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Completed Projects

The Enterprise Education and Research Project Fund (EERPF) was launched by the Board of EEUK in 2011 and has run each year since.

Funding is awarded to: (i) support the creation and evaluation of enterprise education materials and resources and (ii) facilitate impactful research which adds to our understanding of enterprise education and addresses the needs of the enterprise education community.

Completed project summaries, findings and outputs follow.

2016/2017 Projects

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHWALES AND COVENTRY UNIVERSITY

EVALUATING ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IMPACT WITHIN UNIVERSITIES: A LONGITUDINAL PERSPECTIVE

Whilst there has been a significant expansion of entrepreneurship education curriculum within the UK in the last decade, there remains ongoing debate regarding its value and impact. The overall aim of the project was to provide longitudinal evidence regarding the career outcomes achieved from undertaking programmes of entrepreneurship education. Objectives therefore included; to provide evidence of the effectiveness and impact of enterprise education on intrapreneurship as well as entrepreneurship, private, public and third sector contexts; identifying effective entrepreneurship education practice and making recommendations to inform future pedagogical practice and curriculum design.

The report produced as an outcome of this project can be downloaded here:

 

UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD

EXPLORING THE IMPACT OF CURRICULAR AND EXTRA-CURRICULAR ENTERPRISE EDUCATION ON THE CAREER PROGRESSION AND ENTREPRENEURIAL ACTIVITY OF GRADUATES FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD

University of Sheffield Enterprise (USE) identified a need to develop a greater understanding of the level of impact Enterprise Education is having upon student career journeys, in order to inform strategic and operational delivery of curricular and extra-curricular support.  Therefore, the overall aim of this project was to inquire into and evidence any links between student participation in enterprise education, and the subsequent nature of alumni career paths.  Key deliverables from the project: a methodology and approach to measuring the impact of Enterprise Education at The University of Sheffield; reflection upon project findings and a subsequent proposed model of capture which may be useful for the practice of other Enterprise Educators.

The report produced as an outcome of this project can be downloaded here:

 

UNIVERSITY OF HERTFORDSHIRE

THE BOOTLEG BENCHMARKS - DEVELOPING AND TESTING 'CAREERS AND ENTERPRISE THROUGH THE CURRICULUM BENCHMARKS'

A national model for careers and enterprise in schools in England, informed by the Gatsby Foundation Benchmarks, frames enterprise as ‘short term business challenges’ and ‘longer term enterprise competitions.’ The project team –  a collaboration involving the university’s Business School, School of Education and teacher development organisation Ready Unlimited - will employ the best elements of bootlegging (creative licence offering to a broader audience an alternative to the sanctioned version), to develop and test a set of ‘Careers and Enterprise through the Curriculum Benchmarks’. These benchmarks will complement the national direction of travel, but underscore the potential of teacher development and curriculum design to extend and deepen enterprise learning in education.

The 'Bootleg benchmarks' report can be downloaded here:

 

2015/2016 PROJECTS


LANCASTER UNIVERSITY: HIGH IMPACT
Lancaster University’s diverse ecosystem of enterprise support provided the ideal laboratory for the High Impact research project which aimed to understand the transformational impact of embedding an institutional enterprise culture.  The ecosystem we had identified included curricular and extra-curricular opportunities for every student right across campus, from taught interventions, flipped classrooms and mentorship, through competitions and placements, to workspaces and funding.  By looking at the positive outcomes of these interventions, the research consultants from Innovas were able to suggest a framework for ensuring their value could be mapped against the University’s strategic KPIs.  Crucially, they have shown that this impact goes beyond the individual and cuts right across every facet of our strategic priorities in Research, Teaching and Engagement.  The suggested measurement framework has great transferability in other contexts and institutions and following the presentation of findings at IEEC 2016, there is a clear appetite from other institutions to collaborate around an implementation project for the sector.

The report produced during this project can be downloaded here:

 

LEEDS TRINITY UNIVERSITY: A CREATIVE AND EXPERIENTIAL INTERVENTION FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL LEARNING: SAND TRAY WORK WITH UNDERGRADUATE ENTERPRISE STUDENTS

This research project developed a specific workshop intervention using sand tray sculpture, borrowed from sand play therapy, for use with student entrepreneurs in developing their business idea. This intervention brings abstract ideas and issues to the forefront through the creative process. The subsequent ‘narrative reading’ of the sculpture allows entrepreneurs to make sense of their ideas, find new solutions and ways forward and communicate their project effectively.

 

LONDON SOUTH BANK UNIVERSITY: NURTURING WOMEN: IGNITING PASSION FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

In delivering the Nurturing Women: Igniting passion for entrepreneurship project, LSBU engaged academics, students and alumni from across LSBU’s 7 Schools to create bespoke enterprise education interventions that better support under-represented groups at LSBU.  We engaged students in the research activities, through an online survey and focus group which helped us to produce a blueprint for engaging female students in entrepreneurship activities and have piloted the first sector-specific peer support group at LSBU.  We propose to roll out this approach to sustain activity post project.
 
Our project had a particular focus on identifying “areas where we can increase enterprise and entrepreneurial engagement and in particular to encourage female entrepreneurs at LSBU to take their business ideas further.”  During the project, student engagement in enterprise activities at LSBU increased: we engaged with over 5,000 students (approx. ⅓ of the student population).  We had a particular focus on increasing the proportion of female students taking part in our start-up an accelerator programmes and we will continue to build on this work post-project. The summary of workshop findings and a 10 point blueprint for engaging female students in enterprise can be downloaded below.

LSBU 10pointblueprint.pdf 23.1 KB 20/10/2016 07:43:32

 

PLYMOUTH UNIVERSITY: EXPLORING THE ‘MISSING PERSPECTIVE’ - USING THE STUDENT PERSPECTIVE TO MEASURE THE IMPACT OF ENTERPRISE EDUCATION
This study addressed a void in our understanding of the effectiveness and impact of enterprise  education by acknowledging the current students perspective of extra-curricular enterprise education. The aim of this study was to underpin the extra-curricular curriculum with research by exploring what entrepreneurial behaviours, competencies and capability students perceived they have gained and developed from extracurricular enterprise activities, adding context to data from UK HEI’s that suggests that participation in extra-curricular activities are one way students can contribute to their own personal development and are an essential means of raising student awareness of enterprise and providing opportunities to develop skills and confidence in practical ways.

 

THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD: "THE SOCIALLY ENTERPRISING RESEARCHER" SCHEME

This project was set up due to low participation in enterprise training events and competitions by research staff and students. A TUoS student noticed at research poster exhibitions the potential of using ideas that were being generated to help community groups. TUoS staff were already aware from a previous project that researchers are not always interested in setting up businesses or commercialising their research but it was thought they might be interested in trying out their research ideas with a community partner.

The idea was piloted by making funds available to support a few projects of this kind. Out of 13 applications we funded 3 that met our criteria. Alongside this ethically approved research was carried out to find out about researchers’ attitudes to enterprise skills training and how much interest there might be in such projects.

The projects are currently underway and one example is a project that has developed a low cost tracking device for bees to help with their conservation in association with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT)

The projects have helped researchers develop a range of enterprise skills and the research has shown there is the potential to run this programme in future as around half of researcher said they thought their research had commercial possibilities and half said they would be interested in taking part in this type of project.

As a result we will be funding this programme again next year and producing a journal article to share details of the programme and the research carried out to help inform future enterprise training for researchers.

The website can be found here https://sites.google.com/a/sheffield.ac.uk/sociallyenterprisingres/

2014/2015 Projects

THE UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS: BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN HIGHER EDUCATION AND FURTHER EDUCATION ENTERPRISE EDUCATORS
This project helped the University of Leeds to develop links with schools and FE colleges in Yorkshire and beyond. It also helped to develop the University’s understanding of how teachers and students actually use online resources in the curriculum and the enablers and barriers for these particular groups. The University is continuing their research and will be running focus groups in December and January with participating schools and will continue to share their findings at conferences and through journal publication. Their ongoing aim is that this will feed into the development of enterprise education more broadly in secondary schools/FE and also support knowledge sharing between HE and FE.

The 'Enterprise by Example' website, providing access to a teacher's resource and the course can be found here.


SHEFFIELD HALLAM UNIVERSITY: WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF ENTERPRISE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT SPECIFIC INITIATIVES ON ENCOURAGING AND GROWING ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN STUDENTS AND GRADUATES AT SHEFFIELD HALLAM UNIVERSITY? - DISCUSS.

Representatives from the Enterprise Team, the Venture Matrix team and the Careers department at Sheffield Hallam University carried out a piece of research looking at 'the impact of enterprise skills development specific initiatives on encouraging and growing entrepreneurship in students and graduates'. The research found that the initiatives we looked at do have an impact on growing entrepreneurship amongst the students and graduates, however, there is not a clear understanding amongst them about what enterprise and entrepreneurship means. The impact from this will be that we may need to alter the definitions and teaching methods we use, not just at Sheffield Hallam but at other institutions across the country to ensure that we are consistent in the message we get across. Being enterprising includes a whole range of skills and knowledge which may or may not be applied to entrepreneurship.

The report produced as an output of this project can be downloaded here:


UNIVERSITY OF SURREY: DEVELOPING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENTERPRISING EDUCATORS AND RESEARCHERS - AN ANALYSIS OF BUSINESS SCHOOL DOCTORAL STUDENTS' EXPERIENCES OF CREATING AND LEADING A COLLABORATIVE AND ENQUIRY-BASED LEARNING PROJECT

The study explored innovative approaches to the use of enterprising activities and self-crafted, pioneering learning by the upcoming generation of leading practitioners and academics. It made important, novel contributions to enterprise education by examining doctoral students’ experiences of an innovative, enquiry-based learning project. It considered students’ application of enterprise strategies to devise and collaborate on skills acquisition projects. Students developed their chosen professional research skills through enquiry and with others more proficient in these skills. The project thus investigated doctoral students’ experiences and the impacts of enterprise education ‘in action’ through reflective methodologies. Two learning resources / materials were created as key outputs, enabling future applications of learning to alternative contexts.

The learning materials / resources generated by this project can be downloaded here:

Guide to the Learning Journey.pdf 29.21 KB 04/11/2015 13:48:33

2013/2014 Projects

Cardiff Metropolitan University: Identifying the employability related skills art, design and creative industries graduates need to have and how art and design schools can best ensure they are delivering them.

This project identified some of the most valuable skills and areas of knowledge that new graduates joining the creative industries or forging their careers as artists and designers need, whether employed, freelancers/self employed or setting up their own businesses. The team undertook in-depth interviews with early career artists, designers and creatives to identify what they learnt during their university education that was useful and what, in hindsight, they wish they had learnt more about. Their stories and tips were collected and used to develop a website of case studies and straightforward advice that can be used by tutors to help integrate employability and entrepreneurship skills into the curriculum and to support extra-curricular activities and by undergraduates and graduates to help them as they begin their careers as creative entrepreneurs.

The website created as part of this project can be found here.

Plymouth University: Inspiring Action in Enterprise – a 'How To' guide

'Inspiring action in enterprise – a 'how to' guide' leveraged Plymouth Business School's expertise in problem-based learning and action research. We  utilised the programme outcomes with Plymouth Community Healthcare, to create a reusable learning resource, designed to encourage entrepreneurial behaviours.
The guide, which can be downloaded from the link below, will inform and support future action learning sets in Plymouth Community Healthcare and beyond. We are disseminating this widely throughout the health, enterprise and educational sectors, in order to guide businesses, inform research and inspire enterprise in their own organisations.

Robert Gordon University: Developing Reflective Entrepreneurs

This project brings together a cross-departmental team with skills in enterprise education, employability and professional development to explore the design, creation and evaluation of online tools and resources to help student and graduate entrepreneurs to plan, record and reflect upon their ongoing formal and non-formal learning.

University of Sheffield: Developing Online Enterprise Resources for researchers based on the new Researcher Development Framework

The Wilson Review, published Feb 2012, recommended that researchers be encouraged to attend an enterprise skills programme. The project was developed in conjunction with researchers, industry and enterprise educators to assess the level of knowledge needed and the kind of resources that would be suitable. As a result a range of online resources have been produced, on how to commerialise research, that can be used as distance learning or part of a delivered programme. These are available on-line to all Universities, with the aim of encouraging an enterprising approach that will exploit and maximize research and develop enterprising careers.

The website and associated resources including training materials and an animated video can be found here.

2012/2013 Projects

COVENTRY UNIVERSITY: CREATIVE ENTERPRISE LEARNING OBJECTS – A SUITE OF TEXTUAL, INTERACTIVE AND LINEAR AUDIO VISUAL RESOURCES

Coventry University's Creative Futures unit led on the production of a suite of textual, interactive and linear audio-visual resources that can be used within the curriculum of creative courses and will enable teaching staff to more confidently reflect on the potential for enterprise within their individual subject areas and embed this within their own teaching and curriculum. The profile of the project was extremely high across the School of Art & Design with most staff aware of its aims, which in itself assisted with raising the profile of enterprise education across the school. By working with students and recent graduates on the production of the objects, they were able to input their interests and ideas and fed back positively that their involvement with the project assisted them to develop their confidence and knowledge of setting up in business.

The interactive 'learning objects' are now available here.

SCOTTISH INSTITUTE FOR ENTERPRISE (SIE): YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS IN ACTION: INFORMING CURRICULAR AND EXTRA CURRICULUM ACTIVITIES

This project involves SIE running focus groups for its alumni with the aim of identifying the skills these young entrepreneurs have developed and are continuing to develop as they launch their start-ups, and look for some traction in their chosen markets.

A key focus will be to elicit their opinions as to how these skills might have been developed during their time at university, and through what teaching and learning activities.

A contextual analysis of the information gained will look to identify key trends for further in depth exploration.

SIE Project final report.pdf 138.42 KB 06/02/2015 11:39:03

UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD: ENHANCEMENT OF CURRICULAR ENTERPRISE EDUCATION INCORPORATING STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS AND FEEDBACK AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD

The aim of this project was to enhance the quality of students' learning experience at the University of Sheffield (TUoS) by increasing their participation in shaping the enterprise education provision at the institution. The value of this study for other enterprise educators lies not in the results themselves which are peculiar to The University of Sheffield, but in the methodology and structured model for collecting and acting on such data which is presented in the project report. It is hoped that by attempting such a study and disseminating the processes involved, a range of discussions may be provoked among enterprise educators on the value of collecting and incorporating student engagement into their work. The main highlight from this research project is the recognition that students are more engaged with their learning and more interested in the results of such dialogue than might be originally suspected, and have an overwhelmingly positive attitude towards being included in the strategic development of enterprise education.

UNIVERSITY OF WINCHESTER: EFFECTUATION-LED LEARNING FOR STUDENTS (ELFS)

The concept of effectuation has become increasingly popular within the field of entrepreneurship as an alternative approach in the portfolio of entrepreneurship educators . This project, which was undertaken jointly by the University of Winchester and the University of Sheffield, has pioneered the development of this pedagogic approach through a smartphone application. The aim of the smartphone application was to serve as an independent cognitive based learning tool to support students in the development of entrepreneurial ideas and the process of venture creation. A series of focus groups were held with other educators and students to understand how this approach could be incorporated into teaching, which informed the design of the smartphone application itself. By encouraging students to assume a more effectual approach toward the entrepreneurial process, as opposed to the causal logic associated with the more traditional business planning process, the smartphone application is empowering the development of entrepreneurial ideas. The application, called the Effectuator, has been successfully piloted at a number of universities in the UK and internationally, with students from a broad range of subject areas. The smartphone application is now FREE to download from the AppStore. If would like any more information about how to use the app please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Winchester EEUK Report.pdf 1.34 MB 06/02/2015 11:39:03

 

2011/2012 Projects

COVENTRY UNIVERSITY: CREATIVE ENTERPRISE EDUCATION - AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH


The project aim was to evaluate an alternative approach to enterprise education based on realistic and varied career paths in the creative industries. The workshops were developed using true career stories from practitioners across a broach range of creative sectors who reveal surprising and unforeseen career paths. The workshops were iteratively developed using student feedback to design a successful intervention that enabled students to explore their personal values and the challenges of developing a creative practice through the presentation of alternative role models. They built confidence in their skills and choices and acknowledged the necessity for an ability to remain resilient and forward thinking to cope with career highs and lows. The workshop materials are free to all educators and can be downloaded from the project site that also houses supporting documents, content and the project blog.

UNIVERSITY OF HUDDERSFIELD: ENTERPRISE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP FOR POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH STUDENTS


The project explored entrepreneurial intent in the current cohort of postgraduate research students at the University of Huddersfield, looking at drivers and barriers to enterprising attitudes and how the latter can be overcome. The research produced a training needs analysis to drive the development of a suite of learning opportunities to encourage and support enterprise in the research student population and research graduates. The research provides a baseline understanding of enterprise experience and allows us to look for changes in enterprising culture and entrepreneurial intent over time. Preliminary results suggest that postgraduate researchers are keen to improve their enterprise and entrepreneurship skills and that the vast majority find the possibility of starting a business appealing.

 

TEESSIDE UNIVERSITY: ENTERPRISE AND INNOVATION IN SOCIAL AND COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISES


The objective of this research was to develop case studies of enterprise and innovation in four social and four commercial enterprises. Central to the project was engagement with both social and commercial enterprises. As the project developed, the social enterprises became more of a focus – resulting in the final five social enterprise and three commercial enterprise case studies. In order to provide guidance and help structure the use of the cases, a teaching guide was also developed in the form of a series of teaching notes. These teaching notes suggest how the case studies can be used in the classroom.

UNIVERSITY OF BUCKINGHAM: TO CONDUCT RESEARCH TO PRODUCE A "GUIDE" TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATORS ON HOW TO ENCOURAGE WOMEN TO DEVELOP THEIR ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT


The aims of this research project were to:

  • Increase the scale, scope and effectiveness of enterprise education initiatives, specifically to identify ways in which women can be encouraged to participate in university "Venture Creation  Programmes " (VCPs), delivered by members of Enterprise Educators UK.
  • Explore the factors that inhibit women from being interested in undergraduate VCPs, to enable us to address the issues identified and as a result attract more women to university VCPs.
  • Explore attitudes and perceptions that women have towards UK university VCPs and to enterprise/entrepreneurship education more generally.

The following research methods were used:

  • Desk research to obtain background information about VCP and female participation.
  • An on-line questionnaire to find out the reaction of school boys and girls to a range of entrepreneurial factors and their interest in studying on a university VCP.
  • Field visits to UK schools and also to UK and European universities offering VCPs to verify results of earlier research.

The interim findings from this project, as presented at IEEC2012 can be found here.

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