Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Ekonomihögskolan vid Lunds universitet

How to become an entrepreneur in a week - The value of 7-day entrepreneurship courses

Publicerad: 2020-06-26

A new book about camps, challenges and short courses that promise to create change agents.

Edited by Lise Aaboen, Professor, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, Hans Landström, Professor, Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship, Lund University, Sweden and Roger Sørheim, Professor, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Published by Edward Elgar Publishing.

Can you learn to be an entrepreneur in a week? The book focuses on short entrepreneurship education initiatives and includes eleven courses from European research-based Universities. The book provides insights on best practice and lessons learned from experience for potential and current organizers of such initiatives.

Perhaps you have seen all the glossy posters and pictures from camps, challenges and entrepreneurship courses showing excited students grouped around post-it notes. In the pictures, we see enthusiasm, engagement and entrepreneurship in the making. Just outside the picture, is a tired but relieved teacher, program manager or University administrator who received a message a few months earlier that “the University has decided that all students should be introduced to entrepreneurship and you are the person that will make it happen”. This book is written for these teachers, program managers and university administrators. By reading this book, they will learn how eleven other European universities decided to solve this task and learn from their experiences. 

There are three types of initiatives in the book:

  1. The first type of initiatives tried to instill an entrepreneurial mindset and inspire the students to entrepreneurial thinking through teamwork. The result is often a pitch or presentation of how the students have solved a challenge. These initiatives are often mandatory and provided for instance in the beginning of a semester to a large group of students at the same time. 

  2. In the second group of initiatives, the intended result is to contribute to the third mission of the university by preparing students for a career as entrepreneurs. These initiatives are usually extra-curricular and the students are working on developing an actual venture. 

  3. The third group of initiatives are based on collaborations between universities and have a regional or societal goal for their activities. 

Even though the initiatives have different goals, different students and different contexts, the pedagogical approaches are more or less the same in all initiatives. The emphasis is often on teaching the students tools such as design thinking or lean start-up through experiential learning where students work on a project in groups with mentoring and attend lectures for learning the tools they need during their project.

A promising development in some of the Universities is that in addition to providing an initial awareness of entrepreneurship to the students, these initiatives are used for trying out new exercises that are later implemented in courses and for training junior faculty in entrepreneurship teaching. In order for these initiatives not to become just a fun add-on event during education, we suggest that future developments of such initiatives should move in the direction of increased contextualization in order for entrepreneurship to become an integrated part of the curriculum of the study programs. 

In the book you can read about the following initiatives:

WOFIE (Aalborg University, Denmark), The Innovation Camp (NTNU, Norway), SEMIS (TBS Business School, Toulouse, France), LISS (Leeds University, UK), SommarMatchen (Linköping University, Sweden), Entrepreneurship for Research Professionals (Turku University, Finland), VentureLab Weekend (University of Groningen, the Netherlands), PIE 17-088 (University of Malaga, Spain), Pursuing Entrepreneurship (Aarhus University, Denmark), 5UCV-E2 (Universitat Jaume I, Valencia, Spain) and ComoNExT iStart Academy (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy). 

You can read more about the book here.