Process, Practice and Policy
Edited by Colette Henry and Anne de Bruin
Chapter 6: Action Learning in New Creative Ventures: The Case of SPEED
David Rae INTRODUCTION SPEED (Student Placements for Entrepreneurs in Education) was a project funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) under the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF round 3). It ran in 13 higher education institutes (HEIs) in the United Kingdom between 2006 and 2008, and has led to several successor projects. SPEED is of wider interest for pioneering action learning in student entrepreneurship for several reasons. Firstly, as a national project, it brought together a diverse group of HEIs and educator-practitioners who themselves engaged in an action learning process to enact the project, in which their learning overlapped and connected with the student entrepreneurs’ learning. Secondly, it was significant in its scale, with the target of supporting 750 student ventures over two years, a target which was exceeded with 770 ventures being created. Thirdly, some 43 per cent (or 330) of these new ventures were in the creative and related industry sectors, forming the most numerous segment of the programme. Many more ventures applied creative approaches in their development. This chapter summarizes the experiences gained from the SPEED programme, which set out to enable university students to establish their own business ventures as work experience projects. In so doing, SPEED created a significant and innovative example of action learning applied to new venture formation and entrepreneurial development. The chapter explores what is known about action learning and entrepreneurial learning in relation to new venture creation. It discusses the types of creative businesses that were developed by...
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