SPURT - Young entrepreneurs in the starting blocks

In 2016, the city of Kortrijk launched SPEK, a platform to stimulate entrepreneurship among students. The city received the support of the European Fund for Regional Cooperation.
This project is now being expanded and will also be renamed SPURT.

SPEK 2 will now become SPURT - Young entrepreneurs in the starting blocks, to help promote the entrepreneurial offer in the Kortrijk region to young people. The project will be extended to all higher education institutions in Kortrijk. All players are joining forces to convert the brain drain into a braingain within one strategy and to stimulate new forms of entrepreneurship.

Together with Leap Forward, a design & innovation group based in Hangar K, the focus of the project was determined in cooperation with all stakeholders and the target group, and guidelines were set out for the new branding.

Follow-up to SPEK

SPURT is the continuation of SPEK, which ran from September 2016 to August 2018. Student Platform Entrepreneurship Kortrijk laid the foundation for a cooperation between the colleges VIVES and Howest and the universities of Ghent and Kortrijk and a number of youth organisations. The intention was to stimulate entrepreneurship in the lessons of the universities of applied sciences. Specifically, the colleges and universities organise events and accompanying workshops for students who are interested in entrepreneurship.

Arne Vandendriessche, alderman for economics: "Two weeks ago it was announced that there are 811 student entrepreneurs in West Flanders. That is an increase of almost 39% compared to 2017, the largest in Flanders. So we have a lot of students in the house who want to do business. We should cherish them because they are the economic growth of tomorrow. That is why we are very happy to continue with this project and expand it ourselves.

Ecosystem shifts gear up

"With SPURT, we're now shifting up a gear. The project will be extended to all higher education institutions in Kortrijk. This is a new and very important step," says Kelly Detavernier, alderman of Education. "In addition, there will be a network of entrepreneurial coaches in all the courses that will actively guide student-entrepreneurs... All relevant players will join forces to present a joint, complementary and innovative annual plan, via a visual digital platform."

The city of Kortrijk has joined forces with the educational institutions Howest, VIVES, UGent Campus Kortrijk and KU Leuven Campus Kulak Kortrijk for this project. To this end, they are collaborating with Designregio Kortrijk, the Quindo youth radio station, but are also working closely with VOKA, Vlaio, Vlajo, Unizo, TUA West and an advisory group of young entrepreneurs.

682,642 euros will be made available for this project, of which 44,877 euros will come from the city. Howest and VIVES will contribute 48,720 €, UGent Campus Kortrijk 20,732 € and KU Leuven Campus Kulak Kortrijk 19,397 €. The city can count on financial support from Europe, the Flemish Minister of Economy, Hermes and the province of West Flanders.

ERDF Flanders contributes €273,056.50, the Flemish Minister for the Economy (Hermesfonds) €204,792.50 and the Province of West Flanders €22,527.

More information

Arne Vandendriessche, Company ships, 0478 34 78 32
Kelly Detavernier, alderman for education, 0479 68 67 45
Ellie Samyn, coordinator SPURT, 0491 86 66 89 or spurt@kortrijk.be


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