IS THERE A SPOT FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE CREATIVE HEART? A CASE-STUDY WITH EXAMPLES FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM AND AUSTRIA
1 FH JOANNEUM (AUSTRIA)
2 University College London (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The situation in many creative and cultural study programs throughout Europe is similar: students learn about their fields and develop excellent competencies concerning their profession. The creative mind-set is actually predetermined and trained during studies to form numerous ideas. The best of these ideas could very well serve as a starting point for entrepreneurship. Regrettably, most students in the respective fields never encounter any courses related to business during their degree programmes, and entrepreneurship remains a diffuse concept, somehow related to owning a business and taking a risk. How can graduates with an idea in mind be connected with entrepreneurs with similar interest and learn how to be successful in the sector where most of the work is undertaken by SMEs? This question is of Europe-wide importance.
The EDUCCKATE (EDUcation Cultural & Creative Knowledge Alliance for Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs) project was about bringing the universities and businesses – more specifically entrepreneurs – in culture and creative sectors together. The project developed an innovative training and mentored internship scheme for the support of Higher Education Institutions and businesses.
Specific training materials for the students/graduates, the entrepreneurs and the staff of education/training organisations were prepared following initial analysis. The materials emphasised the project’s focus on entrepreneurship and were adapted to fit the requirements of the creative and cultural sector. After these initial preparations, the partnership started a systematic process of recruitment for mentor positions (entrepreneurs of the cultural and creative sectors) and mentees (students or recent graduates of CC related degrees). Each pair received extensive training both before and during their internships. The training was implemented through on-going training sessions and with the help of online resources. The project’s online network played a crucial role both before and during the internships and subsequently turned into a platform where participants shared experiences. The internships were managed and overseen by dedicated partners and their progress was continuously assessed. A specialised system of competence validation LEVEL5 (see: REVEAL, 2014) was implemented centrally for all countries.
Overwhelmingly positive feedback is not surprising given the fact that the proposed mentoring activity covered an area which was of interest to the mentors and mentees alike. The basic approach was thoroughly adapted to fit the requirements of the target communities, which have proven to be vastly different in different countries. Two different cases, those of the United Kingdom and Austria, are described and a number of similarities and differences are presented.
Keywords: Mentoring, Internship, Entrepreneurship, Education, Creative, Culture.