Picture Credit Pixabay


In November 2022, this webinar addressed 3 Key Questions -

1) Why do students want to study entrepreneurship?

2) How do students develop entrepreneurship knowledge and skills? and

3) What would help to improve the education of students?


Marco Lamas, SHINE Founder,

Portugal 🇵🇹

Milica Jovanović, SHINE Founder,

Serbia 🇷🇸

Robert Crammond, SHINE Partner, Scotland🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Moderator and rapporteur

Paul Coyle, SHINE Founder,

France 🇫🇷


Registrations were received from participants in 22 countries:

Albania🇦🇱  Bosnia & Herzegovina🇧🇦

Brazil 🇧🇷  England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿  France🇫🇷 Germany🇩🇪  Hungary🇭🇺  India🇮🇳

Malta🇲🇹  Morocco🇲🇦  Mozambique🇲🇿

North Macedonia🇲🇰  Portugal🇵🇹  

Saudi Arabia🇸🇦  Scotland🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿   Serbia🇷🇸 South Korea🇰🇷  Tajikistan🇹🇯  Tunisia🇹🇳 Türkiye🇹🇷  Uganda🇺🇬  & the USA🇺🇸

How to reference the summary of this webinar

Coyle, P., Crammond, R., Jovanović, M., and Lamas, J., 2022, Educating students about entrepreneurship - what works?, Entrepreneurial Mindset Network, accessed [insert date], <www.shine-project.eu/students/educating-students>.

We began with two polls, in which participants reported how and why students are studying entrepreneurship.  Each of our speakers then briefly introduced their own experience.

Poll 1 How are students studying entrepreneurship?

As part of an applied science course: architecture, business, engineering, health 64%

As part of a social science course: economics, politics, psychology, sociology 55%

In a specialist entrepreneurship course that leads to a qualification in entrepreneurship 45%

As part of a humanities course: law, performing arts, philosophy, visual arts 18%

As part of a natural science course: biology, chemistry, computing, physics 18%

Poll 2 Why do students want to study entrepreneurship?

To learn how to launch a startup and explore ideas for developing new products & services 82%

To help them to work out what they want to do in the future because they don’t yet know 55%

To help them to gain future employment in the private sector e.g. as a management consultant 55%

To help them to one day join a non-profit organisation or work as a social entrepreneur 36%

To help them to start a future career in the public sector e.g. in academia or local government 9%

How are students studying?


Students study specialised courses about launching a startup. Typically there are around 14 to 18 students in a cohort.


In Serbia the goal is to change the mindset of students in all academic disciplines (eg business, medicine, chemistry, science) so that they will not just consider a corporate career but also the opportunity of starting their own business. There are approximately 1200 students each year. 


Students are studying business courses, including entrepreneurship modules during each year of study. There can be hundreds of students studying an entrepreneurship module.

 Video Clip: Milica Jovanović

Next we discussed what students study, the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills they develop, and how they are taught.

Poll 3 What entrepreneurial skills & knowledge do students learn?

Opportunity recognition 83%

Innovation and creativity 83%

Risk taking and learning from failure 75%

Business modelling and productivity 67%

Selling and communication 67%

Proactiveness and project management 25%

Ethics and professional standards 17%

Leadership and teamwork 0%

What do students study?


Students work on their business model and study entrepreneurship, lean startup, design thinking, business model canvas, law, marketing, & finance.


How to think like an entrepreneur, when running a project and planning a startup, including study of  the lean startup method, management of technology and development, marketing, financial management, design and business models.


Students develop a business plan and study marketing concepts, entrepreneurship, innovation, design and financial management.

Poll 4 Which teaching techniques are used to educate students?

Lectures and real-world case studies 92%

Briefings from entrepreneurs and alumni 75%

Hackathons and pitch events 67%

Teamwork and business simulations 58%

Prototyping of new products or services 50%

Internships and work experience 33%

Our speakers then described examples of successful approaches to entrepreneurship education.

What works? Marco's examples.

Efforts to create the ideal conditions that will ensure students have a business model and are ready to go to market by the end of their studies.

External people (mentors, business angels and venture capitalists) who work with students and help them to think about their ideas and develop their business model. 

Having a cohort of students with different backgrounds and different skills, so that everybody can share and learn from these different experiences.

Adapting the content and delivery of the course to the needs of different cohorts of students.

Building empathy with students. 

What works? Milica's examples.

Ensuring that students develop skills by learning through doing.

Encouraging students to fail as soon as possible during their time as a student, because the risks are low and there is a high opportunity to learn.

Connecting students with external experts,  ecosystem representatives, NGOs, industry representatives, startup founders, financial institutions, business angels or venture capitalists. 

Providing formal education and also a range of informal opportunities (eg blog writing) that will motivate students and help them to enhance their entrepreneurial skills.

What works? Robert's examples.

Use of external speakers from industry at key points during a module, including advice about grants & business funding, events, workshops and external competitions.

What works? Participants' examples.

It is beneficial for students to meet a range of different people, including academics, central support staff and experienced people from the local ecosystem.

It is really important that students learn through doing rather than just listening to somebody else talking about entrepreneurship.

Students need support to go from a lack of ability, to believing they can learn to do something new, to developing a new ability through hard work and repeated practice.

Video Clip: Marco Lamas

Our speakers and participants identified 13 challenges in entrepreneurship education which are worthy of further discussion and investigation.



1) How can you create the right environment for students to fail?

2) How can entrepreneurial skills be developed in secondary education so that students will have the right knowledge, skills and mindset when they enter higher education?


3) How to convince students that professors who have not run a startup still have valuable insights and relevant lessons they can share about entrepreneurship?


4) What types of support are needed within an institution that will support and reinforce the classroom experience of students?

5) How can the business school collaborate with other academic divisions, and work in an interdisciplinary way, to help embed entrepreneurship into other academic disciplines?

6) How can we motivate students to want to continue on campus eg to remain after their studies and move into an incubation space?

7) How should the entrepreneurial approach of the business school influence the institutional strategy?

Challenges. Participants.

8) Is the phrase “fail fast” just rhetoric?  What does that mean in reality? How does a student reconcile failure with their desire to obtain a high grade in assessment? Do they want to be seen as a failure?

9) How do we adapt the teaching of entrepreneurship to different cultural contexts and a diverse range of student backgrounds?  For example, the attitude towards risk taking varies by country, age and gender.

10) How can academics be supported to change their behaviours, so that they start to offer a blend of traditional (eg lecture) and innovative (eg hackathon) learning opportunities to students?

11) How do we make best use of classroom, workshop, laboratory, incubator and digital learning opportunities?

12) How can professors who teach entrepreneurship take a more entrepreneurial approach to teaching and research?

13) How can we assess students before and after their studies so that we can demonstrate real improvements in their entrepreneurial knowledge and skills?

The importance of learning by doing.

One of our participants, Alejandro Crawford, illustrated the importance of learning by doing with reference to juggling. 

Juggling is a practical skill that can be learned.

You might start by watching an experienced juggler but this might give a false impression of what is involved.

To really learn, you have to try juggling yourself. If you try to juggle, it does not work in the beginning. You're going to drop things. You are going to fail often.

Over time, with enough practice, you can learn to improve and develop a better assessment of your own capacity.

Entrepreneurship also needs to be learned through practical experience and getting things wrong.

Video Clip: Robert Crammond

Our final two polls were designed to help participants reflect on the actions they could take in response to the topics discussed in the webinar. 

POLL 5 What actions can you take to improve the education of students?

FEEDBACK - ask students and alumni about what they think works 92%

TEACHING - make more use of learning by doing in my teaching and give students real-world problems to work on 85%

EXPERTS - connect students to more local entrepreneurs, alumni, SMEs, social enterprises 85%

COLLABORATION - start more discussions inside my organisation, and with regional and international partners 85%

INTRAPRENEURSHIP - use entrepreneurial behaviours to bring about change in my own organisation 62%

EVIDENCE - collect more evidence of what works eg case studies, research findings, statistics about student careers 54%

FACILITIES - make more use of spaces for teamwork, simulated work environments & prototyping equipment 54%

ADVOCACY - make sure my colleagues appreciate the relevance of entrepreneurship to their academic discipline 38%

CURRICULUM - create more detailed descriptions of the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills that students need to develop 23%

Poll 6 What one action are you going to take as a result of this webinar?

Share our entrepreneurship education approach with other participants.

Consider more use of coaching and mentoring in specific modules.

Spend more time talking in depth with many of the people here.

Keep learning!

Share interesting stories about  student entrepreneurial journeys with parents and guardians.

Organise a workshop/seminar for our students.

Reflections on the SHINE Project.

The purpose of this conversation is to stimulate the thinking of each person and help them to reflect on their own context. 

The conversation captures examples of what works and identifies challenges that need further exploration.

The emphasis is on inspiring each person to take action that will create value in their own situation.

The meetings will continue to be virtual and there will also start to be physical meetings, offering the opportunity for more detailed discussions and site visits.

Feedback about the webinar.

Beautifully designed forum with  insightful speakers.

A great atmosphere.

It's been excellent.

I’m really happy to be part of this team. 

A great conversation.

Great forum which adds value to all.

A highly relevant, tightly structured but still dynamic conversation.

Great conversation.

Great meeting for me as a PhD student.  It is super important to have these kind of opportunities.

Looking forward for future meetings.

We could explore funding opportunities eg ERASMUS.

Click on the image below and use our Student Education Checklist to help you think about entrepreneurship education, including the curriculum, teaching and connections to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem