An enterprising event

23 May 2013

Leading experts and young entrepreneurs came together to reflect on strategy, practice and impact at an event hosted by GCU.

The Enterprise Education Symposium was the result of collaboration between GCU LEAD, SHEEF (Scottish Higher Education Employability Forum, SIE (Scottish Institute for Enterprise), EEUK (Enterprise Educators UK) and the Higher Education Academy.

It aimed to explore different interpretations of what enterprise educations means and how it can be applied in various contexts. 

GCU Employability lecturer Sabine McKinnon said: "People often assume that enterprise education is only for business students who are already focussed on the commercial world. This is not the case - an enterprise education aims to benefit and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set in students from all subject disciplines. It includes the ability to think creatively and independently, take the initiative and assume a leadership role.

"What made this event special was its international perspective. We were delighted to share the experience of academics and practitioners from three European countries with colleagues from all across Scotland and the UK."

Juliet Edwards, Policy Officer, Higher Education and Innovation at the European Commission, Dr Mats Lundquist, Director Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg and Professor David Gibson, National Teaching Fellow for Enterprise Education at Queen’s University Belfast all shared their understanding of enterprise education and shared examples of how they are embedding it. They were joined by Brian McGuire, co-founder of Entrepreneurial Spark, a Scottish business hatchery which supports early stage businesses on their road to success.

Delegates also heard from young entrepreneurs who have successfully put theory into practice. GCU graduate Anthony Gerrard was joined by Anna Marie Campbell and Jakub Hiterski to talk about their business start-up experiences and what universities can do to prepare them for it. All three are supported by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise.

Bruce Wood, Professor of Design Innovation at GCU, said: "This event surpassed our expectations with the quality of speakers, attendees from GCU and from across the UK. It hopefully has provided a platform to allow colleagues to progress their ideas with regards to embracing the enterprise agenda within their subject areas and programmes."