Group of Ideas to Enterprise PGR student in discussion

What is Enterprise Education?

Enterprise education is defined as:

‘…the process of equipping students (or graduates) with an enhanced capacity to generate ideas and the skills to make them happen.’

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education 2012
Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education: Guidelines for UK Higher Education Providers

Enterprise education is not business studies. Entrepreneurship is only one of the possible outcomes. Instead, enterprise education aims to equip students with a set of capabilities which they can apply to whichever context they choose. University of Sheffield Enterprise Academy defines five enterprise capabilities:


Authentic Problem Solving


Authentic Problem Solving

Students are given the opportunity to identify and investigate realistic ‘messy’/’wicked’ or ‘ill-structured’ problems, using a variety of methods, within authentic constraints, as part of an iterative process. The problem may well be set by an external partner.

Innovation and Creativity


Innovation and Creativity

Students are given the opportunity for creative, critical and iterative thinking and working methods to develop and generate innovative ideas, solutions, products or artefacts, using new approaches and lateral thinking.

Risk Taking


Risk-taking

An enterprising curriculum offers students the opportunity to take measured risks, deal with and learn from uncertainty, and learn from mistakes and failure in a ‘soft-landing’ environment.

Taking Action


Taking Action

Students are given the opportunity to develop leadership capabilities as part of self-directed learning, employing pro-active attitudes and strategies to achieve self-defined outcomes.

True Collaboration


True Collaboration

Students are given the opportunity to work in professionally structured groups, work together using true collaborative styles, and work with ‘clients’ and stakeholders responsively, effectively and professionally. Collaboration is not just group work. True collaboration is dynamic and responsive.