Kent welcomes European delegates to an Enterprise Exchange Event

About the event
On Tuesday 4 July, the Hub for Innovation and Enterprise collaborated with Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK) to hold an Enterprise Exchange event focusing upon ‘The European Perspective – Innovative approaches to delivering enterprise / entrepreneurship education’. The one-day conference took place on the University campus at Darwin Conference Suite and greeted guests from across Europe.

Guest speakers
Guest speakers included Jolien Coenraets from the University of Ghent, Dragos-Cristian Vasilescu from Vienna University of Technology in Austria, Dr Ben Graziano from Zurich University of Technology and Prof Andy Penaluna from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Enterprise Relationship Manager Marcus Wright from the University of Kent, began the day after a welcome from both Deputy Vice Chancellor Philippe De Wilde and EEUK Co-host Kate Beresford.

Aim of the event
The aim of the event was to obtain a European perspective on enterprise and entrepreneurship education within universities, whilst comparing and contrasting different approaches to support entrepreneurs in universities and the local ecosystems. The latter part of the afternoon saw similarities and key issues across Europe and universities brought to life thanks to a question and answer session as well as round table discussions. Some of the themes highlighted were: the encouragement of societal change; development of creativity; and attitudes towards addressing motivation.

Encouraging societal change
Encouraging societal change domestically and globally through entrepreneurship was spearheaded by the University of Ghent but a theme fellow institutions have also taken away. Meanwhile, the need to develop creativity at a higher academic level, led to the discussion of introducing primary school age children to work alongside postgraduate students as suggested by Director of Innovation and Enterprise at Kent (KIE), Carole Barron.

Entrepreneurial qualities development
Whereas, the motivation behind why students want to develop entrepreneurial qualities and entrepreneurship appeared to be a re-occurring question amongst universities. Instead of assessing motivation, we need to change how we address, develop and encourage motivation amongst students, was the key message portrayed by Professor Andy Penaluna from UWTSD.

The day was a huge success and the Hub for Innovation and Enterprise at the University of Kent looks forward to the next event held in collaboration with EEUK.