ELF 2012

In June 2012 we hosted Entrepreneurial Learning Forum (ELF) at Chalmers University of Technology. Key people from 14 of the VCPs on this website’s list came to Gothenburg, Sweden, to meet other VCPs for the first time ever. Below you find some information about the event.

Entrepreneurship programs in which students create real-life ventures as an important part of their education are still uncommon at universities around the world.  Nevertheless, there is today strong evidence around the effectiveness of action-based programs in developing both entrepreneurial competence and creating new economic value. The Entrepreneurial Learning Forum aimed at establishing and supporting a community for the pioneers of such programs, in order to discuss, share and make more sense of experiences, knowledge and expertise.


Venture creation programs are advanced examples of entrepreneurial learning processes from which business, educational and other institutions can learn substantially. Numerous students of these programs have transformed their entrepreneurial mindset. Insights gained from championing this kind of transformative pedagogy go beyond educational purposes, and can help increase our understanding of entrepreneurship in general.  However, venture creation programs have had to learn entrepreneurially themselves while practically pioneering a field that only recently is starting to be systematically understood. The questions and issues are still numerous and related research is in an early stage.  We are still determining main characteristics and identifying practice that is common across institutional and geographical borders. The inaugural Entrepreneurial Learning Forum represented a unique opportunity to join a community of pioneering and action-oriented entrepreneurship educators, and to embark on a collaborative learning journey into entrepreneurial teaching and learning, accounting for contextual issues impacting these experiences.


The Entrepreneurial Learning Forum consisted of three main themes. In the entrepreneurial learning theme we discussed the cognitive and non-cognitive development of students during a venture creation program and important implications of this. Aspects that were covered included action and reflection, levels of emotional engagement, why individuals engage in entrepreneurship, and the impact of interaction with others. In the entrepreneurial teaching theme we focused on format, method and means through which educators can impact students’ knowledge, skill-set and values. Aspects included delivery of a venture creation program, the venture creation process, assessment challenges, interdisciplinarity, and managing multiple objectives. In the entrepreneurial context theme we considered the academic institutional resources surrounding a venture creation program. Aspects included cultural issues influencing the programs, establishment and sustainability of programs, support mechanisms and units, and external actor involvement.


The organizing committee consisted of Mats Lundqvist, Karen Williams-Middleton and Martin Lackéus at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, Anne Donnellon at Babson College in USA and Frank Janssen at Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. The forum co-ordinator was Viktor Brunnegård at Chalmers.