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Enhancing employability through enterprise education: BSc Business Enterprise Buckingham University - Nigel Adams


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This presentation is linked to a workshop presented at the HEA Enhancement event ‘Successful students: enhancing employability through enterprise education’. The blog post that accompanies this presentation can be accessed via

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Enhancing employability through enterprise education: BSc Business Enterprise Buckingham University - Nigel Adams

  1. 1. 1 Enhancing Employability Through Enterprise Education BSc Business Enterprise (BBE) - a case study for HEA Nigel Adams B.A. (Hons), F.C.I.M. BBE Programme Director University of Buckingham, UK
  2. 2. The 9 key skills for effective Entrepreneurship and Employability Source: Hedley and Arnold of Dialectyx Solutions Ltd (2012)
  3. 3. The 9 Key Skills
  4. 4. The 9 Key Skills
  5. 5. 5 The University of Buckingham • Opened in 1976 and awarded a Royal Charter in 1983. • Leading the National Student Survey for last 9 years. • 25th in the Guardian University Guide 2015 • A 3-year Honours degree in just 2 years (8 terms) • “Oxbridge” style teaching in small groups • Excellent student staff ratio (1:11)
  6. 6. 6 Our innovative BSc Business Enterprise • BSc Business Enterprise conceived by Dean of Buckingham Business School in 2004/5. • Undergraduate, not a post-graduate degree. • No similar programme was offered in UK in 2005. • Even now there are two other similar programmes in the world, both in UK (Coventry & Huddersfield) • Buckingham’s small size and approach enabled the programme to obtain approval to launch in January 2006. • 7 cohorts of students have completed this programme.
  7. 7. 7 BBE interests students who: • Want to set up and develop their own business, at the same time as they study for an honours degree. • Plan to make a positive contribution to a family business or small company following graduation. • Have flair, creativity & an entrepreneurial or “can-do” approach to business, which will be vital when working for any businesses in the future. BBE students also learn how hard it is to study for a degree AND start a business.
  8. 8. 8 “Seed-corn” Capital & Other Support • All BBE students “pitch” for up to £5000 “seed-corn” capital to start and run their businesses. • Funding was originally provided by Legal & General and Mr John Desborough (a private donor). • When the BBE’s businesses are running, they can operate from “Buckingham Enterprise Hub”. • External business people and entrepreneurs mentor and support the students throughout the programme.
  9. 9. 9 Maintaining academic rigour, but also involving Entrepreneurs • All BBE courses are taught at the same level as the Business School’s other business degree courses. • 7.5 unit courses are used, so that all the important subjects can be covered with the more practical work. • Different/appropriate forms of assessment are used, e.g. Quarterly Business Review Reports. • External entrepreneurs have replaced academics for the two “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” courses.
  10. 10. 10 What has been positive? • Personal development of the BBE students. • Positive reaction to the programme from a wide range of people. • Support of colleagues throughout the university. • Widening participation in higher education. • Involvement with the business community. • Successful employment/businesses of graduates.
  11. 11. BSc Business Enterprise students are operating these businesses : Second (Final) Year Packs for Uni - Michael Asare Badu (Ghana), Zhijing Yang (China) & Moritz Kroneberg (Austria) Squeaky Green - Esme Finch (UK) Collective Spirit - Hector Meyer (UK), Tobias Morrish (UK) & Hjortur Justinussen (Faroe Islands) The Smoke Hut - William Neville-Smith (UK/Portugal) & Christopher Constantinides (Cyprus/Scotland) Higsun - Gary Higson (UK) & Lun Sun (China) African Showcase Market - Denzil Bankole (UK) Asset Resurfacing - Edward Martin (UK) & Alexander Levy (UK) Honesty Honey (Not yet funded) - Tom Kinkead (UK), AlexMeazzini (UK) & Kristiyan Giotzev (Bulgaria) First Year The Golf Bundle - Tom Bowen (UK) & Maliha Annis-Matta (Indonesia) Brightwood Buckingham - Simon Hodges (UK), Oliver Sapsford (UK), Pressian Karagyozov (Bulgaria) & Shamal Patel (Kenya) Novik Technology - Abi Owolabi (UK), Celcilia Enqi Fan (China) & Atsutoshi Yoshimine (Japan) Student Proxy - Paula Mugisa (Uganda), Bhavik Mavadia (UK) & Kelvyn Ajala (Germany)
  12. 12. Examples of BBE students’ and graduates’ businesses Esme Finch Michael Asare Badu Mortiz Kronberger Jennifer Zhijing Yang Sebastian Musil Alec Greenwell Squeaky Green Packs for Uni Minimal Energy BBE Alumnae comments are being circulated
  13. 13. What has happened to our graduates? From January 2006 to December 2013 the results for 7 cohorts of graduates were: Total students accepted on BBE (2006 – 2012): 57 Total number of graduates to December 2013: 42 (Total undergraduates still studying: 29) Out of 42 BBE graduates on the first 7 cohorts (January 2006 to December 2013): 12 (29%) Started their own business 5 (12%) Returned to a family business 15 (35%) Employed 5 (12%) Continued higher education 5 (12%) Not known We think that no BBE graduates have been unemployed 6 months after graduation.
  14. 14. Any other interesting results? How about this? and this?
  15. 15. Questions/Discussion • Could this type of Venture Creation Programme be started in your university? • If not, why not? • What would need to change for you to have a chance of launching such a programme?