EEUK Seminar: History of Entrepreneurship Education in the United Kingdom

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm 21/05/2024

Tuesday 21st May 2024, 1pm-2.30pm, on-line


  • Learn about the fascinating history of entrepreneurship education in the United Kingdom
  • Consider how prior approaches to entrepreneurship education impact today’s practices
  • Explore how entrepreneurship educators may determine the future content and adoption of the subject in the UK 


This seminar will launch the EEUK report exploring the history of entrepreneurship education (EE) in the United Kingdom (UK). It explores the key phases of the development of entrepreneurship education from 1860 to 2020, taking a social constructionist approach while providing an analytical structure and chronology of the UK’s EE history. Presenters will introduce historical phases chronologically before leading a question-and-answer panel.  The seminar will close by asking “what’s next” for the development of EE, regarding addressing the challenges of the future.

Dr. Luke Pittaway will begin the seminar by introducing the broad historical context within which EE began. He will explain how the industrial revolution, industrial globalization, and managerial expansion framed forms of educational practice that underpin EE today. Dr. David Kirby will then present the formative history of EE by exploring early ‘Small Business Management Education’ (c. 1968-1979). He will then expand this early history by presenting the 2nd phase of EE, ‘the Enterprise Skills Agenda’ (c. 1980-1989).  Dr. Colette Henry will then provide insights into the next phase ‘Small Business Support Training for Competitiveness & Growth’ phase (c. 1990-1996), while Dr. Pittaway will discuss University-wide Entrepreneurship Education and its expansion (c. 1997-2009). The seminar’s short presentations will close with Dr. John Thompson discussing the ‘Enterprise Mindsets and Competencies phase of development (c. 2010-2020).  Conclusions from the work will then be drawn.

All the presenters will join a question-and-answer panel. Participants will be given time to ask questions regarding how EE has developed in the UK, aiming to explore the implications of this history for EE practice today. The panel will close by discussing how the history of EE in the UK might inform future practices, as we address a range of challenges, such as environmental challenges, social equity, and justice.

Seminar Leaders:

Luke Pittaway*, Copeland Professor of Entrepreneurship, Ohio University,

Dr. Pittaway is the Copeland Professor of Entrepreneurship at Ohio University and a Justin G. Longenecker Fellow at USASBE. His research focuses on entrepreneurship education and learning, and he has a range of other interests including entrepreneurial behaviour; networking; entrepreneurial failure; business growth; and corporate venturing.  In 2018 Dr. Pittaway was nominated and selected to be USASBE’s Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year. 

Colette Henry, Head of Department of Business Studies, Dundalk Institute of Technology,

Colette Henry is a passionate researcher and advocate in the areas of gender and entrepreneurship. As founding Editor of the International Journal of Gender & Entrepreneurship (IJGE), she has extensive publications on these topics. Previous roles include Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway; Norbrook Professor of Business & Enterprise at the Royal Veterinary College, London, and President of the Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (ISBE). In 2017, she received the Sten K Johnston European Entrepreneurship Education Award.

David Kirby, Honorary Professor of Practice, University of Wales Trinity Saint David,

David Kirby specialises in Entrepreneurship and economic development. In the 1980s, in Wales, he pioneered the teaching of entrepreneurship which he later repeated in Egypt as Founding Dean at the British University in Egypt. In the 1990s, he held the UK’s first chair in entrepreneurship at the University of Durham, and at the University of Surrey in 2003 he launched the first SETsquared incubator. His most recent Egyptian research focused on the entrepreneurial university and technology transfer. In the UK in 2020, he formulated the concept of harmonious entrepreneurship to address the sustainability challenge. He holds The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion.

John Thompson, Emeritus Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Huddersfield,

John Thompson received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2009 evidencing the high quality of his research and the reach and impact of his ideas. Further evidence of the quality of his work comes through his contribution as a board member of the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship until 2011 and of UK Business Incubation until 2009. His main research interest continues to be the identification and nurturing of entrepreneur attributes and talents.


The History of Entrepreneurship Education 1860-2020

Attendee details

This event is fully booked.