Experiential learning, new venture creation, strategic entrepreneurship, knowledge and competency in the university context

John L. Thompson, Jonathan Scott, David A. Gibson

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    In this paper, by analysing two different entrepreneurship education programmes in the UK, we explore how experiential entrepreneurial learning can be optimised while students engage in parallel in actually creating a new venture. Until both programmes are properly up-and running - with graduates – both programmes started in 2009 - it will not be possible to draw firm conclusions about the types of business being started. This paper describes how research, experience and anecdotal evidence was used to develop two degrees. Progress will be the subject of reflective, longitudinal research to evaluate the relevant propositions. We identified four important issues arising from our analysis. First, a clear importance within these programmes that students start a real business, rather than just learn with cases or participate in simulations, business games, or role plays. In addition, we see a need to capture the learning with a portfolio. Second, there remains a debate about whether such a pedagogical intervention is best achieved at Undergraduate (Bachelor’s) or Postgraduate (Master’s) level. However, an important point about these programmes is that students can still graduate because there is a valuable learning experience in business start up to capture in a portfolio. Third, it remains unclear whether entrepreneurship (as opposed to enterprise skills) should be in the curriculum or adjunct to it. Or, indeed, whether the optimal situation is to have entrepreneurship as both part of the curriculum and adjunct to it. Fourth, it is important to recognise the potential of collaboration between 'complementary' Universities and the building of a sharing community, something of a federation which might grow over time, grounded with reference to entrepreneurial universities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010
    Event3rd International FINPIN Conference - Joensuu
    Duration: 1 Apr 2010 → …


    Conference3rd International FINPIN Conference
    Period1/04/10 → …


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