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Promoting the entrepreneurship agenda across higher education institutes, (HEIs), and the importance of staff engagement. Professor Pauric McGowan Director Northern Ireland Centre for Entrepreneurship, (NICENT).

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Promoting the entrepreneurship agenda across higher education institutes, (HEIs), and the importance of staff engagement

Professor Pauric McGowan

Director

Northern Ireland Centre for Entrepreneurship, (NICENT)

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Promoting the entrepreneurship agenda across higher education and the importance of staff engagement

In this presentation I will seek:

  • Consider the changing context that is redefining the role of the academic in HEIs
  • Review the experiences of the Northern Ireland Centre for Entrepreneurship, (NICENT)
  • Reflect on some of the implications of

that experience

  • Consider strategies to encourage

“buy-in”

promoting the entrepreneurship agenda across higher education
Promoting the entrepreneurship agenda across higher education

Nothing less than the development of the Entrepreneurial University or Institute of Technology……………….

the advent of the entrepreneurial university
The advent of the entrepreneurial university
  • Like any enterprise, an entrepreneurial university will be “entrepreneurial” because the people in it are entrepreneurs
  • Stimulation of entrepreneurial behaviour through curriculum development,
  • Exploitation of knowledge and technology,
  • Engagement with business sector
factors influencing the expansion of universities mission in current times
Factors influencing the expansion of universities mission in current times

HEIs are increasingly under pressure:

To be more relevant in society,

To behave more entrepreneurially by government, business and society generally

To reflect the new “world of work” for which graduates must be prepared

entrepreneurship education its role
Entrepreneurship Education, its role

“The future prosperity of society depends on all our young people, including the brightest and the best, and their parents coming to regard the business sector and in particular setting up their own business, as a valid and realistic career option”

Entrepreneurship and Education Action Plan, DETI, DE, DEL March 2003, p6

the new world of work
The new world of work

uncertainty and complexity

fluid organisational structures

greater probability of self employment

wider responsibilities in family and social life

global pressures

Gibb and Hannon 2006

nicent s strategic challenge building awareness and engagement
NICENT’s strategic challenge - building awareness and engagement

Through embedding “entrepreneurship” within the curriculum

Through extra-curricular activity focusing on entrepreneurial new venturing, (ENV),

key outcomes for nicent partnership since 2000
Key outcomes for NICENT partnership since 2000

Through Curriculum development

>17, 000 at undergraduate

>1900 at postgraduate

Through extra-curricular activities

>900 students in >300 business

teams

from the nicent experience
From the NICENT experience
  • Staff in HEIs either embrace or reject the agenda
  • Either way they have a critical impact on its progress as ‘radical participants’ or ‘determined reactionaries’
  • As ‘participants’ their roles are as champions, supporters, gate-keepers and role models
  • As ‘reactionaries’ they are defenders of the “status-quo”, of traditional values
basis for resistance
Basis for resistance
  • Ignorance and myopia about what entrepreneurship is and who entrepreneurial people are
  • Pre-conceived notions about its associations with starting a new business and with the profit motive
  • Pre-determination that agenda poses a threat to traditional university values
  • The credibility of the subject vis-à-vis “real” academic subjects
  • Perceived as additional effort and a distraction from proper university work
challenges to an entrepreneurial culture within a university
Challenges to an entrepreneurial culture within a university

For many within HEIs the concept of entrepreneurship with its associations with business development and its interest in the profit motive provokes,……..

“…an image of shady villainy, a fifth column gnawing away at the basic values that define a university, a wolf masquerading as a milch-cow”

McNay 2002, p 2

entrepreneurial people
Entrepreneurial People:

People who start businesses - Entrepreneurial New Venturers

People who grow businesses - Corporate entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs

People who renew communities or social groups – Social or Community Entrepreneurs

entrepreneurial people by their actions

Entrepreneurial people by their actions:

Exploit the opportunity in innovative ideas

Challenge the status-quo

Make a difference

Add value

Display particular traits and competencies

strategies to encourage buy in
Strategies to encourage “buy-in”
  • Make the entrepreneurship agenda relevant
  • Embed it, don’t bolt it on
  • Build awareness and encourage engagement
  • Encourage ownership of the agenda, especially beyond Business and Management faculties
  • Identify, support and reward champions
  • Confirm credibility of entrepreneurship in research terms
  • Develop a culture for entrepreneurship through celebrations of success and a “can-do” attitude
  • Train the trainers
  • Minimise the hassle-factor
  • Personal selling
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Entrepreneurial people will save the world!

‘The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him…The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man’

George Bernard Shaw

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Promoting the entrepreneurship agenda across higher education institutions and the importance of staff engagement

Professor Pauric McGowan.

Director.

Northern Ireland Centre for Entrepreneurship, (NICENT),