Have you ever wondered why you do what you do?

Written by Dr Inge Hill


I get up in the morning to make a difference! And societal impact is on my mind most days.

Winning the Experienced Teaching Practitioner Award with the British Academy of Management in 2020 with an enterprise teaching innovation, meant that I was invited as keynote speaker to three national events in 2021. I want to share my learning – how to translate your passion about making a difference into a learning intervention, mine I called ‘Pop-up shops’.

Today’s post is particularly exciting for me because the need to address social enterprise and student interest in it has grown since I launched my first trial of pop-up shops in 2015. Raising awareness of what a social enterprise is can be tricky, I found it works well with the pop-up shops. And then organisations like the School of Social Enterpreneurs can help further after graduation and for those with an existing career.

One of the best bits of my role as an academic researcher and teacher is that I can try out new ideas in a safe place. If you are an academic teacher or an enterprise adviser, practitioner in our EEUK ‘speak’, you can gain permission from your line manager and students to try something new! Just do it! – is my first tip.

Thinking of a brand new idea or exercise never done before – is not needed. What about a different way of doing something you know? Something unexpected in the presentation, such as new packaging or colour, that raises attention, and changing the sequence of activities.

Here are some of my changes to an existing known activity, pop-up shops, for learning about and through enterprise. To start with, it is student-centred learning, I only provide space, time and basic resources such as table, chairs and an opportunity. STUDENTS:

  • Select a charity to give profits to
  • Design a service / product to sell for a day
  • Run a stall for a day in groups and find their own groups
  • Carry out a risk assessment
  • Write an assessed reflection
  • Bear the risks of not making enough money to cover costs for buying materials! Yes, indeed.


And a last piece of insight – re-imagine your role as the facilitator for learning, and not as a teacher or instructor. This insight means that your ‘advice giving’ is indirect, through asking questions or telling a story or a case you know – let the learners / start-ups make the links to what they are doing! This learning simply sticks and you can see the light bulb going on in their faces.

Let’s continue the conversation in the EEUK LinkedIn group or contact me to send you a copy of the associated book chapter (Hill and Bass, 2019 with lots more detail. Here is the ETC guidance to the pop-up shops.

Dr Inge Hill, Royal Agricultural University, Director Enterprise Educators UK