By Daniel Hunter
Students will set up their own businesses as part of the first degree in entrepreneurship in Wales, which has been launched by Glyndŵr University.
The Wrexham-based university has introduced the two-year Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurship to equip students with the skills and know-how to create and manage their own business.
During the first year of study, the university will donate £50 to students to start their own online micro-business, which they will develop throughout the course.
Traditional lectures in areas including finance and marketing, corporate social responsibility, sales and intellectual property will be complemented by workshops and guest lectures with ‘real-life entrepreneurs’ from Wales and across the UK.
These sessions will be delivered by businesspeople using a hands-on approach, with game-based learning and exploration to give students practical examples of how a business operates and the problems they might encounter.
Academic Leader for Business at Glyndŵr University, Professor Chris Jones, said: “The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) shows that levels of entrepreneurial activity amongst Wales’ young people doubled between 2002 and 2010; yet low business birth figures for Wales show that more needs to be done to ensure that these aspirations translate through to start-ups.
“Too often we hear from employers that graduates don’t possess the right mix of skills required to succeed in business so we’ve developed a robust course which will give students not just a theoretical grounding but also the opportunity to learn through practical application.
“While entrepreneurship is as much an embedded trait as it is an acquired skill, ensuring business-minded individuals are given the opportunity to learn through application will ensure they graduate with the right skillset and experience to be the entrepreneurs of the future.”
Gwyn Evans, North Wales Regional Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses in Wales, said: “The message we hear from employers is clear: too many graduates and school leavers don’t enter the workplace with the adequate skills required to hit the ground running — whether that’s working for someone else or in a start-up environment.
“Learning by doing is a tried and tested method and it’s positive to see a Welsh university offering students applied business experience alongside traditional academic learning.
“Whilst it remains to be seen whether courses like these produce the entrepreneurs of the future, honing and developing the skills of those with a thirst for enterprise in this way is an approach that’s to be commended.”
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