How we created a course to shape entrepreneurs

The MSc Entrepreneurship at Sheffield Business School is one of the first of its kind. It explores and develops the mindset of the graduate entrepreneur, and provides the skills and networking opportunities they need to start a new venture.

Learning by doing

We knew experiential learning would be useful to our students, so we developed active, workshop-style modules that explicitly develop skills, attributes and creativity for entrepreneurs. Guest lecturers, entrepreneurs-in-residence and industry-active staff allow weekly themes to be explored with insight from the real world.

“Real world insight teaches you the bits in between the pages. The bits you can’t predict and thus you can’t control” says Lewis Bowen, Managing Director of Air and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Sheffield Hallam.

Jay Bhayani, Solicitor and Managing Director of Bhayani HR and Employment Law, also contributed to the course: “I was delighted to offer some insights into the employment law aspects of taking on staff for the SHU entrepreneurs. Running a successful business cannot be done without understanding how to get the best from staff, how to ensure legal compliance and how to deal with performance issues.”

Assessments are varied and reflect the modern world of business. This includes vlogs to bring out the personality and confidence of the student, applied research projects on their new venture, and a final viva to help students pitch and sell their ideas.

Entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and fields, which have so far included digital marketing, mental health, manufacturing and hospitality, enrol on the course. This creates lively debate, interesting conversation and dynamic ideas.

Each student is supported throughout their studies with mentor Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and internal coaches.

Award-winning graduates

The MSc Entrepreneurship has already yielded some great results.

One of our students, Jamie, has already gone on to win the Sheffield Hallam Inspirational Student Award for his work on an Enactus project. Students started the project as part of their assessment on the Entrepreneurial Mindset module and James continued the project beyond the course.

Jamie said: “It came completely unexpected and I feel extremely proud to have achieved such an award. I look forward to seeing how the project develops with a new leader over the coming years”.

“This course has been one of my greatest decisions so far. The structure of the course has helped me to understand myself better as an aspiring entrepreneur.”

Next steps

We're now taking the course further, working with our colleagues in the Sheffield Institute of Arts we have launched a new route MSc Entrepreneurship (Design). This will continue the work of our original course, but with access to expertise from our art and design colleagues.

If you are interested in hearing more about how we have designed and implemented this course please contact course leader Felicity Mendoza f.mendoza@shu.ac.uk or Dr Alexandra Anderson a.anderson@shu.ac.uk.