Monday, 30 October 2017

And by the way, we’ll help them become enterprising

Dr Gary C Wood
Enterprise Education Developer

What is a word? From the early days of linguistics, Saussure (1959) identified that words are signs: they map a particular written representation or spoken sound ('signifier') to a meaning in the mind of the listener ('signified'). This relationship breaks down for us as enterprise educators when we use the words ‘enterprise’ and ‘entrepreneurship’. Our audiences relate those terms to business and start-up, and so define them much more narrowly than we would as enterprise educators. As a result, they rightly challenge the relevance of our offer when most students don’t want to start their own venture.

To overcome this challenge, we need to step back. Linguistic signs need to form a meaningful message in the mind of our audience. So, our real challenge is to ensure that our audiences get our intended meaning.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

GUEST STUDENT BLOG: The impact of developing enterprise capabilities within my degree course

Guest Author: Pauline Narvas

Image of headshot of Pauline Narvas, the author, smiling[This is a guest blog written for us by Pauline Narvas. We asked her to tell us about the impact that experiencing enterprise in the curriculum has had on her personally.]

Bio: Hi, I’m Pauline! I have a lot of hats but in summary, I am: a Biomedical Sciences student, an old-school blogger, a front-end developer, a former communications intern, a women in STEM advocate, HackMed hackathon organiser and a coding instructor at Code First: Girls.


My experience


The Organ Donation Project was a project that made up a small part of my ‘Introduction to Human Anatomy’ module in my second year of my Biomedical Sciences degree. I was put into a group with others in my course, where I then took the role of team leader for the project. My role was to delegate tasks to other team members and think of creative, ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas to engage young students to sign up for the organ donation register, using our anatomical knowledge.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Meaningful external partnerships (PART 2): "Nothing About Us Without Us"

Anna Nibbs
Enterprise Education Developer

In my last post, I invited readers to view the design of external partnerships for learning and teaching through the lens of Lean Startup methodology (Ries 2011), based upon the development of USE's 'Making Ideas Happen' (MIH) module.

To recap: in considering whether it would be beneficial to use external partners, designers of a learning experience need to ask:
Grey tarmac, viewed from above, on which is painted the word "respect" in all upper-case bold, red, stencilled lettering with a white drop shadow
“Should we use external partnerships for this project?”
And if so:
“How can we use them in a way that is both sustainable and manageable?”
We considered our first 'customer' segment - students. But of course, we only scratched the surface of this approach, and I now want to turn my focus to our other key 'customer' - the external partner.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Risky Business...

Dr Alison Riley
Enterprise Education Manager

One of our five Enterprise Capabilities that we want to develop in students is 'Risk taking'.

This is the one capability where, when we discuss it with colleagues who teach in The University, we might see a wince. Much like this.



via GIPHY

Monday, 31 July 2017

Meaningful external partnerships (PART 1): Thinking "Lean" about partnership design

Anna Nibbs
Enterprise Education Developer
Whiteboard, with coloured pen annotations on tips for working with external partners, e.g. building the relationship well in advance, working closely to develop the problem, and not overestimating effort involved.

The Enterprise Academy team is chiefly known, and widely recognised for, the support we provide to academic colleagues to embed enterprise in their specific subject curricula. USE does, however, have well-established, in-house teaching and assessment responsibilities.

'Making Ideas Happen' (MIH), USE's interdisciplinary credit-bearing module, is now almost seven years old.

Unlike everything else we do, MIH is not embedded enterprise. True embedded enterprise uses a core subject discipline as a vehicle for enterprise capability (EC) development (and vice versa), MIH's vehicle for EC development, on the other hand, is entrepreneurship education, with a firm focus on fulfilling social aims.

Embedded or not, however, the work we've undertaken on MIH feeds greatly into our work with academics.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Not an entrepreneur? Why this doesn't matter. (PART 2 OF 2)

Anna Nibbs
Enterprise Education Developer

In my previous post on this subject, I explored the idea of intrapreneurship (Pinchott & Pinchott 1978) in higher education, and highlighted a number of examples of where intrapreneurship as a concept is, itself, being used in the delivery of embedded enterprise education.

It seems true that in undertaking and delivering truly innovative curriculum development and teaching, the developers and deliverers of that teaching must sometimes behave as institutionally-located entrepreneurs.

But is this really the case? Are they truly supported to do so? Are the parallels between innovative learning and teaching, entrepreneurship, and intrapreneurship meaningful enough to be acknowledged as real?

And does it even matter whether they are, or not?

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Not an entrepreneur? Why this doesn't matter. (PART 1 OF 2)

Anna Nibbs
Enterprise Education Developer

I've previously confessed, in a blog post on University of Sheffield Enterprise's student-facing website, to the fact that, while I'm an enterprise education practitioner, I'm not an entrepreneur. Despite being immersed in this field for over six years, the word "entrepreneur" itself has always sat somewhat uncomfortably with me. I have never run my own business. I have never formally studied business. My professional experience is firmly rooted in education development, and learning and teaching innovation.

In the field of enterprise education, we suffer from a long-standing vocabulary issue. So many people seem to have issues with the words 'enterprise' and 'entrepreneurship'.

And I'm not alone in feeling like this.