IP Outreach Research > IP Creation


Title: Creating Entrepreneurship - higher education and the creative industries
Author: [Higher Education Academy], [National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts]


Year: 2007


Subject/Type: Creativity
Focus: Success Factors
Country/Territory: United Kingdom
Objective: To discover the range and type of entrepreneurship education currently delivered in art, design and media higher education departments, and to determine students' and recent graduates' expectations, experiences and perceptions of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education.
Sample: 82 further and higher education institutions and 145 students and graduates across the UK
Methodology: Online questionnaire (institutions), focus groups/seminars (students and graduates)

Main Findings

The study finds significant levels of entrepreneurship education in art, design and media courses across the United Kingdom: in all courses surveyed, some form of entrepreneurship education is provided. However, the range, delivery type and learning environments vary considerably. In the majority of cases, entrepreneurship education is delivered in a subject-specific module, rather than embedded in the core curriculum.

Over 80% of courses embed entrepreneurship teaching and learning in practice-based/project-based work, and 70% assess learning outcomes, mostly via work-based logbooks and critical project reports. 88% rely on specialist practitioners for delivery/support of entrepreneurship education; on average, 10% of entrepreneurship learning is delivered by specialists. 96% of institutions report that their students have access to institutional facilities and programmes supporting entrepreneurship learning, most commonly taking the form of partnerships with creative industries (reported by around 30%) or enterprise development projects.

Art, design and media students and graduates are uncomfortable with the term “entrepreneur”. Confidence, risk-taking, and high levels of motivation are characteristics they associate with entrepreneurs; entrepreneurial core skills considered important are: good commercial skills, business management skills, and good communication skills. In addition to these positive associations with entrepreneurship (such as creativity, inventiveness, innovation, good networking skills, opportunity spotting, problem solving, and celebrity status), respondents also associate entrepreneurs with negative forms of behaviour such as confrontation, poor environmental performance, and narrow focus on commercial gain.

Students/graduates regard commercial success as less important than happiness/job satisfaction, peer recognition and financial sustainability. Critical and cultural achievement is consistently placed higher than commercial success, with values such as winning awards, gallery exhibitions, making a difference, getting favourable reviews seen as much more important than “owning my own business, getting more work and making a profit”. While a majority believes that the entrepreneurship can be learned, they do not think that the necessary skills can be fully developed in the academic context alone.

45% anticipate that they will start a business or work as freelancers. 20% reportedly already run a business. Generally, employment is seen as an essential part of preparation prior to starting a creative business. In order of decreasing importance, students/graduates believe that the following factors will support them in becoming creative industries entrepreneurs: collaborations between higher education institution departments and the creative industries; support for development of their creative industry; generic business support; local business support; and enhancing the curriculum.

Business skills are considered important and most say that these are taught, but that the knowledge is undervalued and lacks relevance in the academic context: subject-specific business skills should be included in the curriculum and developed through projects having close associations with creative industries collaborators. General business skills should be taught on a “on request” basis.

According to respondents, entrepreneurship education should be improved in the following areas: in-curriculum support (enhance contributions made by the creative industries to curriculum content/delivery, focusing on situated learning through “real-life projects”); institutional structures (develop more effective links with creative industries and support agencies); support agencies (institutions should act as a sign-posting agency for national, regional and local development and support agencies); facilitated networks (facilitate networks allowing academic, professional and policy-making communities).

[Date Added: Dec 1, 2008 ]