We created a network of academic Enterprise Champions across LSBU’s 7 Schools to support staff to embed enterprise into the curriculum and provide a network to share practice and support inter-disciplinary collaboration.
Development and Delivery
We identified staff with an interest in and a passion for enterprise education and asked these individuals to be the first Enterprise Champions. We supported these individuals to complete the IEEP course, to develop their skills, knowledge and networks. Internally, the group was supported by the Student Enterprise team (based in a central Professional Service). Quarterly meetings took place to provide a forum to share updates and activities.
Initially, the staff identified opportunities within their own programmes to embed enterprise. This included live briefs with SMEs, skills sessions focused on idea generation and creativity and opportunities for students to grow their networks through initiatives like the IoD’s student membership scheme. Once they’d had initial success in their programmes, the Champions worked on joint inter-disciplinary projects and started to support curriculum revalidation in other areas, as well as supporting colleagues who were new to enterprise education.
The Enterprise Champions have also played a key role in engaging students in extra-curricular enterprise activities, signposting students to activities and providing a forum for supporting the development of new initiatives.
LSBU’s Enterprise Champions network is a key element of our institution-wide approach to embedding enterprise. This network has helped us to develop our students’ enterprising skills in the context of their field of study, with a focus on real-world, practical experiences.
As a result of their work, the numbers of students engaging in enterprise activities has increased: in 2016/17, 5,000 students (almost 1/3rd of the student population) took part in enterprise activities at LSBU.
Furthermore, they have supported staff across the Institution to embed enterprise. For example, from 16/17, a new Common First Year, with enterprise embedded throughout, has been delivered to all students on undergraduate programmes in the Business School.
The Champions have also shared their practice beyond the institution. A Champion from the School of Engineering is supporting links with LSBU’s University Technical College and is collaborating with a colleague in Bahrain to support female entrepreneurship.
We have measured the impact through monitoring levels of student engagement in enterprise. The Champions have collected data through Module Evaluation Questionaires which shows that students feel more engaged in and learn more from modules that have enterprise embedded within them. We have also included questions in internal student surveys to identify students’ entrepreneurial motivations and are aiming to track this throughout a student’s time at LSBU.
The Enterprise Champions are a key part of our entrepreneurial ecosystem: they help to engage staff and students across the campus and contribute to creating a culture of entrepreneurship at the university.
We are looking to grow the network to engage more staff and to encourage the Champions to share their expertise globally as part of our international activities.
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