Education for Responsible Entrepreneurship

Tags: ESD | Education for sustainable development | entrepreneurship

Education for Responsible Entrepreneurship - an alternative approach to enterprise education

These troubled economic times mean that we need enterprising people now more than ever. Fresh thinkers who spot opportunities, apply their entrepreneurial talents and overcome the obstacles to make their ideas happen.

Our project, which is just launched, is filling a much-needed gap in more conventional enterprise education and bringing it more clearly into the 21st century as well as fitting well with new major political policies and support. It is based on a 4-part approach – the social, cooperative, sustainable and global/local. It provides an alternative approach to enterprise education with its focus on social enterprise providing results that help wider society. It also explores an alternative governance structure to the hierarchical and sometimes undemocratic focus on the single Director. Its focus on sustainability especially in the management of waste and energy, is something that all businesses from the largest to the smallest are having to address both through self-interest on their bottom line, as well as customer and political demands. Lastly it provides a perspective on trade, partnerships and communities of interest that focus on the required balance between globalisation and localisation. This 4-part approach is firmly part of the new and emerging social and green economies which future generations of employees and enterprises are having to recognise and understand.

For many years the European Commission has been encouraging school mini-enterprises across Europe. But no initiatives have focused on our alternative approach to enterprise education – what the EC now calls 'responsible entrepreneurship'. So for the last two years they have funded our project. It is now ready to be widely taken up by teachers in the new academic year. We have had great feedback from teachers workshops, conferences, schools and colleges where we have presented and tested the activities.

We have produced four key results:

  • An open educational resource website which enables any teacher to network with others about their own alternative approach to enterprise education. The site includes the downloadable guide, details of the teacher's workshops and conference, presentations, and a review of curricula and qualifications.

  • A YouTube Channel with 20 or so short videos, mainly in English) mentioned in the Guide on Education for Responsible Entrepreneurship. The channel includes a wide range of videos in English that could be used with students.

  • A small European network, based on the website, which will communicate about forthcoming events, and act as a platform for discussion etc.

Coordinator: Adam Cade, Director of SustEd - Sustainability Education.

A European Erasmus + Strategic Partnership project from 2014-16 with partners in Germany, Italy and the UK