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Students from the 2016 Clinton International School work at the Fab Lab in Derry/Londonderry

Each summer the Clinton International Summer Program brings together accomplished university students from underserved communities around the world to promote entrepreneurship, business leadership and community engagement. The program helps prepare young leaders to advance positive change and development in their home countries. Drawing on Northern Ireland as a model for economic progress in a post-conflict society, emphasis is placed on acquiring the practical knowledge and real-world skills needed to return home and make a concrete, measurable economic and social difference.

Recognizing the importance of entrepreneurship and job creation as vital building blocks for sustaining peace and prosperity and the central role small businesses play in creating new jobs, this program seeks to equip participants with the knowledge and tools to develop critical new business or social entrepreneurship projects. As part of the student application process, attendees come to Belfast with a clear project idea, and the program affords them the opportunity to further refine that into a more fully developed Plan of Action.
Since 2015, The Clinton International Summer School has partnered with the INCORE at Ulster University.Through this partnership, the Clinton International Summer School at INCORE provides a structured learning opportunity to analyze the dynamic and constantly changing field of conflict transformation and peacebuilding. Focusing on the latest research and concepts in peace and conflict studies and practice, participants are invited to compare, contrast and learn from different perspectives. Specifically, the School will seek in 2016 to to advance peacebuilding through positive change and economic development.Expanding from a class of 12 in 2012, representing three countries, the 2013 Summer School had 16 students attend from 8 countries. This year’s students represent 10 countries, Croatia, India, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Ecuador, Romania and the United States, providing rich and diverse exposure for the 2014 participants.


The intensive week long Summer Program is held at the Magee Campus of Ulster University. The course begins by examining Northern Ireland’s past conflict and the political, social and economic challenges associated with rebuilding in a post-conflict society, allowing students to draw parallels between this experience and that of their home country.

Following this introduction, students are immersed in the study of key areas of business creation and the practical challenges associated with launching a new enterprise. Through the Clinton International Summer Program, students will acquire and enhance their entrepreneurial skills for practical application in their home communities.

To ensure topics are considered from various perspectives and viewpoints, sessions are led by a variety of academic experts, accomplished business and community leaders, successful social entrepreneurs, and other subject matterexperts. The program incorporates academic presentations, panels of experts for formal and informal discussions, collaborative group activities and individual workshops. Topics include management approaches, financial operations, marketing strategy, essentials of leadership, effective decision making, team building, negotiation, and business ethics. Program instruction and activities will be student centered and participatory, with the course culminating in a Final Student Project.

Local field trips will also be incorporated throughout the week so students can see first-hand the vital role that entrepreneurship plays in moving Northern Ireland forward toward sustainable growth and development.

Students at the 2015 Clinton International Summer School


To provide young leaders from economically and socially disadvantaged areas around the world the foundational knowledge, skills and abilities to help take their project from an idea to a reality, to the benefit of their home communities. To support the development of a new generation of leaders and build long-term and cooperative international ties among future business and community leaders through the Program’s ongoing participant communication initiatives.


The coursework is specifically designed to strengthen and formalize students’ understanding of relevant business concepts necessary to develop their business or social entrepreneurship project. Class days are topic-driven and begin by establishing the foundation for a subject through instructor-led presentations, discussions and case study analysis,thus giving students an academic framework for their project development. Building upon this groundwork, expert panel discussions and interactive Q&A sessions allow students to take a close-up and personal look at the concepts as they play out in a real-world business setting. A deeper understanding and analysis of the topic is further fostered through group activities when students join together to apply the knowledge gained in a productive, collaborative and student-centered approach. Hands-on workshops, and one-on-one counseling and mentoring focus on refining the student’s individual project plan to further solidify the knowledge and skills gained throughout the day. The week concludes each student presenting their Plan of Action to the group followed by review and feedback from experts and peers on next steps for implementation in their home communities.