it if necessary (change the post-it notes on each building block).

business model canvas
Figure 2: Business Model Canvas (Monaco, 2019)

Value Proposition – the company knows who will be the user or which problem they solve. The products or services will create value for a certain segment of customers. who are willing to pay for the product; it will cover costs and make the business profitable.

Customer Segments – it is necessary to know the user's characteristics, needs, problems, desires and goals. They are divided into segments according to their age, income … At this stage, it is highly recommended to design the so-called personas - fictional characters that represent the group of users whose problem is being solved. The persona is imaginary, but it needs to be based on as much real data as possible. Data on persons are supplemented and upgraded by conducting interviews and tests and serve as a guide in finding a solution to the problem.

Distribution Channels - students must also determine the channels by which the customers will be reached, e.g. own physical or online store, own sales team or through partners, or a combination of both. Which work best and which are most cost efficient? They also need to consider how customers will be able to receive effective after-sales services.

Customer Relationships: what kind of relationships do our customers expect us to establish and maintain with them? Customers must first be acquired, existing ones must be maintained, and the number of users and revenues must grow in both groups.

Revenue Streams should be defined and an answer found as to what value or price the customers are really prepared to pay, at what price they are buying now, how do they want to pay and how it all contributes to the company’s revenue. Revenues can be brought by the purchases, user fees, subscriptions, rents, royalties, brokerage fees, advertising …

Key Resources - they can be material (equipment, machinery), human, financial or intellectual (patents, trademarks, business services …). They are needed to create and deliver value to customers, maintain relationships with them, and generate revenue.

Key Activities such as development, sales, technical and marketing activities … are the ones the company carries out in creating and distributing value for the customer, in establishing and maintaining a relationship with users and generating revenue. A start-up company must be careful that these costs are not too high for it.

Key Partners - in setting up key partners students consider what and how to do something cheaper, with whom they can share the costs, how to access resources that the company does not have …. It is definitely necessary to reduce business risks and uncertainties.

Cost Structure: it is necessary to define fixed and variable costs that are related to the chosen business model as well as which key activities and resources are the most expensive. The use of funds and cash flows must be carefully monitored, as the ultimate goal of every company is to generate revenue or profit.

At the end of the project, students compete in "pitches". The competition for the most innovative entrepreneurial idea is held either at the college, at the Novo mesto Development Centre or at the Podbreznik Business Incubator, and once it was also held at the Qlandija shopping centre in Novo mesto. Students present their business ideas in front of a 3-member expert jury, which is primarily interested in the innovativeness of the idea, its potential in the market and the presentation of the idea itself. The greatest experience or the reward for the participants is the fact that they have completed the process of how to take the first steps into the world of entrepreneurship and how to get a realistic response from the market.


Among young people from south-eastern Slovenia and the Posavje region, we conducted research in the form of a survey, which included 100 respondents, mostly aged 15 to 25 (89% of respondents). We checked how well they know start-up entrepreneurship and if they would be willing to go on an independent entrepreneurial career path. We also asked them about the importance of "co-working" premises in the local environment.

Respondents pointed out that entrepreneurs are credited with qualities such as perseverance, communicativeness, creativity, diligence, ingenuity and determination. 58% of respondents believe that they themselves are also entrepreneurially oriented. They gained their first experience with entrepreneurship at school or college, some also from employers.

More than half of the respondents (52%) want a job in some stable company more than to become independent entrepreneurs. 41% would like to engage in or try their own entrepreneurial activity, while 7% of respondents are already engaged in their own entrepreneurial activity.

We also asked why respondents would like to become entrepreneurs. This was an open question and as many as 203 answers were provided. 18 (6.1%) respondents answered that they do not want to become entrepreneurs. Other responses, however, were distributed equally. Most, 53 (18%) answered that they would like to become entrepreneurs due to new challenges, and less often the following answers were chosen: flexible working hours - 52 respondents (17.7%), so that I can be my own boss - 50 respondents (17.1%), due to more dynamic work - 49 respondents (16.7%) and due to better earnings - 41 respondents (14%). 30 respondents (10.2%) stated that they wanted to develop their entrepreneurial idea.
There were also several answers to the question of what you would need to start your business idea. In total, respondents submitted 203 responses. Most of them pointed out that they would need money (69 respondents) to start their business idea, the second most frequently chosen answer was knowledge (51 respondents), and information was also close to 49 answers. 27 respondents stated they would need mentorship.

We were further interested in whether respondents would be willing to join a team and participate in the development of an entrepreneurial idea. One of the important qualities of an entrepreneur is that they are capable of working in a team. More than half, 53.7%, answered in the affirmative.

About one third of the respondents are well acquainted with the concept of entrepreneurship, one fifth of the respondents have even participated in an entrepreneurial event (e.g. start-up weekend). We found that 60% of respondents know at least one successful start-up company, they pointed out both local companies (SmartNinja, LaceNano, Hemptuoch) and internationally renowned companies (Talking Tom, Prezi, Nelipot …).
Respondents believe that young entrepreneurs in the Novo mesto area have good opportunities for entrepreneurship (score 3.23 on a five-point scale). They are well acquainted with the supportive environment in the region and the services offered to entrepreneurs by the Novo mesto Development Centre and the Podbreznik Business Incubator.

26% of respondents said that they would attend entrepreneurial groups and other entrepreneurial events if these were organized. 22% of all said that they would not attend these events, and more than half (52%) answered that they would attend events occasionally, which is very important. If the events and clubs are organized in an interesting and educational way, it is possible that over time more and more of those who would attend the events from time to time will "move" to a group that would come regularly. A creative entrepreneurial space is the foundation for starting to promote entrepreneurship in some place. As many as half of the respondents (50) said that a creative space would encourage them to develop their own ideas.

With their answers, young people proved that they see themselves in entrepreneurship mainly because they like new challenges, more dynamic work, flexible working hours, a relaxed and creative work environment, and also because of higher earnings. The research also confirmed that the "co-working" space is undoubtedly necessary and that young people would be willing to develop their entrepreneurial ideas. The government should also encourage them with financial incentives and a business-friendly environment.
A very important part of the supportive environment is represented by educational institutions, so we have also taken the initiative to the Association of Higher Vocational Colleges to organize a competition in the field of entrepreneurship for students.

Athuraliya, A. 2022. The Easy Guide to the Business Model Canvas. Available from [23. 3. 2022].   
Baza znanja. 2022. Kaj nudijo inkubatorji. Available from [25. 3. 2022].
Dakić, L. 2019. Vsi bomo morali postati podjetniki. Available from [24. 3. 2022].  
European Commission. 2022. Crowdfunding Explained. Available from [27. 3. 2022].
Karl. S. 2020. The Design Thinking Process – How does it work? Available from [27. 3. 2022]
Kos B. 2022. Vitki okvir in poslovni okvir – canvas za poslovni model. Available from [26. 3. 2022].
Monaco, F. 2019. What is a Business Model Canvas? Available from [25. 3. 2022].
Orel, M. in Matjaž E. 2015. Coworking kot alternativa za ponoven zagon gospodarstva v ljubljanski občini. Ljubljana: Zavod Poligon.  
Podim. Fostering Innovation About Podim 2022. Available from [25. 3. 2022].
Podjetniški inkubator Podbreznik – Razvojni center Novo mesto. 2022. Available from [25. 3. 2022]
Popri. 2022. Tekmovanje v podjetniških idejah mladih. Available from [23.3.2022].
Poslovni angeli. 2022. Available from [25. 3. 2022].
Razvojni center Novo mesto. 2019. 9. Startup vikend. [25. 3. 2022].
Razvojni center Novo mesto. Kdo smo. 2022. Available from  [26. 3. 2022].
RC IKT – Razvojni center za informacijske in komunikacijske tehnologije. 2022 Podjetniška podpora. Available from [26. 3. 2022].
Savić M. 2014, Oblikovanje poslovnih modelov. Kje se skriva ključ do debelih vrednosti v prodornih organizacijah. Ljutomer: dŠola.
Slovenski podjetniški sklad. 2020. Podjetniški pospeševalniki. Available from [25.3. 2022]
Start:up Slovenia. 2022. Prijavi se na razpis. Available from [24. 3. 2022]
Sart:up Slovenia. 2022. Podjetniški sklad. Available from [25. 3. 2022]  
Vabšek S. 2015. Kanvas namesto poslovnega načrta in o tem, kako izgraditi uspešen poslovni model? Available from [27. 3. 2022]
Žagar A. 2022. Mlade vse bolj privlači podjetništvo. Available from [25. 3. 2022]
Zupan Š. 2019. Maja Tomanič Vidovič: V podjetništvu moraš biti malo bojevnika. Available from [24. 3. 2022]