Entrepreneurship is one of the key competencies in higher education curricula, and has been included in Haaga-Helia’s curriculum since the universities of applied sciences were founded.
The Entrepreneurship competence is a mindset for all
The common misunderstanding is to think that entrepreneurship mindset is only for students interested in establishing an enterprise. However, the entrepreneurial mindset applies to all.
The European Commission has developed the Entre Comp framework that explains the concept by identifying 15 competences in three key areas. In short, the entrepreneurship mindset is the capacity to act upon opportunities and ideas, and transform them into value for others.
Experiential learning opportunities and teaching models
To make entrepreneurial teaching interesting, we chose to combine the business-based and the pedagogical-based views for evidence based experiential teaching models in the EASIP COMP project. From a pedagogical perspective, it is important that the student’s agency is strengthened and that her own experiences and ideas are the basis of entrepreneurship education. From a business perspective, it is crucial that the contents meet the requirements of entrepreneurship versatile.
We started by letting students evaluate their own entrepreneurial competence. After that, they tested various creative tasks in an inspiring environment. Our idea was to scale the results of this development work done with the students to a wider audience. For this purpose, we created a free online course available to everyone.
The online course contains 12 modules, with topics such as introductions to entrepreneurship, business models and distribution methods as well as prototyping, storytelling and sustainability. The course contains user-friendly theory, material for both students and teachers and activity opportunities for students. The mascot of the course is Lolli, who goes on adventures on videos showing her entrepreneurial path.
One of the goals of the EASIP COMP project was cooperation with companies and the opportunity for students to test their business ideas. Therefore, students were able to implement real-life cooperation with companies by creating prototypes of business ideas.
Extensive and applicable results
All project partners were disseminating the project results with workshops. At Haaga-Helia we organized two workshops. The first workshop was for high school students with entrepreneurship-related studies. The second workshop was for the teachers from different educational institutions.
Working in vocational teacher education, myself and my colleagues gained a good foundation of knowledge and skills on entrepreneurship and combining business and pedagogical views. The EASIP COMP project results are applicable and can be easily implemented in higher education organizations across Europe. This helps us in long-term co-operation between universities and local business operators.