It is really interesting to debate the difference between enterprise and entrepreneurial activity and this has rolled on. I’m happy that we have some blurring and in fact I often start with a venn diagram with students trying to pick out what is uniquely enterprising, entrepreneurial, employable (employability). It’s hard. Normally we (not i) conclude that the entrepreneur is the one that manages more risk and has more of the pushy individualism. But I don’t want to get too bogged down in that debate.
Where I see employability, and I agree with Dave fully here regarding its flaws, is enterprising employability. The graduate training schemes are clone machines often and poorly equipping us for the challenges of the future. I guess I’m saying I think we should merge employability and enterprise – taking the best of enterprise with us and shaking up employability. Drop the distinction that sees enterprise equated with self-employment (rightly or wrongly) and allow it instead to be linked innovation and creativity in any workplace.
With regards business start-up we can easily over-intellectualise this. Let’s face it the vast majority of businesses are run by people with Level 3 skills (on the scale that sees HE as 4-6). My dad was one as was I before I came back to education.
Basic bookkeeping, a bit of law and some marketing are all that is required and can be taught in a week or less. That’s all good and all healthy. Keep it simple, make money. Where are we trying to push graduates though? I would hope to be contributors in a prosperous economy at levels way beyond Level 3. I hope they found and run multi-million pound business or at least help someone else grow theirs. The skills needed though are not well served by cupcakes.
With regards surfing I’m afraid the beach bit is just surf schools being enterprising and padding out the lessons for tourists. In a way that’s perhaps another analogy for what we often do in enterprise education. Locals tend to learn by grabbing a board
and heading straight in.