There are lots of stories about successful entrepreneurs but fewer examples of the challenges of entrepreneurship, particularly from the cultural and media industries. My colleague, Nayan Patel and I have been working with some students at Birmingham City University (BCU) to investigate enterprise from the student perspective. On Friday 13th we will present our project at the International Enterprise Educators Conference (IEEC).
Our project aims were to explore the nature and complexity of entrepreneurship at BCU by asking students to talk about their experience from their perspective. Working with a team of students with media skills, we used digital storytelling as a method for capturing more unusual narratives. The enterprising students interviewed told their story not as a marketing exercise but in a reflexive style. They set out their experience within the context of their personal aspirations, family background and personal interests. Sometimes the idea of being an entrepreneur did not even occur to them. Many of the students are from the media or cultural industries sectors which are recognised as having high levels of insecurity but a strong sense of passion for the subject. This is evident in the stories we collected, along with the importance of connections and networks. We hope to collect more stories over the next year.
For me this small project supports a need to broaden our understanding of entrepreneurship as discussed previously in this blog. I hope to provoke an equally good discussion at IEEC 2013. Given that the focus is ‘Putting Students at the Centre of Enterprise’ we hope our contribution will be useful.
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