What is enterprise education, and why do it?
What does 'Enterprise' mean?
The University of Sheffield does not simply define enterprise as starting a business and making money.
It can encompass this notion, but can have many other meanings:
- Being proactive
- Taking risks
- Overcoming adversity
- Ideas generation
- Seizing opportunities
- Finding solutions
- Entrepreneurship and business skills
- 'Intrapreneurship' skills (being enterprising within an organisation)
- Social enterprise and innovation.
Enterprise skills can also include taking the initiative, intuitive decision making, making things happen, networking, creative problem solving, strategic thinking, and personal effectiveness.
Enterprise education extends beyond knowledge acquisition to a wide range of emotional, intellectual, social, and practical skills.
Entrepreneurship is the application of an enterprising mind-set and skills in the specific contexts of setting up a new venture, developing and growing an existing business, or designing an entrepreneurial organisation.
Rationale for Enterprise in the Curriculum
Enterprise education is the provision of a curriculum that encourages students to assess, exercise and develop their ‘enterprising’ skills. The rationale behind embedding this skill development within the curriculum rather than providing it solely on an extra-curricular basis is that by doing so, all students will be able to encounter it during the course of their degrees.
The objective of University of Sheffield Enterprise is to enable teaching staff within the University to embed enterprise in their own teaching in order to achieve this sustainably, to answer the national drivers and University Strategy for Enterprise Education, and to reach large numbers of students with limited resources.
On a national level, the importance and role of enterprise education in producing graduates who are likely to drive the economy forward has been recognised. The Wilson report and BIS’s subsequent response, emphasised the importance of embedded enterprise skills. The QAA guidelines have offered further direction to those seeking to implement enterprise education.