UWE has recently accepted 37 students for its first Team Entrepreneurship cohort. The course is new and solely practical that takes place entirely outside the classroom, with no official lectures or seminars. However, the team are in Monday to Friday most weeks for either business or academic work. Students strive to create and maintain registered businesses and are aiming to produce an average of £2500 per person from their efforts, up to £50,000 in total. UK universities offer a variety of business degrees, so what differentiates Team Entrepreneurship from academic degrees?

Meetings with real clients is something usual for the entrepreneurs // Credit:  Team Entrepreneurship
Meetings with real clients is something usual for the entrepreneurs // Credit: Team Entrepreneurship

Rob Wilson, a spokesperson for the course and second year student, said “I would like to think that our course will be far more beneficial in comparison to a standard business degree as we have the opportunity to apply what we have learnt on a day to day basis. Not only this, but also we are developing within ourselves, building our confidence through meeting new people, working in teams and leading projects.”

Team Entrepreneurship also branches out into crowdfunding work, similar to websites such as Kickstarter. Crowd Reach, run by Rob and two colleagues, provide services for start-up businesses who want to get into crowdfunding. “We specialise in helping campaigns to reach their full potential, by offering our clients everything from the initial research to marketing the campaign and everything in between.”

Employability has been a longstanding issue following business degrees due to the competitive nature of the job market, as well as numerous present economic problems. Mantz Yorke and Peter Knight, professors and prevalent researchers at UK universities, suggested that employers often criticise new graduates on the basis of poor practical experience. Graduates often “lack business sense and understanding of the real world.”

By basing the entire course on practical experience, Team Entrepreneurship mitigates these issues, increasing the graduates’ capability to start their own businesses and potentially increasing employability off the back of their degree.

With so many positives, could practical courses like Team Entrepreneurship be the future of education in business education? Wilson went on to say that “elements of the course could be introduced into conventional business degrees. Although, because the nature of our course is so unique in terms of the way we learn and how we are assessed, it does not follow on from the traditional education system.” The transition would be hard, perhaps impossible, but Team Entrepreneurship provides an exciting alternative to business education.

By Will Pitts