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Entrepreneurship by Design points to the application of designerly approaches to entrepreneurial processes. Whether it is in collaboration with existing organisations in the form of intrapreneurship or regarding new organisations in the form of start-ups. Design approaches bring something unique to situations in need of change. This uniqueness does not only show in the form of new ideas but evenly in the form of new behaviour.

Design behaviour in non-traditional design settings seems to evoke a new form of working and/or organising that shows remarkable resemblances with entrepreneurial behaviour. That is, the “design mind” seems to initiate a different type of behaviour and a different discourse compared to that of collaborating non-designers. These design manifestations facilitate the development of new perspectives and alternative development process to address wicked situations and ill-defined problems, like present corporate and societal challenges. As a starting point for our education we build on a recent framework of competences which was commissioned by the European Commission.

The Entrepreneurship by Design Lab aims to develop a fundamental basis that could serve as a further expansion of the use of the EntreComp Framework in education as well as in practice. For us and for the grand challenges that lie in front of us, we are in need of practice-relevant theoretical basis that is actionable and has a strong relationship to the EntreComp Framework.  

Extensive research over the past decades has learned us that the creation of such a fundamental basis is a design process in itself. Methodologies, theories and frameworks will come from a large array of sciences to form the integrated whole we search for. Organizational sciences, socio-cultural sciences, social sciences like psychology, sociology and economics in addition to design & engineering sciences will contribute to the fundamental basis.

The Entrepreneurship by Design Lab experiments with new forms of education. Flagship courses are Inhouse Design Team, Build your Startup and Cutting Edge Design, Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CEDIE). The latter introduces master students to cutting edge (and fundamental) theories and notions from the various sciences mentioned above. During the ‘CEDIE’ course MSc-students define, present and discuss these abstract notions with the aim to trun these into tangible and presentable format. While doing this they go through at least three experiential learning cycles (David Kolb) which results in deeper understanding and storing into their long term memories.

Below is an example of one of the deliverables from earlier courses. Have a look here for more examples.

Lab Director
Frido  Smulders