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Entrepreneurship education network summit

11-12 March 2024

resource description

In today's dynamic economy, entrpreneurship skills are essential for success.

These resources aim to equip participants with the tools and knowledge to effectively embed entrepreneurship into their curriculum. Participants will explore innovative teaching methods, real-world case studies, and practical strategies to foster an entrepreneurial mindset among students.On the majority of slides there are pop up windows or tooltips, if this icon appears at the top of the top right hand side of the screen click to see which interactions are available.

  1. Understand the importance of entrepreneurship education in vocational training
  2. Identify key components of an entrepreneurial mindset and how to cultivate them in students
  3. Explore strategies for integrating entpreneurship into existing vocational curriculum
  4. Learn how to facilitiate hands-on experiential learning activities and design assessment techniques to evaluate students' entrepreneurial competencies and promote entrepreneurial skills.

Summit Objectives

This resource pack is designed for educators, trainers and adminstrators involved in education programs, including but not limited to vocational schools, technical colleges, and workforce development agencies

Target Audience:

Session 1: Defining Entrepreneurship in the Context of Vocational Training


  • Definition of entrepreneurship and its relevance in vocational education
  • Contrasting traditional employment with entrepreneurship
  • Characteristics of entrepreneurial ventures in vocational fields
  • Examples of successful entrepreneurs in vocational sectors

Entrepreneurship is the process of starting, managing, and growing a business venture with the aim of creating value. It involves identifying opportunities, taking risks, and mobilizing resources to turn innovative ideas into reality. Entrepreneurs are individuals who drive this process by being proactive, innovative, and adaptable.


Key aspects of entrepreneurship


Entrepreneurship plays a vital role in driving economic growth, job creation, and innovation in societies around the world. It fosters competition, drives productivity, and contributes to overall prosperity by introducing new ideas and disrupting traditional industries.



Resource mobilisation

Opportunity recognition

Creativity and problem-solving

Persistence and resilience

Meeting Market Demand

Encouraging Entrepreneurial Mindset

Innovation and Adaptability

Problem-Solving Skills


Job Creation

Entrepreneurship is highly relevant to vocational education for several reasons:

Overall, entrepreneurship education complements vocational training by providing students with the skills, mindset, and knowledge necessary to succeed in today's dynamic and competitive economy, whether they choose to pursue traditional employment or start their own businesses.


  • Potential for High Returns
  • Autonomy
  • Innovation
  • Ownership
  • Flexibility
  • Risk and Uncertainty
  • Limited Risk
  • Specialisation
  • Hierarchical Structure
  • Predictable Career Path
  • Stability


Traditional Employment

The choice between traditional employment and entrepreneurship depends on individual preferences, risk tolerance, and career aspirations.

Specialised skills

Hands-On Experience

Localised Services

Niche Markets

characteristics of entrepreneurial ventures in vocational fields

Equipment and Tools

Licensing and Certification

Innovation and Adaptability

Labour Intensity

Seasonal Variations

Customer Relationships

josh littlejohn

Josh Littlejohn MBE is a Scottish social entrepreneur, Sunday Times best selling author and homeless campaigner who founded charities the Social Bite and the World’s Big Sleep Out

The founder of Social Bite is probably Scotland’s best known social entrepreneur, having earned funds to develop the social business by getting the likes of Bill Clinton, George Clooney and Richard Branson to speak at his other venture, the Scottish Business Awards. The son of entrepreneur Simon Littlejohn, who runs seven restaurants across Scotland, Josh knew he wanted to launch his own business when he left university in 2007. After a few successful ventures in event management, Josh was inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winning economist Professor Muhammad Yunus to explore the potential of a social business in Scotland. Since opening Social Bite in 2012, Josh has developed the business into Scotland’s first social enterprise sandwich shop chain, now consisting of five shops in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. Josh is committed to more than profit and creating a cause-driven business, so a quarter of Social Bite staff come from a homeless background.

Leanne farmer

Leanne is the founder of A Wee Pedal which offers bicycle tours to both visitors and locals/corporate in Edinburgh as well as wellbeing days out and bike riding and maintenance classes. During the pandemic, Leanne leant out her fleet of bikes to Keyworkers and serviced bikes for free and her audience are now more Edinburgh-based families.

Founder and owner of FTT Skin

Frances Turner-Traill

As a leading figure within the Medical Aesthetics space, Frances Turner Traill RGN, RMN, MA Hons, NIP, BSc, PG Cert is one of Scotland’s top Skin and Medical Aesthetics Experts. Founder of FTT Skin Clinics with locations just outside Glasgow in Hamilton as well as Inverness. Frances has now over 30 years of experience.Having founded the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses in Scotland, as well as representing Aesthetic Nurses at the Scottish Government Level, Frances's expertise and succession is a leading voice within the space. In addition, Frances continuously sustains advanced Aesthetics training from leading international experts who are at the forefront of modern medical aesthetics.

Session 2: Importance of Entrepreneurial Skills for Vocational Students


  • Overview of key entrepreneurial skills and competencies
  • Case studies illustrating the impact of entrepreneurial skills in vocational careers
  • Exploration of how entrepreneurial skills contribute to employability and career advancement
  • Continuous Learning & Adaptation
  • Financial Literacy
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Problem-Solving & Decision-Making
  • Communication & Networking
  • Vision & Strategic Thinking
  • Resilience & Adaptability
  • Leadership and Team Building
  • Risk Management
  • Creativity & Innovation

Key Entrepreneurial Skills & Competences

These are just a few examples of the many skills and competences that contribute to entrepreneurial success. Mastering these skills and continuously honing them can empower entrepreneurs to overcome obstacles, seize opportunities, and build thriving businesses.

Risk Management & Adaptation

Continuous Learning & Development

Entrepreneurial Mindset & Attitude

Financial Literacy & Business Acumen

How do entrepreneurial skills contribute to employability and career advancement?

Entrepreneurial skills play a significant role in enhancing employability and fostering career advancement across various industries and sectors. Here's how entrepreneurial skills contribute to employability and career advancement:

Adaptability & Resilience

Innovation & Creativity

Leadership & Teamwork

Problem-Solving & Decision Making

Communication & Networking


Initiative & Proactivity

In today's rapidly changing job market, employers value candidates who can adapt to new situations and bounce back from setbacks. Entrepreneurs often face uncertainty and challenges, developing resilience and adaptability skills that are highly transferable to different roles and industries.

Many entrepreneurial ventures in vocational fields serve niche markets or specific customer segments with distinct needs. For example, a carpenter might specialize in custom furniture for luxury homes, while an automotive technician might focus on restoring classic cars.

Niche Markets

Vocational entrepreneurs often provide localized services, serving customers within a specific geographic area. This localized focus can help them build strong relationships with clients and establish a reputation for quality workmanship.

Localised Services

Entrepreneurs excel at identifying challenges, analyzing situations, and making informed decisions under pressure. These problem-solving and decision-making skills are critical in various roles and industries, where employees must navigate complex problems and find effective solutions.

Entrepreneurial ventures in vocational fields can be labour-intensive, requiring physical stamina and manual dexterity to perform tasks efficiently. Managing labour costs and workforce scheduling are important considerations for business owners in these sectors.

Labour Intensity

Some vocational fields experience seasonal fluctuations in demand. For example, landscaping businesses may be busiest during the spring and summer months, while HVAC contractors may see increased demand in the winter for heating system installations and repairs.

Seasonal Variations

Entrepreneurial skills include effective leadership, team-building, and collaboration, which are essential for success in leadership roles within organizations. Employers value candidates who can inspire and motivate others, delegate tasks, and foster a positive work culture conducive to teamwork and collaboration.

Entrepreneurial skills include financial literacy, budgeting, and business acumen, which are valuable in roles requiring financial management, strategic planning, and decision-making. Understanding financial concepts and metrics allows employees to contribute to business growth and profitability.

Ultimately, possessing an entrepreneurial mindset and attitude, characterized by curiosity, optimism, and a willingness to embrace change and challenge the status quo, can set individuals apart in the job market and contribute to their employability and career advancement.

Vocational education often prepares students for specific roles within established industries. However, the business landscape is constantly evolving, and entrepreneurial skills such as innovation and adaptability are increasingly important. Teaching entrepreneurship in vocational programs helps students develop these skills, making them more competitive in the workforce.

Innovation and Adaptability

Depending on the specific vocation, entrepreneurs may need to obtain licenses, certifications, or permits to legally operate their businesses. Compliance with industry regulations and standards is essential for maintaining credibility and trust with customers.

Licensing and Certification

These ventures often involve hands-on work and practical application of skills rather than theoretical knowledge. Entrepreneurs in vocational fields may have gained experience through apprenticeships, vocational training programs, or on-the-job learning.

Hands-On Experience

Entrepreneurs are known for their initiative and proactivity in taking on new projects, seizing opportunities, and driving results. Employers value candidates who demonstrate initiative, ownership, and a willingness to go above and beyond their job responsibilities to contribute to organizational success.

As economies evolve, there is a growing need for individuals who can create their own opportunities rather than relying solely on traditional employment. By integrating entrepreneurship education into vocational programs, educational institutions can better prepare students to meet the changing demands of the job market.

Meeting Market Demand

Entrepreneurial ventures in vocational fields typically require specialized skills and knowledge related to a particular trade or vocation, such as plumbing, carpentry, automotive repair, cosmetology, or culinary arts.

Specialised Skills:

Building strong customer relationships is crucial for success in vocational entrepreneurship. Satisfied customers can become repeat clients and a source of positive word-of-mouth referrals, helping to sustain and grow the business over time.

Customer Relationships

Entrepreneurial individuals are often adept at thinking outside the box, generating new ideas, and finding innovative solutions to problems. These skills are highly sought after by employers looking to stay competitive and drive growth through innovation in products, services, or processes.

Strong communication skills, including verbal, written, and interpersonal communication, are vital for building relationships with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders. Entrepreneurial individuals often have experience in networking and relationship-building, which can open doors to new opportunities and career advancement.

Entrepreneurial individuals are lifelong learners who seek out opportunities for growth and development. Employers value candidates who demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning, acquiring new skills, and staying updated on industry trends and best practices.

Successful entrepreneurs in vocational fields must be innovative and adaptable, continually seeking new ways to improve processes, incorporate technology, and meet evolving customer needs. Staying abreast of industry trends and emerging technologies can provide a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Innovation and Adaptability

Entrepreneurship education encourages critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills. These skills are essential for success in any career, but they are particularly valuable for entrepreneurs who must constantly adapt to changing market conditions and overcome challenges.

Problem-Solving Skills

Teaching entrepreneurship empowers individuals to take control of their own economic destinies. Instead of solely relying on employment opportunities provided by others, vocational students can learn how to identify market gaps, develop innovative solutions, and start their own businesses.


Entrepreneurs are accustomed to taking calculated risks and adapting to changing circumstances in the business environment. These skills are essential for navigating uncertainty and ambiguity in the workplace, demonstrating agility and resilience in the face of challenges.

Entrepreneurs in vocational fields typically require specialized equipment, tools, and resources to perform their work effectively. Start-up costs may include purchasing or leasing equipment, as well as investing in ongoing maintenance and upgrades.

Equipment and Tools

Even for students who do not ultimately start their own businesses, entrepreneurship education fosters an entrepreneurial mindset characterized by initiative, resourcefulness, and a willingness to take calculated risks. These qualities are valuable in any career path and can help students excel in their chosen fields.

Encouraging Entrepreneurial Mindset

Vocational education often focuses on providing students with practical skills and training for specific industries or trades. By incorporating entrepreneurship education into vocational programs, students are equipped not only to work for existing businesses but also to create their own job opportunities by starting their own ventures.

Job Creation