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THEME: I&E Teaching

Newsletter April 2021 - I&E Teaching

Innovation and entrepreneurship teaching can be carried out in a myriad of ways. In this month’s newsletter, you can read about multiple aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching at SDU and how you can develop I&E teaching in subjects and programmes. Enjoy all the great examples and inspiration but make sure you also take a note of the pages which introduce you to support, resources, competence development and networking opportunities.

Before we go through the characteristics of innovation and entre-preneurship, let us look at a case, which focuses on some of the main perspectives in innovation and entrepreneurship.

A tale of what entrepreneurship hopefully does for our students – and why it is such a great idea!

Martin Senderovitz

Associate Professor and course manager of Entrepreneurship and Business Understanding

Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management.

Sdr. Stationsvej 28, 4200 Slagelse, Mail:

Each year, about 650 new, happy SDU students start their Bachelor Degree in Business Economics at the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences in Esbjerg, Kolding, Odense, Slagelse and Sønderborg. In the first term of the programme, they all encounter the 10 ECTS course “Entrepreneurship and Business Understanding”.

Why is entrepreneurship such a great idea?

Educating the academic problem solvers of the future in a world influenced by change, globalization, insecurity – and a growing focus on sustainability and green transition.

The course aims at giving our students an engaging and inspiring start to their studies along with – through a larger perspective – being a part of educating the business economical problem solvers of the future in a world influenced by change, globalization, insecurity – and a growing focus on sustainability and green transition. Here, it is important to ask how you can create new sustainable business opportunities in both established and newly started companies. In the course, we aim at providing students with a complete toolset for solving practical business economics problems, while we introduce them to academic methods, academic writing, information gathering and analysis.

Theoretical and methodical ambiguity

The art of getting students to practice the competences of innovation, proactive acts and handling risks, requires special methods and theories.

Entrepreneurship is a specific subject, which has its own theories, models and perspectives, but it is also an approach and method, which can be used to tackle complex challenges and problems in many contexts in your studies, in business and in life as such!

Those might be big words and ambitious visions. Thus, you might ask, how do we do that?

First of all, we put a huge focus on interactive and student-oriented learning – the students are the ones who need to learn and gain experience, not the teacher! Therefore, we throw the students into real and practice-oriented issues right from the start and then gradually built on theories, models and perspectives throughout the term. The point is to introduce an entrepreneurial approach to solving problems. This means being able to think innovatively, acting proactively and having a certain tolerance for risks. We work in a very project-oriented manner and look at different perspectives, processes, methods and tools for solving complex problem in a context influenced by epistemological and ontological insecurity.

A great support base is important

Can a teacher with a large class of students at the first term really manage all that!? Yes, of course! Or, well.. maybe!! A great and dedicated support base and teamwork with co-workers is certainly important. At the Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, a lot of us believe that entrepreneurship and innovation makes life better, to put it simply. Or, in other words: We are a group of researchers who research entrepreneurship in a broad manner, based on an organizational sociological perspective. And this is one of the things we as a collective are trying to facilitate to the students in the course - with great care and a great deal of humility.

Do we succeed?

The question is, do we succeed? The students tell us, among other things, that they really appreciate the combination of theories, models, academic discussion and the use of all this in practice. Entrepreneurship is simply a fantastic subject for combining theory and practice. You are welcome to contact me if you have any questions or want to know more. Or even better: Talk to a student of Business Economics and ask, what they think. I hope you will get and entrepreneurial and innovative answer!

7 important aspects of I&E teaching

Keeping this case in mind and as an introduction to the 2 other cases in this newsletter, we want to highlight 7 important aspects of I&E teaching.

  1. Students should focus on creating value. I.e. create economic value, social value, societal value, sustainability, etc.
  2. Innovation and entrepreneurship teaching can contain many very different dimensions. Right from small introductions in single courses to entire programmes, with the aim of educating candidates with innovation and entrepreneurship profiles. In these, I&E often function as a framework throughout the programme.
  3. Entrepreneurship teaching is a lot more than just creating a startup. It is about competences. It can be the development of students’ personal competences, cooperation competences and innovative competences. Therefore, in your course, the goal formulations concerning competences should be right on the money.
  4. The teaching often involves more key players than yourself: coworkers in your team, company representatives or organizations, alumni, RIO consultants, SDUUP consultants, etc.
  5. Many different academic competences come into play, and thus, as a coordinating teacher you need to keep your focus at all times. Often, methods from the subjects of innovation and entrepreneurship are used directly as teaching methods. For example, it is quite common to let students go through an innovation process like design sprints or use entrepreneurial methods directly in the processes.
  6. Students need your help to understand all the different meta layers and the academic knowledge needed when teaching includes innovation and entrepreneurship methods, and to put these methods into perspective when thinking about their future careers.
  7. Most often you will need to look towards projects and casework, when you teach I&E, and you must remember to let your students take ownership. This will give some exciting perspectives on your role as a teacher, as your role will be much more facilitating and guiding than usual.
The Great Example - Entrepreneurship in Computer Science

Rolf Fagerberg explains how I&E has been integrated in a course in the Computer Sience programme and how SDU Entrepreneurship Labs supports the course through the Business Model Canvas.

Read the article

The Great Example - Technology Entrepreneurship

Søren Jensen from the Faculty of Engineering and Jannek Solgaard from SDU RIO explain how they have developed a course, which puts focus on giving students theoretical and practical experiences with entrepreneurship in a course, where the students work on creating their own startups.

Read the article

I&E Resources you can draw on in your teaching

Find resources here

Editing was completed: 13.04.2021