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Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

Guidance and best practice for embedding enterprise and entrepreneurship in the curriculum.

Enterprise can be defined as ‘the generation and application of ideas, which are set within practical situations during a project or undertaking... It combines creativity, originality, initiative, idea generation, design thinking, adaptability and reflexivity with problem identification, problem solving, innovation, expression, communication and practical action’ QAA 2018, p.7.*

Entrepreneurship education is defined as ‘the application of enterprise behaviours, attributes and competencies into the creation of cultural, social or economic value. This can, but does not exclusively, lead to venture creation’ QAA 2018, p.7.*

'Approaches to teaching and learning, by their very nature, often encompass entrepreneurial learning. Regardless of whether these are labelled as enterprise and entrepreneurship education, the enhancement of appropriate skills, knowledge, attributes and behaviours necessary for transforming creative ideas into actions are of ever increasing importance.' Advance HE, 2019, p.2.*

*See Useful resources and sites

Get your Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Employability resource pack

Complete the form by clicking the link below and we will send you an email resource pack containing a range of guidance, reports and useful links to help you understand and embed enterprise, entrepreneurship and employability in the curriculum.

Get your pack

Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education Framework

The framework is centred on the ways in which enterprise and entrepreneurship education can add value to the journey of learner, whether they are interested in starting their own venture or being enterprising when working for someone else in the private, public or voluntary and community sector. There is an evidence base that highlights the value of developing enterprising and entrepreneurial skills in learners, not only in terms of facilitating the creation of new ventures whilst in education, and upon graduation, but also in enhancing their employability.

This framework provides a resource, both to connect the journey of the learner to the role of the educator and in facilitating the education experience. This in turn enables managers with responsibility for processes and practices within the institution that enable the enterprise and entrepreneurship educator to deliver an effective experience to internal and external stakeholders.

Download the framework
Enterprise framework wheel


Essential frameworks for enhancing student success: Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Published in 2019, the Framework for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education is comprised of four layers relating to:

  • the nature of enterprise and entrepreneurship education
  • the learner and their journey
  • the role and value of the educator
  • the institution and its culture, processes and practices.

This guide unpacks each layer in greater detail, whilst presenting a range of approaches, resources and tools to help you implement the framework.

Download the guide
Essential frameworks for enhancing student success: Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Case studies

Adding value through enterprise and entrepreneurship education in higher education

To explore the topic of what enterprise and entrepreneurship education can add to the experiences of students, the Embedding Enterprise in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences project was developed in collaboration with Advance HE, SFEDI, the UK Government recognised Sector Skills Organisation for enterprise and business support, and higher education providers across the sector. 

This collection of case studies from project participants explores how to embed enterprise and entrepreneurship education within a range of different academic disciplines.

Download the case studies
Image of front cover of Adding value through enterprise and entrepreneurship education in higher education


Engaging students in entrepreneurship education

This short report sets out some of the key challenges in moving enterprise and entrepreneurship education forward, in order to ensure that it is appropriately embedded across institutions and that there is engagement in it across Departments and Faculties. 

Professor Nick Williams, University of Leeds, author of the report, introduces the report in his blog, discussing the growth in this area and how measures of impact need to improve.

Download the report
Engaging students in entrepreneurship report

Adding Value through Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education in Higher Education

The collaborative project will provide an opportunity to identify how enterprise and entrepreneurship can add value to both students and other stakeholders.

The project aims to:

  • understand current levels of enterprise and entrepreneurship at a programme level
  • develop a clear image of what enterprise and entrepreneurship looks like in the curriculum
  • identify ways in which enterprise and entrepreneurship can add value through extra-curricula activity
  • support colleagues in engaging with enterprise and entrepreneurship within the curriculum 
  • provide a platform to share good practice regarding enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • work collaboratively to navigate challenges and add value to your programmes.
Find out more

Join the conversation on Advance HE Connect

Advance HE Connect now has more than 14,000 users that have come together to engage on key HE topics including equality and inclusion, teaching and learning and student success.

The aim of the Employability and Enterprise space is to enable all participants to share, connect, and collaborate with a specific focus on employability and enterprise. Over time this site will host an array of useful resources, research, guidance and case studies linked to employability, enterprise, entrepreneurial education and a variety of thematic areas that transcend this landscape (e.g. authentic assessment, flexible learning, attainment, progression, students as partners etc.). The community is specifically designed to remain flexible, evolving and developing as you help shape the future of the community.

Join the Employability and Enterprise Group on Advance HE Connect
Purple Share Connect Collaborate

Thoughts from the sector

The trouble with employability - enterprise for employability

The trouble with employability

Stuart Norton, Senior Adviser at Advance HE, takes a look at enterprise for employability in relation to our new Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education Framework.
Read Stuart's blog

Enterprising thinking on the future of HE

Andy Penaluna is Professor Emeritus at University of Wales Trinity Saint David. He has been contributing to Advance HE’s work on Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Employability for over 12 years and has a few insights to share.
Read Andy's blog
Enterprise Framework

Enterprise: an approach to enhancing employability

In his second blog, Stuart Norton argues that careers outcomes, salaries and employability need to be part of the equation in higher education and a renewed focus is something we shoul
Read the blog
Alison Johns

Enterprise is for all students

“We need to be bold, to ensure that enterprise and entrepreneurship education is embedded across all programmes,” says Alison Johns, CEO Advance HE, in this blog in which she discusses the ever increasing importance of entrepreneurial learning.
Read the blog

At 2019's UK Teaching Excellence Award ceremony we asked some of this year's winners to tell us why they think enterprise and entrepreneurship education is important and for their tips for embedding them into the curriculum.

University of Bristol Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, CATE 2019 Winner

Dr Malachy O'Neill, Provost of the Magee campus, Ulster University and National Teaching Fellow 2019