Entrepreneurship in Education

WHAT


Entrepreneurship is when you act upon opportunities and ideas and transform them into value for others. Through Entrepreneurship education, we focus more on the specific context of setting up a venture and enabling university graduates self-employed. Our Mission regarding Entrepreneurship is about personal development, creativity, self-reliance, initiative taking and action orientation. It is not only limited to the entrepreneurial university graduates, but also to entrepreneurial opportunities and the relation between the individual and the opportunity. WDSC develop three Entrepreneurial competencies of university graduates such as Knowledge about how to get things done without resources, Risk and probability models. Basics of entrepreneurship, value creation, idea generation, opportunities, accounting, finance, technology, marketing, risk, etc.


Secondly Skills for conducting market research, Assessing the marketplace, Marketing products and services, Persuasion, Getting people excited about your ideas, dealing with customers, communicating a vision. Leadership, Motivating others, Managing people, Listening, Resolving conflict, Socializing Active learning, Adapting to new situations, coping with uncertainty Setting priorities (goal setting) and focusing on goals, Defining a vision, Developing a strategy, Identifying strategic partners.


Thirdly develop attitudes: “I want.” Need for achievement. “I can”. Belief in one’s ability to perform certain tasks successfully. “I am / I value”. Deep beliefs, Role identity, Values. “I do”. Action-oriented, Initiator, Proactive. “I dare”. Comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity, Adaptable, Open to surprises. “I create”. Novel thoughts / actions, Unpredictable, Radical change, Innovative, Visionary, Creative, Rule breaker. “I overcome”. Ability to overcome adverse circumstances. These three competencies affect the willingness and ability of university graduates to perform the entrepreneurial job of new value creation and play in the economic prosperity of the country. This is at the core of entrepreneurship and is also a competence that all university students increasingly need to have in order to cope with the challenges of today’s society.


WHY

Why entrepreneurship is relevant to education has so far primarily been viewed from economic points of view. The most common reason behind WDSC mission to promote entrepreneurial education is that entrepreneurship is seen as a major engine for economic growth and job creation. Entrepreneurial education is also frequently seen as a response to the increasingly globalized, uncertain and complex world we live in and Sustainable development Goals (SDG’s) requiring all individuals and organizations in society to be increasingly equipped with entrepreneurial competencies. Besides the common economic development and job creation related reasons to promote entrepreneurial education, there is also a less common but increasing emphasis on the effects entrepreneurial activities can have on students’ as well as employees’ perceived relevancy, engagement and motivation in both education and in work life. Finally, the role entrepreneurship can play in taking on important societal challenge has positioned entrepreneurial education as a means to empowering university graduates and organizations to create social value for the public good.


WHEN

In the future we can hope for a greater awareness of the need to develop and establish progression models for entrepreneurial education, rather than continuing the quest for a ”one size fits all” approach to entrepreneurial education. In the future teachers will hopefully have access to classifications, frameworks and other support material allowing them to pick and choose from a large variety of pedagogical tools and methods allowing them to more quickly identify and hone a teaching style and progression strategy appropriate to their own students, contexts and available resources. The future will hopefully also bring a consciousness that any age is the right age for introducing assignments where students use their competencies to create innovative value to people outside university. Earlier is of course better since it allows for better progression, but it is never too late to start. Such a start will hopefully also more often consist in embedded value creation for all students rather than separate venture creation for a few interested students.


HOW

There is a need of advice for university teachers, on what to let students do in order to develop their entrepreneurial competencies. In the future we can hope for increased understanding of why learning-by-doing works and how it can be integrated into education. Teachers should give their students assignments to create value (preferably innovative) to external stakeholders based on problems and/or opportunities the students identify through an iterative process they own themselves and take full responsibility for. Such assignments lead to repeated interactions with the outside world, which triggers uncertainty, ambiguity and confusion. This should be regarded as a positive outcome and a source of deep learning. To alleviate the levels of difficulty and uncertainty such an assignment can result in, a team-work approach should be applied giving the students access to increased creative ability and peer learning opportunities. Sufficient time allowing for establishing fruitful relationships with external stakeholders should also be given to the students, preferably months or years. If so, it will have happened through a concerted effort involving teachers, students, policymakers, researchers, authorities, international associations and other key stakeholders, all playing their important role in the substantial challenge of succeeding in educational reform. In the future we will hopefully also see the strengthening of explicit support structures in all the departments of university as well as other crucial management and organizational structures, supporting teachers and students in the task of interacting with the outside world leading to tandem learning and value creation.