programaemprendedorinnovaThe seventh edition of the Entrepreneur Programme has been inaugurated today in Cáceres. This pioneering leadership and business management training programme for the Extremadur-an tobacco community is sponsored by Philip Morris Spain in collaboration with the University of Extremadura (UEx) and the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, among other institutions.

The presentation session of this INNOVA Edition, which has taken place at the Faculty of Business, Finance and Tourism in Cáceres, was attended by the Dean of the Faculty, José Luis Coca; the Director-General of Vocational Training and University of the Regional Government of Extremadura, Juan José Maldonado; Ainhoa Capdevila, the Philip Morris Spain Communication and CSR manager, and Ricardo Hernández Mogollón, the Executive Director of the Entrepreneur Programme.

A group of 18 young people from the tobacco industry with concerns and desires of innovating in rural areas has been selected to participate in this new edition. According to Dionisio Serrano, a student of this new edition, “Participating in this Entrepreneur Programme is an opportunity to look towards the future of the sector. The inclusion of successful cases in this new edition will give us the momentum that any grower with the urge to innovate and grow needs.” The new students took up the torch of the students participating in the last edition, who were also present and who received an academic title certifying their participation in the Entrepreneur Programme.

After six editions, Philip Morris has once again counted on the team from the University of Extremadura (UEx), led by Ricardo Mogollón and Antonio Fernández Portillo, co-directors of the INNOVA edition. They have developed a programme with more advanced contents on this occasion and with a more flexible and dynamic format, based on the analysis of 25 successful cases of Spanish regions, such as La Rioja, the Canary Islands or Extremadura itself, as well as Portugal. These successful cases will give way to reflection and debate on behalf of the students with their teachers and with the key actor themselves and will be the basis of a methodology which content will pivot on axes such as open and hybrid innovation, precision farming 4.0, and digital economy business models, among others.

“In Philip Morris Spain we are committed to Extremadura and to tobacco of the 21st century. With initiatives such as the Entrepreneur Programme our aim is to generate inspiration, reflection and, above all, an innovative view in order to move forward together towards the future of the sector”, added Ainhoa Capdevila, the Philip Morris Spain Communication and CSR manager.

According to more than 100 students that have already attended past editions of the programme, this experience has marked a turning point in their personal as well as in their professional lives, allowing them to broaden their views as cultivators and to better understand their role within the value chain in a highly complex milieu that is in constant change.

According to Ricardo Hernández, one of the directors of this INNOVA edition of the Entrepreneur Programme who has talked about “Entrepreneurial Capacities-Opportunities, Values, and Attitudes” in the opening session, “Many of the students who have participated in past editions and who are now part of the INNOVA edition will now use the acquired knowledge and move on to reflection. The successful case format and the possibility to interact with the key actors is an ideal formula to make this possible”.
Training sessions will begin in December and will last until the end of February. One of the most important innovations is that for the first time, part of the training sessions will be taught at the University Campus of Cáceres, and another part of the training programme will take place at the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation’s headquarters, at the Royal Monastery of Yuste.