Pillars for Success

Written by Alison Price

With the Government being criticised in 2022 for not stating a vision for universities or outlining a clear path to post-Covid/Brexit recovery, the Chancellor made a speech (Jan 23) which outlined his 4 pillars of economic growth. Each of these falls within EEUK’s remit as we work to support the development of entrepreneurial outcomes in others, whether for work, start-up, regional, national, or international.

With a vision looking to Silicon Valley for Enterprise, and Finland or Singapore for education and skills, the Chancellor seeks to tap into individual potential to unlock the UK, creating an enterprise culture built on low taxes, reward for risk, access to capital and smarter regulation. This may be the coming of age of the UK’s person-based, experiential and transformative models of EntEd where HE & FE helps deliver on the UK-wide vision of “everywhere”.

To support this ambition of “everywhere” members to ensure that “Enterprise is for All”, we are currently seeking your insights and advice for ensuring your approach is fully inclusive to all learners, including the neurodiverse. In drafting a new EEUK Way Guide, we are seeking your insight and practices, so please share directly or if you want to find out more to develop your own work, there is a new OECD report Equity and Inclusion in Education: Finding Strength through Diversity out now!

In sector news, Advance HE has reviewed its professional standards framework, seeking views from the sector to launch a data-led, evidence-based revision of its work.  Working within a familiar structure, the new standards focus more on collaborative practice, include digital technologies, and look at the opportunity to understand and do more of the right things, through effectiveness and impact.

In start-up news: last month, we mentioned new partners supporting startup, such as Ebay side hustle workshops, which also sees new funding opportunities such as that from TV Dragon Steven Bartlett and, as ever, lack of visa clarity confuses our ability to provide great HE support to our international would-be starts.

So whether the Chancellor’s vision aligns with the potential visa changes that @WonkHE are describing is unclear, but EEUK is keeping up its ‘visa watch’ and joins the sector in seeking long term clarity for our students.  We will also be following the new arrangements for the Office for Students (OFS) to take up QAA’s former responsibilities to understand what that means for us, if anything, as we work to promote the EEUK policy guide (QAA 2018) across our institutions.

Photo by Ian Hutchinson on Unsplash

The only way is up

Written by Alison Price

A new year provides opportunities for both reflection and preparation, and whilst there has been turbulent and unpredictable times in recent years, the forecast for 2023 is looking positive with challenges ahead to which we can mobilise our staff and students to respond.

Although the funding pots (post UK access to European funding streams) are creating concerns for many enterprise teams in terms of staff capacity, as well as limiting the ability to innovate and experiment, there is much to engage our staff and students with in 2023, such as:

and there are many resources to draw upon:

  • Check out key tools that support goals/planning for netzero
  • Connect with your IT services to understand how IT tools can support SMEs
  • Provide students with their own KE resources on becoming an effective team
  • Check your institutional support for student wellbeing and mental health, and draw in any additional info you need (as students address cost of living/post-pandemic skills and anxiety)

and please ask your SMEs to add their voices to the Small Business Britain and Lloyds Banking Group Disability and Entrepreneurship Survey

2023 also sees predictions of AI as a new force in graduate recruitment (as well as for creatives/ the art world) but in terms of the market for graduate jobs, it is expected that traditional routes may plateau, so a side hustle might help mark your students out from the crowd (even if self-employment is not their initial dream).  Fuelled by a cost of living crisis, the idea of having  a side hustle continues to grow momentum across all age groups and this has seen targeted support coming from new partners, such as Ebay with their roadshows in partnership with Small Business Britain coming to Bristol, Belfast and Cardiff this winter. So, check out the regional and national support as we launch into 2023, and contact EEUK if we can mobilise the network to explore these together.

Photo by Robert Reyes on Unsplash

EEUK marks the passing of Lord Young

Written by Alison Price

Lord Young will be remembered by EEUK as the trailblazer who subtitled his 2014 seminal Government report “Enterprise for All” with the key strapline “The Relevance of Enterprise Education”.

It can appear that policy documents, reports and government proclamations make little difference to our work , but with the launch of Lord Young’s report “Enterprise for All: the Relevance of Enterprise in Education” (June 2014) there was for the first time in England a review of the educational ‘enterprise offer’ as experienced by all learners across the education sector.

Prior to his review, there was only limited appreciation of the entrepreneurial education journey as experienced by students, other than work for the APPG for Micro business by key EEUK members early that year.  Through the creation of an educational lens for his government review, Lord Young’s work placed the student and their entrepreneurial learning experience in the context of our national education system and publicly called for “lifelong experience of enterprise in education” which was:

  1. Captive and meaningful to young people through real-life contact with business and work, particularly for those put off by more theoretical or academic learning; and made relevant in the way the curriculum and exams are designed and delivered.
  2. Continuous beginning with inspiration and a first taste of enterprise in primary and secondary education, and then the application of that learning through further and higher education, and later in life.
  3. Coherent first, as strong and consistent government message to empower educators to embed enterprise in their teaching; second, to in the way we measure and distinguish the impact of an institution’s enterprise activity and third, through better coordination and consistency in what already exists, to ensure that all young people are able to access enterprise-related programmes. (Lord Young 2014 Enterprise for All p4)

This report and on-going work may have been, for some of us, far too focused on the work within business schools, but it resulted in the creation of the award for the UK’s world-class business schools, The Small Business Charter (SBC). This award celebrates business schools that play an effective role in supporting small businesses, local economies and student entrepreneurship and by providing business schools with a nationally recognisable accreditation, Lord Young drove the sector wide engagement which furthered the SEC challenge work which had ultimately created EEUK.

Since 2014, there has disappointingly been no further government leadership in England. This ensures Lord Young’s report stands as the latest English position and retains the prominence of  key challenges he set us as enterprise educators. He stated that our current curriculum “may not be sufficient unless accompanied by an enterprising attitude” (p1) and called for “not a change to the curriculum, but a change to how it is taught” (p24).

Although this challenge laid down in 2014 and remains our challenge today. Lord Young’s legacy has  been the declaration of a national ambition to create an enterprise education experience that is “captive; continuous and coherent” throughout our entire educational system. He has driven us to

EEUK continues to respond to his challenge and invites you to join us, whether you are new to enterprise or have worked in the sector long enough to recognise the legacy his work has given us all, in all that we do as we recognise “the relevance of enterprise education” and seek to deliver “enterprise for all”.

Christmas Reading

Written by Alison Price

With the politics dominating over recent months, policy development appears to have taken a back seat on the national stage. Work continues within institutions, and across our membership especially those within knowledge exchange to measure what matters.  Data/metrics can help draw links between insight, practice and student success, says this recent WONKHE report which provides opportunity to rethink how to support student engagement and outcomes, whilst acknowledging that the student experience has been altered by the pandemic.

Digital platforms and access to materials still remain critical for students and it is increasingly clear that there is a role for EEUK members to support diversity and inclusion through enterprise.

This statement comes from a HEPI blog, from a series on entrepreneurial universities which also included learning from failure by Adam Shore, LJMU.  It’s also worth reading the HEPI annual review 21/22 to ensure you have an overview of key discussions in the sector (such as engagement and the student voice) as well as reading the NCUB “State of the Relationship” report (summary facts here).

Graduate employment remains strong post-pandemic, despite recruitment being at 30% of its normal levels (the lowest on record) says Prospects Luminate in their recent webinar – also recognising that self-employment was “hit hard” with 8% either self-employed or actively working towards self-employment.

If you are looking for some ‘Christmas reading’, then you might want to revisit the EEUK “how to guides” which explored Entrecomp, as well as approaches to enterprise education for practitioners and educators. If you get time, there might also be a chance to dig into some key related topics, such as those on this sustainability and wellbeing list, or consult the EEUK guide as to how EntreComp can work with GreenComp.  However if your thoughts are already turning to next year’s delivery, then don’t forget the library of support that is www.etcttoolkit.org.uk or the templates and advice on creative enterprises from Nesta.  So if those New Year resolutions are heading into view, next year brings opportunities to engage with EntreComp through the community café and the new  Awards and of course, the EEUK membership!

See you in 2023!

(Photo by Nong V on Unsplash)

Look out!

Written by Alison Price

(Photo: Alexander Krivitskiy https://unsplash.com/photos/59Ys_IRAJLs)


With KEF dominating much of our EEUK policy updates, the work to support KEConcordat shows sector-wide learning and insight on “what good looks like” that ranges from the social value created within Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs) (which see non-academic partners, such as community groups, working with researchers) through to how virtual internships can lead into freelancing for students and graduates.  This KEC work recognises that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to measuring non-financial impact measures and asks HEIs to consider “what matters” in order to appreciate the value of Knowledge Exchange.

Many are drawn to Theory of Change evaluation strategies to understand the impact/legacy but critically, by defining KEC value in financial, social, cultural and environmental terms, EEUK members find that this approach resonates with the EntreCompIntoAction definition of enterprise, welcoming how this work supports the enterprise agenda as well as providing new resources that benefit all.

In EntreComp news, the new Champion Awards have been defined at 4 levels (Supporter; Explorer; Practitioner; and Champion) creating personal pathways to success and also providing organisational recognition are launching this month.

However, it is visa news that most HEIs have been desperate for, which has knocked the changes into the New Year and declared that they will continue to accept applications for Innovator-endorsing body status from Higher Educational Institutions and that all of the current endorsing bodies, including the HEIs, are all moved into legacy-endorsing body status, this will enable HEIs to also continue to support those already endorsed on your Start up programmes as they switch into the Innovator route.  Check out this library of blogs to understand Tier 1 extensions and the impact on your students.

*Particular thanks to Finn Finbarr Carter, University of East Anglia and Bonnie Hacking, University of St. Andrews and EEUK membership for their visa work.

All together now

Written by Alison Price

IEEC brings together enterprise educators in all their roles, be that practitioner, influencer or academic, for key discussions that explore how to deliver for staff and students, whether nationally, internationally, in the class room, outside the curriculum or hybrid/online.

Those working in accelerators or incubators will be interested in the latest CentreforEntrepreneurs report that highlights their growth and impact in each nation state, with 1 in 20 new businesses receiving support.

Whilst the 2022 IEEC session policy overview is primarily aimed at our UK Membership, it is clear that the lessons of ‘nations’ can often be drawn as parallels for institutional practice (such as having a clear strategy and mobilising your champions!) just as those of key bodies/entities can be insightful for crafting individual approaches. So post-IEEC, there is always much to reflect upon as term starts –  whether it is the significance of a key appointment (such as Chief Entrepreneur Scotland) or the experience of those working externally (engaging with SMES (KEF (see EEUK blog on SEE) and seeing those approaches) articulated within the KEF Concordats (see NCUB KEC report ).

Appreciating the educational pipeline (using APPG reports on HEI and School Enterprise Education) helps us recognise the importance of EntEd  as a lifelong skill and EEUK welcomes how it forms part of many new QAA benchmark statements (see Prof Andy Penaluna’s EEUK blog) and underpins our shared resources such as ETCToolkit, as now populated by EEUK Fellowship 
Sharing key resources, such as GreenComp and EEUK EntreComp into Action and GreenComp mapping (Prof Andy Penaluna) or new frameworks (2B Framework linking DigComp and EntreComp) helps to guide our practice and connect EEUK members to the EntreComp community.  But it is the deeper reflection on inclusion (defined here by WONKHE;  inspired by the Henley Business School Report Equity Effect (2021) that demands we reflect upon our curriculum design, timetabling/scheduling, and wider approach to ensure that we include all in our ambitions.  Reviewing the latest Office for Students Knowledge Exchange Evaluation reports of recent funded HEI projects highlights many key lessons, around language and clarity with students which “reject the exclusionary  potential of the ‘just do it’ attitude” (Brentnall 2022) that we have transposed from business practice into #ented and our IEEC policy session invites the EEUK membership to consider how we create an environment in which all students can thrive.

Alison Price
Head of Policy and Professional Development

Back to school?

Written by Alison Price

In 2014, EEUK members helped shape a key APPG (Microbusiness) report that reviewed the English educational pathways from school age, to ask whether we had a system fit for an entrepreneur? Now, in 2022, the APPG Entrepreneurship is back to explore why English schools are missing a trick by not embedding entrepreneurship through the education system.  EEUK Committees shared their experience in support of fostering an entrepreneurial spirit that our FE/HEIs will see the benefit of in future years and recognises each of the three failings identified: the lack of a national strategy, an entrepreneurship-focused curriculum, and ministerial ownership and accountability. See the report on our EEUK Publications page.

EEUK also supported another consultation recently which has resulted in global recommendations for entrepreneurship (OECD) adding further support to ambitions for the development of an entrepreneurial mindset throughout society and highlighting key aspects for us to consider within Transitions and resilience of SMEs and how we create entrepreneurial eco-systems that support starts, providing big picture rationales for your practice.

Skill development also seems to remain a focus, with a new report failing to place the UK on any of its top 10s (good or bad!) but with a new framework linking transversal (such as EntreComp) and digital competences there is new support for online VET (FE) teaching and learning.

KEF Concordat work comes together on 12th July where review of the action plans from over 100 HEIs, who tracked their progress in Knowledge Exchange against 8 KEF Concordat principles will be share their sector/institutional reflections. EEUK are keen to hear the strategic perspectives on the likely opportunities and challenges for the sector in this field for our next newsletter and sharing at IEEC! See you there!

Wave goodbye to the SEE

Written by Alison Price

Having dug deep to understand the impact of linking learner days, CPD and graduate starts in the first iteration of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) EEUK can now report that the “SEE” perspective, where graduate starts data from HEBCI was reported, has now been amended and renamed.  In the second iteration of KEF this perspective is now the  “Continuing professional development (CPD) and graduate start-ups” perspective, amplifying the role of the business starts in this perspective and within the Framework. In addition, trade journals are now included within co-authorships and there have been changes in the ‘IP and commercialisation’ perspective which sees a new metric looking at average external investment for spin-outs for 3yrs+.

Wider changes can be seen in the presentation where it will now be quintiles, where quintile five will represent very high engagement.  There was also a commitment to continue the further development of metrics in this area – an approach that EEUK welcomes and to which it extends its support.

Across the nation states, work continues unchanged with the Knowledge Exchange Concordat as its action plan approach seeks to share learning across the sector.

The QAA (May 2022) launched its new Characteristics Statements on Micro credentials which are closely linked to Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies, and can be used by higher education providers in the design and development of new provision and as a reference point when reviewing or revalidating existing provision.

Skills continue to dominate the policy discussion, with the OECD suggesting that many young people are learning for jobs that are disappearing while employers have difficulties finding the people with the skills they need.  The office for students shares the formative evaluation on the student knowledge exchange programme, and  in advance of IEEC, we read with interest the views on Welsh HE.  Jeremy Miles MP focuses on people and places, suggesting that a university education is transformative, broadens the mind, builds social and cultural capital, and nurtures skills and knowledge which help us succeed and work in life and in society. Want to hear more about the approach in Wales and unique success within EntEd? See you in 7-9 Sept at IEEC  – book now!

Alison Price
Head of Policy and Professional Development

Here we go gathering…   

Written by Alison Price

As it is already summer term, May 2022, it finally feels, here in the UK, that we are ‘gathering’ – gathering pace and momentum, gathering insights, and ultimately planning to gather together!

Gathering Together

EEUK has already held its first in-person event and is currently releasing details of keynote speakers for our annual conference (IEEC) in Swansea (7-9th Sept).  We are also gathering together for our in-person events but have listened to your feedback about keeping some activities online to bring members together.

Gathering momentum

In the most significant of all curriculum moves, the UK Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) has mainstreamed enterprise and entrepreneurship into 14 new subject benchmarks. This has been welcomed by enterprise educators working with academic subjects as the key to unlocking significant change.
Don’t forget the @ETCToolkit has subject-specific help, and we have recently launched the latest submissions from our EEUK fellows if you are looking for inspiration on pre-start up, innovation or creating a pitch club!

EEUK, having shared your views in the recent KEF consultation, continues its work on your behalf regarding the KEF Concordat which continues its work to December and beyond with a range of deep-dive webinars on: 1) Commercialisation, innovation and business 2) impact 3) Culture and Place 4) engagement 5) processes 6) funding and skills 7) capacity building and people 8) continuous improvement and 9) mission – as the KEF Concordat is an opportunity to engage UK-wide.

Gathering insights for action

OECD is sharing the work from its Entrepreneurship Education Collaboration and Engagement network (EECOLE) which highlights entrepreneurship as a mindset and recognises the importance of mainstreaming entrepreneurship education as a way to promote the Sustainable Development Goals bringing sustainability and inclusiveness dimensions into its work.  With a focus on “place-responsiveness” in higher education, as the capacity of HEIs to bend their research and teaching activities to reflect the needs of local actors, and improve sustainability and inclusion in their own communities, EEUK will keep sharing work to keep you up to date.

If you missed IPSE’s  The Self-Employment Landscape  (2021) this report charts the fall in self-employed work in the UK from 4.3 million to 4.1 million, noting that self-employed workers continue to contribute £303 billion to the UK economy.

Having heard, at the recent Handshake and Gradconsult conference, 2 key “call to action” facts from Dr Naeema Pash that:

  • “There are no black CEOs, CFOs or Chairs of FTSE 100 companies”
  • “Black women, over 45, within public sector are the group facing the most discrimination at work”

it is clear that Henley Business School’s report “the Equity Effect” is required reading, reminding us that “we thrive when we feel included”.

Alison Price
Head of Policy and Professional Development

Consult and Be Heard

Written by Alison Price

We all know that the best policy is informed by practitioners, so whenever the opportunity arises, EEUK is keen for the voice of the membership to be heard.  This can be in areas that are directly related to our wide spectrum of an Enterprise Educator’s work, such as our recent calls to members to support the APPG Entrepreneurship in their schools work  or UKRI (UK Research and Innovation & Research England) in their KEF review.  In addition, we are flagging Wonkhe and Pearson’s survey that explores students’ sense of belonging and inclusion at university.

Picking up on our recent policy themes, there is commentary on GEM women’s report, that suggests that whilst women-led initiatives now make up a large proportion of the entrepreneurial ventures driving job creation, innovation, and economic growth, women still face access barriers to networks, finance, and role models they need to run profitable businesses. The challenge is now to adapt the eco-system to provide this support.

If you missed The Rose Review Progress Report 2022 it came out in Feb ‘22 and outlines the extra support needed for female-led businesses to thrive; the Rose Review shows that the impact of Covid-19 risks holding back progress. It suggests that despite the rapid growth in female-led start-ups, female entrepreneurs have experienced additional caring responsibilities during the pandemic that has impacted their business. In positive news, they launched the Women Backing Women campaign (to increase chances of early-stage investment) and have record numbers of financial service providers signed up to the Investing in Women Code.

“Levelling up” is challenged as a route to addressing regional inequalities in this Institute for Government paper, which looks at skills, R&D as well as education, giving food for thought to those engaging regionally.

Graduate employment is ‘myth-busted’ in a new UUK report, which 2019 IEEC keynote Charlie Ball summarises in his appreciation of the mismatch between graduate skills and employer needs.

Finally, our latest EEUK blog helps connects the dots when seeking entrepreneurial, sustainable and ethical outcomes for business starts and curriculum.

Alison Price
Head of Policy and Professional Development

April 2022