Over the past few decades, the field of Entrepreneurship in Education has found itself a flourishing ground, and has achieved academic legitimacy and maturity expanding its practice across borders, and among learners of all ages and backgrounds. Yet, the interpretation of what entrepreneurship in education is and how it is facilitated varies greatly across institutions and environments. Prepared as a tribute to the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership Project Embedding Entrepreneurship Education (EEE), this special issue of University Industry Innovation Magazine is dedicated to exploring the diversity of the approaches and practices to embedding entrepreneurship in higher education.

During the past two years, the EEE project consortium has developed a variety of tools and instruments that can be used to promote entrepreneurial thinking and action, establish regional stakeholder networks, and foster setting up state-of-the-art entrepreneurship education curriculum at the university level. We hope that the EEE Teaching Toolkit and its individual modules, the Roadmap for Universities to Create Regional Alliances will enable the replication of these good practices in other regions in Europe.

Apart from highlighting the EEE project approach and the outcomes, this issue of the magazine introduces the work of some of the most prominent European initiatives, WEXHE, EntreAssess, ETEE, and Tomorrow’s Land. Further, the issue brings to your attention the institutional journeys of JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, and Munich Business School, as well as two Australian universities LaTrobe University and The University of Adelaide, in integrating an entrepreneurial culture and curriculum within their institutions.

To explore more of the EEE project outputs and dive into the variety of institutional practices in embedding entrepreneurship in higher education, we encourage you to access the magazine here.

University of Szeged has recently held its national launch where the audience could get an insight about the challenges and opportunities of nowadays young (Generation Z) entrepreneurs and the ways how their competences can be fostered. The EEE event was attended by over 50 regional business partners, stakeholders, academics and students. The focus of the event was the EEE specialized course, that involved local entrepreneurs as lecturers and mentors of the students. In the plenary session four presentations were delivered by project representatives, students and external stakeholders of the EEE semester program.

In his presentation Dr. Norbert Buzas has focused on the function of accelerators, characteristics of modern day entrepreneurs, and approaches to provide this new generation of entrepreneurs the best assistance during their development. Márk Olajos a young entrepreneur, who was involved as a mentor in the EEE course, highlighted the main challenges that nowadays Generation Y and Z entrepreneurs are facing. The third presenter Dr. Szabolcs Pronay introduced the EEE Teaching Toolkit to the audience, describing the methodology to be followed in successfully integrating the modules into the course programs, as well as indicating the potential barriers that can be faced in the process. The last presenter of the plenary session was Attila Tóth – a student who participated in the EEE semester course. He highlighted how the course learnings have had an impact on students’ mindset and equipped him with the right skills to successfully launch his start-up (called: Pricemind). The plenary session was followed by a workshop on the pathways to integrate regional stakeholders in entrepreneurial course program development and delivery.

Following plenary sessions and the workshop, in the afternoon, there was a joint event, the national final of a new presentation challenge, called “Prezilimpia – the Presentation Olympics”. This new challenge was co-organized and co-hosted by the Hungarian EEE team and it aimed to foster the presentation and pitching skills of the young entrepreneurs. 8 young entrepreneurs competed in front of the jury of local entrepreneurs and professional presenters. With this joined event a county-wide audience was reached and the program of the EEE National Launch was boosted to a full-day program about young (Generation Z) entrepreneurs, that also generated a larger media coverage.

“Entrepreneurship is when you act upon opportunities and ideas and transform them into value for others. The value that is created can be financial, cultural, or social”- with this opening definition EntreComp Into Action User Guide invites its readers on a journey to explore outstanding case studies, tools and ideas that have successfully employed the Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (EntremComp) of the European Commission inside the European Union. We are honoured that the EEE Teaching Toolkit has been selected by the responsible committee as one of the good practice examples in the tools section of the user guide.

What is EntreComp and EntreComp Into Action User Guide?

In brief, EntreComp has been developed to provide a coherent conceptual understanding for entrepreneurship education inside the EU. As such, the framework  it sets the ground for identifying relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes that comprise “entrepreneurial mindset”, and observes it through three major competence areas, which are subdivided  into 15 competences each:

1) Ideas & Opportunities,

2) Resources, and

3) Into Action.

EntreComp Into Action User Guide has been devised to navigate individuals and organizations that aspire to develop entrepreneurial competences through lifelong learning, formal/non-formal teaching and training activities, as well as In working environment. The Guide provides a comprehensive introduction to EnteComp and highlights 70 outstanding examples that have successfully implemented the framework. These case studies, tools and ideas reflect on the ways entrepreneurial learning can be integrated across various sectors and for different audiences.

How is the EEE Teaching Toolkit connected to EntreComp?

Successfully serving its purpose, EntreComp provided a clear structural guidance for the development of 23 combinable teaching modules that compose the EEE Teaching Toolkit. As a matter of fact, the EEE Teaching Toolkit is a powerful entrepreneurship education instrument to:

  • Embed and facilitate entrepreneurial teaching and learning in HEIs,
  • Provide guidance for HEI lecturers and curriculum planners,
  • Sensitise HEI staff with non-business backgrounds for the added-value of entrepreneurship education,
  • Catalyse the inclusion of entrepreneurship education into HEI curricula,

Involve stakeholders of the entrepreneurial eco-system in practically driven entrepreneurship courses.

Incorporating the EntreComp competences framework, EEE Teaching Toolkit reflects on the main dimensions needed for educating successful entrepreneurs.  It translates the core ideas behind the EntreComp framework into practical exercises, that aims at “nurturing a new generation of entrepreneurs” in line with the goals of Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan. With its outputs and specifically EEE Teaching Toolkit, EEE project makes a significant contribution to EU policy to “stimulate the development of entrepreneurial, creative and innovation skills in all disciplines in all three circles”(2011 Agenda for the Modernization of Europe’s HE Systems).

We thank Univations for providing  the input for this blog article

©all rights on images used in this article belong to European Commission 

On the 2nd March 2018, interested students were invited to attend a Q&A kick-off event dedicated to MCI Creativity Award 2018. The event took place at ‘BASE EINS’, a startup hub in front of the Tyrolean State Theatre in Innsbruck, and was organized by MCI in collaboration with Startup.Tirol, the centerpiece of the EEE Regional Alliance in Tyrol. During this event, the students has a chance to learn every detail of how to prepare for a business competition based on the corresponding module ‘Idea Competition’ in the EEE Teaching Toolkit.

The module ‘Idea Competition’, freely accessible here, is designed primarily for the individuals experimenting with entrepreneurial activities for the first time. It has the aim to foster entrepreneurial ideas coming from different fields and supports also individuals who have not yet made experiences with entrepreneurship or management before, in sharing, spreading and eventually also commercializing their ideas. HEI educators can use the materials of the course to enrich the existing or create new entrepreneurship education courses.

The idea competition module consists of two parts. The aim of part one is to give an overview on how an idea competition could look like, how such competition might be structured and organized. The purpose of part two of this idea competition module is to support students in preparing for a successful participation in an idea competition.

In addition to module ‘Idea Competition’, EEE Teaching Toolkit offers two more modules: Course 1: Improving Entrepreneurial Skills, and Course 3: Encouraging Social Entrepreneurship, which are freely available at our Resource Platform.

The Teaching Toolkit is one of the main outputs of the EEE project addressing HEI lecturers and curriculum developers who want to support entrepreneurial teaching efforts in their HEIs. Not only does it incorporate state of the art teaching recommendations and guidelines for a total of 23 modules, but also provides three full courses on Entrepreneurship Education. Moreover, it is structurally aligned to the progressive Entrepreneurship Competence Framework that was developed and introduced by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in 2016.

On 14th December 2017, one of the modules of the Entrepreneurship Education Toolkit was piloted by the Start-Up Service of Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg as part of a lecture series on key qualifications for entrepreneurial thinking and acting. The piloted module, “Opportunities”, explores the trends as a source of inspiration to find the possibilities for entrepreneurial activities and the development of high-potential business ideas that may ultimately lead students to start up their own company. The module proposes the reading material and theoretical tasks for students, and highlights the topics for discussion for the trend analysis. The module conveniently offers the sources for the educators to exemplify and enhance students’ theoretical understanding of “entrepreneurial opportunities”, as well as suggestions for assessment.

The module has received positive feedback from both educators and students who participated in the lecture series. EEE representatives welcomed the valuable feedback received after the completion of the pilot test and will use it to further optimize the existing version of the EEE Teaching Toolkit.

©all rights on logo used in the image belong to the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg

Univations successfully pilot-tested one of the EEE Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit course modules, the business model canvas during the Entrepreneurship Summer School “Geist 21”. Organised by the ThermHex Waben GmbH, one of the leading lightweight composition material producers in Halle, the event Geist 21 hosted a large number of participants from diverse backgrounds, e.g. engineering, business studies, design, and IT who has interest in new materials and the desire to found an enterprise. The international nature of the program has attracted an enthusiastic audience from across the world, including India, Iran, and Egypt.

Concerning further exploitation of the Entrepreneurship Teaching Toolkit, the collaboration continues with Martin-Luther-University (MLU) for the piloting off the EEE teaching modules. In fact, the EEE regional alliance Halle now focuses on the start of the winter term in Saxony-Anhalt in which EEE resources might be integrated into regular teaching activities as well as into the program of the upcoming Entrepreneurship week from 13.11.-17.11.2017. The University staff have already signalled their will to use resources of the EEE Teaching Toolkit, and by this support to further support the entrepreneurship promotion campaign of EEE that will be launched at the beginning of the next year.

Furthermore, the EEE team Halle upholds its efforts to enlarge the regional alliance for entrepreneurship education in Saxony-Anhalt. Florian Bratzke, European Project Officer at Univations GmbH, met with officials from the University of Applied Sciences Merseburg in September to introduce EEE objectives as well as to discuss possible ways of involvement in the regional alliance. Furthermore, Mr. Bratzke took chance to discuss the content and structure of the EEE Teaching Toolkit with the present HEI teaching staff as well as the idea of a state-wide entrepreneurship summer camp. In fact, Dr. Henn – Head of start-up service – explicitly pronounced her interest to further deepen the cooperation with EEE team of Univations to foster entrepreneurial aspiration of students and to better equip HEI staff with high-quality resources to facilitate their efforts in entrepreneurial teaching.

Officials from University of Applied Sciences Merseburg have agreed to check possible ways to support the piloting of EEE resources by integrating them into the entrepreneurial teaching activities of the start-up service in the upcoming winter term.

5 teams, 26 students and 10 mentors started to work on project ideas that aim to enhance higher entrepreneurial endeavours in the region. The EEE course was promoted at 12 faculties at the University of Szeged and receiving a positive response from several media. After the application there were a small drop-out, but the most enthusiastic students stayed to create entrepreneurial value.

In previous months, students had to submit a motivational letter – including their motivations and project ideas if they already had – in order to apply for the course. Finally, the applicants were grouped into 5 teams, then the project ideas were selected and presented by the students in the middle of September.

There are more developed project concepts and less developed ideas as well, thus some of the matured projects have the possibility to reach market introduction within 1 year. These projects are briefly summarised below:

Craft beer producer

One of the team members produces craft beer in a regular basis, but in a small amount. His idea is to establish a craft beer brand that suits the need of young people and will fulfill a market niche –quality craft beer at an affordable price. They will prepare a plan for the budget because in the first step the producer has to invest to equipment, then they will work on how to position this local craft beer on the market.

In-house restaurant

The main concept is to combine the advantages of preparing food at home and the benefits of eating in a restaurant. The team wants to open a restaurant in a flat that will host closed gastro events for those who wants to invite friends and/or relatives for special occasions. The team believes that, people do not like to clean their apartments after an event, thus they rather go to a „kitchen flat” where they just have to prepare food but do not have to wash the dishes after the event or spend time on buying the ingredients for the dinner.

PriceMind

The team is working on a marketing service that could yield significant statistical insights for companies into their competitors’ prices. The software monitors the prices in the competitors’ webshops and collects these data into tables and figures. This information could help to making better pricing decisions.

PubSearcher

This peer-to-peer smart phone application is entitled to collect all information – regarding reviews, promotions, opening hours, etc. – relating to pubs in a local area. The goal is to help people to make decisions when they are planning their Friday or Saturday nights. The business model will provide revenues for the developers from the pubs’ financial contributions.

Donations for homeless-animals

The goal of this social entrepreneurship project is to help stray animals to find a new home and to find pet friendly people in order to gain financial resource for animal shelters. The smart phone application and/or website would help non-business organizations to reach higher audiences in the country, furthermore it lets people to adopt animals virtually and contribute to their living costs. The team hopes that this online tool will decrease the number of stray animals on the streets and can mediate in a higher efficiency between orphaned animals and pet friendly people.

Univations strengthens ties with their major alliance partner Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) on the pilot teaching of the EEE entrepreneurship course modules. On behalf of their 2nd regional alliance meeting on 30.03.2017 at MLU, Univations has discussed EEE goals and strategies with Prof. Dr. Claudia Becker – Dean of the Economics and Law Faculty.

At the meeting held with Prof. Dr. Claudia Becker, Dean of the Economics and Law Faculty, the project team was assured to receive the faculties support in helping the EEE consortium to pilot test the learning resources that will be developed throughout the course of the project. Furthermore, Prof. Becker agreed to become an active member in the EEE Halle Alliance, emphasizing her will to assist Univations to carry EEE initiatives into MLU. During the meeting it was further agreed to work closely together with the Start-Up Service of MLU and to intensify efforts to extend the EEE stakeholder network of the regional alliance in the next months. Due to her expertise, experience and position as Dean, Prof. Becker will be a key figure for identifying and recruiting high potential MLU staff and students, who are able to positively contribute to the EEE mission.