“From Classroom to Boardroom: Effective Strategies for Entrepreneurship Training in Universities”
Published: 20th December 2023
The HEI-EIT initiative enabled the EELISA UNFOLDS project to develop two entrepreneurship courses—one tailored for professors and another for students. These courses serve as a foundation for a transformative learning experience meticulously designed to instigate significant change within participants, their teams, and their institutions. Crafted as online programs, they immerse participants in a lively and interactive learning journey, seamlessly integrating hands-on experiences from EELISA UNFOLDS into pragmatic teaching methodologies. These university entrepreneurship courses transcend traditional academic boundaries, reshaping mindsets and work approaches for both professors and students. By immersing participants in practical experiences, educators are empowered to incorporate entrepreneurial principles into their teaching methods, fostering innovative approaches. Simultaneously, students develop a mindset focused on creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration, equipping them with essential skills for navigating the complexities of the professional world. Consequently, these courses contribute to a culture of innovation within universities, fostering positive changes in teaching and learning environments.
Below, you can see the details of the two courses developed within the framework of HEI-EIT:
“EELISA UNFOLDS BOOSTEE” and “Introduction to intra/social entrepreneurship”
EELISA UNFOLDS BOOSTEE: Empowering Entrepreneurial Education
The EELISA UNFOLDS BOOSTEE (Boost Student Entrepreneurial Engagement Training Programme) is a comprehensive online program designed for academics committed to driving meaningful change within themselves, their teams, and their organizations, with a primary focus on their students. Acting as a vital link, BOOSTEE seamlessly integrates the hands-on experiences from EELISA UNFOLDS into practical teaching methodologies, encouraging a reevaluation of course designs. The program, delivered through interactive online sessions, emphasizes the development of soft skills essential for entrepreneurial competency. Our BOOSTEE trainers, experienced mid-to-senior level professionals, value collaboration and diverse perspectives to craft effective solutions and approaches.
- Learning Outcomes and Topics Covered:
Participants in BOOSTEE will gain in-depth knowledge of central entrepreneurial concepts, principles, and practices. They will understand how to address the entrepreneurial mindset in non-entrepreneurial courses, design experiential learning activities, and effectively communicate with external partners for co-creation practices.
Learn to inspire entrepreneurial thinking, discover support services for student engagement, and explore co-creation practices. Delve into intrapreneurship programs, develop the entrepreneurial mindset outside the classroom, and understand the dynamics of social entrepreneurship. The program, conducted online via Microsoft Teams, took place on November 3rd, 8th, and 10th, 2022.
INTRODUCTION TO INTRA/SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Navigating the Online World
Embark on a transformative journey in the rapidly evolving online world with the Introduction to Intra/Social Entrepreneurship course led by UPM. Participants will explore tools and methodologies for innovators, working on real projects guided by experienced entrepreneurs and academics. Reserved for EELISA students, the course offers 3 credits at UPM level, qualifying for the “actúaupm” Startup Creation Program – International Edition and the Shanghai-based “Xiji Incubator” incubation program. The course aims to develop real intra-entrepreneurial projects aligned with societal needs, emphasizing the “Lean Startup” method and practical application of tools such as the business model canvas and lean start-up.
Conducted from October 5th to November 11th, 2022, every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm CET via Zoom, the course includes elements of creative thinking, idea development, value proposition, experiment design, prototyping, and the use of various tools. Participants will benefit from mentorship, exclusive events, and collaborative teamwork on practical projects, culminating in a final pitch session.
- EELISA UNFOLDS Credential: Shaping Future Change Makers
In parallel, EELISA UNFOLDS developed a credential within the course “Change makers: Shaping the future.” This credential, a unified tool within the EELISA community, includes practical content showcasing students’ experiences. Ensuring privacy, accessibility through personal links/QR codes, dynamic updates, and institutional verification, the credential aligns with the aim to benefit students in their career development and enhance engagement within the EELISA community. The methodology involved a literature review, low and high-definition prototype development, and implementation in the “Change makers” course, showcasing the credential in the diploma of course completion and individual student work.
The trainings were developed as a pilot to respond to the increasing needs for entrepreneurial skills and knowledge in today’s professional world.
The courses have been created by EELISA UNFOLDS in the context of academic institutions, with a special focus on experiential learning, practical application and access to resources and support networks.
- EELISA UNFOLDS BOOSTEE: Academic and non academic staff at Universities.
- Introduction to intra/social entrepreneurship: Students at Universities.
The primary anticipated achievements of these dual courses launched in the HEI-EIT framework, catering to both students and academic staff, revolved around the successful implementation of entrepreneurship training. The goal was to equip university students with essential entrepreneurial skills, including resilience, leadership, communication, teamwork, and more, even if their primary objective was not to pursue entrepreneurship.
With a laser focus on this objective, two distinct courses were meticulously crafted: one tailored for academic staff, titled ‘EELISA UNFOLDS BOOSTEE,’ aimed at providing them with educational tools centered around entrepreneurship. The other course, designed for students, sought to foster collaboration within teams to address current social challenges and was aptly named ‘Introduction to Intra/Social Entrepreneurship.’
Key success factors / How to replicate / Sustainability mechanism
The critical success factors for replicating these entrepreneurship courses for students and academic staff encompass establishing a supportive environment, facilitating access to resources and support networks, and prioritizing experiential learning and practical application. Overcoming potential challenges is integral to the success of this good practice.
Identified obstacles may include limited resources, insufficient support from senior leadership, and restricted we worked in clear goals for the institution seeking to convey to the governance that entrepreneurship and innovation do not necessarily have to solely serve to launch products into the market, we established a work plan that allows for long-term benefits. The work across different countries and cultures posed challenges, as did engaging participants in the courses. However, once the program was structured, communication was facilitated at all levels of the initiative. To ensure the sustainability and transferability of this effective practice it is imperative to set clear goals and objectives, conduct regular evaluations to assess the impact of the courses, and maintain a robust commitment to industry engagement and community partnerships. Continuous collaboration and communication with stakeholders are paramount.
For those considering replication at their institutions, meticulous attention to the unique needs and challenges of their context is crucial. Adaptation of the courses should be based on this understanding, which may involve proactive identification and resolution of potential obstacles, fostering robust partnerships with industry and community stakeholders, and providing continuous support and resources to participants. Sustaining a strong focus on both sustainability and transferability is key throughout the process.