Rediscovering enterprise: Developing appropriate university entrepreneurship education

Bridge, S., Hegarty, C. and Porter, S. (2010) Rediscovering enterprise: Developing appropriate university entrepreneurship education. pp. 722-734. ISSN 00400912 (ISSN)


Purpose: Entrepreneurship can refer to business start-up, but now sometimes has wider connotations. This paper aims to explore what entrepreneurship means for the promoters of entrepreneurship education and what might be appropriate for the students who consume it. Design/methodology/approach: The paper assesses the work of NICENT (The Northern Ireland Centre for Entrepreneurship) in the University of Ulster in its approach to addressing the requirements of both its funders and its consumers. Findings: Funders often want to pursue entrepreneurship as part of a business creation agenda but even the word entrepreneurship can be off-putting to students. NICENT, therefore, asked not How to teach entrepreneurship? but What do students need? As a result NICENT broadened its approach from enterprise for new venture creation to enterprise for life. This, NICENT believed, was more appropriate to the needs of the majority of students and was a foundation on which enterprise for new venture creation could later be built. Practical implications: NICENT funders had an economic development focus, and wanted to see new high-growth businesses. However, to spread entrepreneurship education throughout the university, NICENT had to sell its services to university staff and, in turn, to their students: who want respectively to deliver and receive an enhancement to future life and work effectiveness. Originality/value: This paper explores the different requirements of the various stakeholders involved in entrepreneurship education and considers the need to reconcile them. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

View Item