The Design for Business Initiative: A Systematic Approach to Embedding Entrepreneurship in Design Education

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The paradigms of entrepreneurship education are manifold, however, it is doubtful that successful entrepreneurs attribute their skills to academic programmes. Yet, within HEI’s there is a need to support and encourage entrepreneurial behaviours and create immersive learning opportunities that allow students to develop and grow their skills in real-world scenarios. Design education plays an important role in driving innovation through the creation of new products and services. However, due to an increasingly overcrowded curriculum, it has become more and more difficult for design schools to create an interconnected learning environment that recognises the role and value of embedding entrepreneurial skills, qualities and attributes. This study explores the strategic initiative, “Design for Business”, a partnership between Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) and the Centre for Entrepreneurship (CfE) at the University of Dundee (UoD), which strives to embed entrepreneurship content in design curricula across all levels. Through an in-depth review and analysis of published materials, including testimonials, competition results and venture creation activities, the study sets out to discuss the infrastructure, challenges, success rates and how the initiative was received by participants. Results show that the initiative reaches far beyond a theoretical approach and equips students with entrepreneurial skills while assisting with start-up and spinout advice. In addition, evidence suggests that the initiative builds on the innovator-entrepreneur relationship, synergistically creating holistic learning experiences that seamlessly interconnect curricular and extra-curricular opportunities to cultivate entrepreneurial activity tailored to different levels of ambition and motivation. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for further developing the initiative, paying particular attention to the further integration of entrepreneurial opportunities, top management support and increasing awareness and understanding among staff.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship ECIE 2021
EditorsFlorinda Matos, Maria de Fátima Ferreiro, Álvaro Rosa, Isabel Salavisa
PublisherAcademic Conferences International Limited
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781914587108
ISBN (Print)9781914587092
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2021
Event16th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Universitário de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 16 Sept 202117 Sept 2021
Conference number: 16


Conference16th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Internet address


  • Entrepreneurship Education
  • Design
  • Curriculum Design
  • Systems of Learning
  • Integration


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