Embedding Entrepreneurship on Campus

How to embed entrepreneurship skills in student’s university experience at scale while bolstering capability to identify and foster high impact entrepreneurial talent and help them to launch startups with global impact.

Amelia Olsen-Boyd
UNSW Founders

Jennifer Zanich
UNSW Founders

Background and objectives of the case
Our students are graduating into complex world where work is being radically reshaped by technology and innovation and where the complex, pressing problems confronting the world demand solutions.

Automation and AI will see the disappearance of 47% of current jobs in the next 25 years. At the same time, entirely new industries will emerge. Within the working lives of our current students, the majority of Australian workers will be employed by industries that don’t yet exist.

An early sign of the upheaval to come is that the days of a ‘job for life’ are already gone. Over the course of their working lives, our graduates can expect to have on average 17 different jobs spanning 5 careers, one of which is likely to be as a founder of their own company.

At the same time, the world has entered a critical phase in confronting issues of global scale. Confronting the challenges of Climate change, resource scarcity and mass migration in the coming decades will require ambitious and multi-disciplinary solutions with global impact.

UNSW has a strong reputation as Australia’s leading entrepreneurial university and had already recognised the challenges and opportunities confronting students and made steps to address them by introducing a series of initiatives through the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre and New South Innovations.

The challenge was to consolidate and clarify these initiatives and introduce new ones to create a meaningful and signposted entrepreneurship journey for students to engage in. From this challenge, the UNSW Entrepreneurship team and the Founders Program were born.
The key objectives of this program are two-fold: deliver entrepreneurship education at scale so that in any given year up to 15% of the entire university community can engage in skill building; and identify and support high impact entrepreneurial talent on campus to launch ventures with global impact.