Oecon alumni gained a 360° view on entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship was seen from many different angles when the Oecon Association zoomed in on the concept at the annual Oecon Conference on 26 September. Practitioners and theorists debated the conditions for successful entrepreneurship in Denmark.

2015.09.29 | Ingrid Marie Fossum

Photo Gallery: Oecon Conference 2015

Video from the Oecon Conference 2015:

A lively atmosphere prevailed, and there was plenty of good advice to be had when approximately 80 alumni and employees from the Department of Economics and Business Economics were gathered at the annual Oecon Conference on Saturday 26 September. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Entrepreneurship 360° Denmark’s entrepreneurial conditions - good or bad?’

“At this year’s conference, we try to let the different perspectives on entrepreneurship challenge one another; the structural perspective, the perspective which focuses on the entrepreneur, the reseacher’s perspective and the government perspective, which largely lays down the overall framework. In other words, we try to cover the topic from different angles, and that’s why we’ve named the conference Entrepreneurship 360°,” Anders Carøe Bylling, chairman of the Oecon Association, explains.

Following the chairman’s welcome, a status on the degree programme in economics by the Director of Studies Charlotte Christensen as well as an introduction given by professor and economic advisor Michael Svarer, the day offered a series of speakers who shared their expert knowledge with the audience.

Discuss your business plan with others

The founder of Whiteaway.com, Johannes Gadsbøll, and Chairman of the Danish Entrepreneur Association, Christian Walther Øyrabø, offered advice based on their years of entrepreneurial experience. The best advice which Christian Walther Øyrabø can offer those who consider starting their own business is that it is not enough simply to develop a business plan:

“It’s important to talk your idea through with others. Work in teams and go through the business from A to Z.”

Another good tip is to save up a bit of money:

“When you start up your own business, it’s important to cut down on your expenses and start putting money aside a year or so in advance. In this way, you avoid sleepless nights when you first become an entrepreneur and have no money,” says Christian Walther Øyrabø. [Hear more from Christian Walther in this video.]

Denmark has many entrepreneurs but few successful ones

Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Business and Growth, Jens Lundsgaard, presented the audience with numbers showing that Denmark boasts a high number of entrepreneurs. However, the number of companies which actually survive is somewhat smaller. Therefore, Jens Lundsgaard’s main message is that we must ensure that entrepreneurs are competent from the outset so that they can be more productive and survive in the long run.

The CEO of the Danish Growth Fund, Christian Motzfeldt, offered several examples of emerging companies which have achieved great success both nationally and internationally with capital from the Danish Growth Fund. He also pointed out that while good management can take you far, certain fields, e.g. medical technology, demand that you have a good product.

The 2015 Oecon award goes to...

The Oecon Conference also announced the winner of the Oecon Award. Both employees and students at the Department of Economics and Business Economics had chosen Christoffer Strandby Christensen as a worthy winner of the DKK 20,000 which was presented to him by Morten Amtrup:

“Christoffer receives the award for this year’s graduate in Economics and Management because of his selfless, constructive and thorough work in a long range of voluntary associations and fora during his studies. This work started more or less as soon as Christoffer was admitted to the programme, and it has been noticed by his fellow students as well as university staff who have nominated Christoffer for the award.”

“I think it’s great honour to receive this year’s graduate award from people who have been through the same as me and who knows what it takes,” says Christoffer Strandby Christensen and continues:

“At the same time, it’s also an honour to be named ambassador of the programme. I’m hoping to carry this on in the future.”

A reunion of former classmates

In between the presentations, there was also time for a chat with former classmates.

“The great thing about coming back to Aarhus University is first of all to meet former classmates and to exchange experiences and ideas in relation to where you are today. And also to connect with people who are a bit further ahead in their career than me and and my classmates,” says Morten Teilmann Knudsen from Telenor.

The Oecon Conference finished with the annual meeting of the Oecon Association and a celebration dinner at Centralværkstedet.

Knowledge exchange, Public/media
Tags: alumnenyt
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