Immersive Entrepreneurship Education: comparing and contrasting different approaches

Immersive Entrepreneurship Education: comparing and contrasting different approaches

From 05/05/16 10:00 until 05/05/16 16:00

At Coventry University

Posted by Lynn O'Byrne

Categories: EEUK Event

Hits: 2634

EntEdUK logo no strap            coventry logo small


**Get a flavour of this event from the Storify - click here to view**.

Slides can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.


This one day event enabled delegates to:

Background and summary

It is widely accepted that one of the most effective ways of learning how to do something is to actually have a go at doing it. For many years entrepreneurship has been taught within the curriculum in universities and colleges. In parallel, students have often been encouraged to start a business with extra-curricular support. However, a step change was needed to enable students to practice entrepreneurship as part of their curriculum programme rather than as an optional extra.

The change came about with the introduction of Venture Creation Programmes (VCPs) where students are immersed in entrepreneurship by starting and running a real venture as an essential component of their curricular programme. The first VCP was introduced at North Carolina State University in 1995 and, in 2006, the University of Buckingham introduced the first VCP in the UK. More can be read about VCPs here.

Also in the mid-1990s, Team Academy (TA), another immersive model was introduced in Finland. TA has been adopted by 5 universities in the UK, including UWE which currently has more than 100 undergraduates on the programme.  In this model there are no classrooms, lecturers and few academic ‘subjects’.  All learning is self-directed and working for customers is the engine that drives the process of seeking out knowledge.  Each participant joins a team and the task of the team is to find customers and deliver work that meets customer expectations, and make profit. There is more about TA here.

Edinburgh Napier University has explored the TA approach and is developing a further refinement. There will be a two year 'foundation' and then a two year TA 'top up' which will include direct entrants from colleges and recruits from across the university during their second year. The rationale is that it will facilitate collaborative knowledge based businesses from the students’ first two years of learning, followed by nurturing of the concepts through the TA philosophy over the second two years.

Speakers and contributors:

The slides from this events can be downloaded below.