New research on Entrepreneurship Education at Universities from Örebro University in Sweden shows that best practice for this field requires a design thinking approach. The authors Gabriel Linton and Markus Klinton write as a background: “Entrepreneurship has traditionally been taught from a business administration perspective, where predicting the future is central and where the world is seen as linear with known inputs and outputs. The world of entrepreneurs is quite different, usually highly uncertain environment, and therefore requires a different type of skill set.”
Entrepreneurship Education at Universities
The design thinking approach which can be translated to a student-centred approach is well adapted to the skills and mindset of the entrepreneur. In addition design thinking in its foundation is an active approach, which rhymes well with basic tasks of an entrepreneur that is to put ideas into practice. The study “University entrepreneurship education: a design thinking approach to learning” was published in Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship – A Systems View Across Time and Space 20198:3.
Learning Design in Practice for Everybody
This was also the basic approach in my book “Learning Design in Practice for Everybody”. Where the 6iModel based on design thinking was described as a basic approach to learning design. The foundation of the model follows below.
Entrepreneurship Education with a design thinking approach five vital points
- Instead of focusing on writing a business plan, direct the attention on the pre-idea stage and the actual problem-solving activity (or opportunity creation/development).
- Instead of teaching small parts of all aspects of running a business (marketing, management, accounting, etc.), which means a linear approach. The approach of the education should focus on the aspects of uncertainty with methods like world mapping analysis, how to put an idea into practice from the entrepreneur’s point of view.
- Instead of teaching “about” or “for” entrepreneurship, the approach should focus “through”. This means the process the entrepreneur goes through, including action, experiences from the real world, and reflection.
- Instead of predefining goals in uncertain environments, entrepreneurship education should rely on the means that are available at hand and co-create opportunities.
- Instead of entrepreneurship education with lectures focus on developing entrepreneurial skills and competence. This makes a design thinking approach the natural choice as it basically origins from human needs and solving problems from a human’s prerequisites.