With the help of the former President of the Republic of Croatia and Croatia's representative in the International Olympic Committee Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, ZSEM is leading an elite international consortium to create an educational program for athletes

January 28th, 2022

The Zagreb School of Economics and Management (ZSEM) is leading the international Erasmus+ curriculum development project, i.e. the educational program for professional athletes and former athletes that will enable them to have new business careers after they have completed those sports.

In addition to ZSEM as the leader, the consortium of the project consists of the Olympic committees of Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the European Institute of Sports in Slovenia as well as two elite universities - the Stockholm School of Economics from Sweden, whose professors participate in the selection of Nobel Laureates and the German WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management & Euromasters, whose master's program for management has been listed by the respected Financial Times magazine among the top three in the world.

The MLEA (Micro Learning Entrepreneurship for Athletes) project will enable current and former athletes in the region to acquire the necessary business knowledge and skills to facilitate the transition from sports to business and entrepreneurial careers by developing specialized, tailor made programs. The focus of the program will therefore be precisely on the development of entrepreneurial and business skills, and the project is specific in that it will also include elements of gamification and micro learning methodology.

For years, the Stockholm School of Economics from Sweden and the German WHU- Otto Beisheim School of Management & Euromasters have been developing their world-renowned sports and management centers, which function as interdisciplinary research centres with expertise in a number of fields from management and marketing, to international business and finance. Through this project, ZSEM intends to lay the foundations for the creation of a similar sports center for Southeast Europe.

ZSEM's new international affairs adviser, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who became a member of the International Olympic Committee last year, will also be actively involved in the project. In her new position, the former Croatian President will support ZSEM's ambition to further expand international co-operation and engage even more actively in international projects.

"Since its inception, ZSEM has been internationally oriented, and we have been continuing to strengthen ties with the business schools and universities in the world. We believe that this global networking is one of our greatest qualities and unique values that we give to our students, which is why we want to continue to strengthen our international cooperation and our global recognition and position in the coming years. The arrival of Mrs Grabar-Kitarović on our team can undoubtedly help us significantly. We are glad that she will share her rich and valuable life and professional experience in previous positions with us and our students," explains Mato Njavro, Dean of ZSEM.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is a member of the International Olympic Committee and the Croatian Olympians' Club and is a great advocate of lifelong education.

"In the world, it is common for former presidents to engage in the field of education after the end of their political careers, and I am glad that I got such an opportunity. ZSEM's mode and ambitions for further development and international positioning have opened the door for our cooperation. It begins with a project related to sports and ZSEM's desire to position itself as a regional center for the education of athletes in the future. It is known that those relatively young people end their sports careers, and very often do not have adequate skills and knowledge that would allow them to develop equally successful business careers, so their potential often remains underutilized, which is a missed opportunity for them as individuals as well as for the community," says Grabar-Kitarović.