Entrepreneurial learning

Entrepreneurial learning is the development of entrepreneurial attitudes, skill and knowledge that enables the individual to turn creative ideas into action. Learning the skills of entrepreneurship assists young individuals in making successful transition from the schooling environment into the workforce. Individuals who have the opportunity to think creatively, problem-solve, innovate and manage complex projects, have a greater chance to grow, succeed and operate in a rapidly changing global market.

Entrepreneurship is not only related to economic activities and business creation, but more widely to creating value in all areas of life and society, with or without commercial objective. The lesson plans are designed to support teachers in guiding students through an entrepreneurial process of identifying, developing, and bringing a vision to life. The vision may be an innovative idea, an opportunity, or a better way to do something. This process results in creating a new venture formed under conditions of risk and considerable uncertainty.

iEntrepreneur toolkit has been developed to assist teachers in developing students’ entrepreneurial mindset and personal qualities through a series of processes.

The iEntrepreneur mindset and personal qualities can be applied to delivering curriculum and programs across all key learning areas.

Further information can be found in the iEntrepreneur introduction (DOCX 227.8)

The iEntrepreneur resource comprises of three components:

The iEntrepreneur toolkit is a comprehensive resource designed to guide teachers in teaching students through the entrepreneurial process, from exploring problems to sharing innovative solutions. This toolkit provides structured activities and lesson plans aimed at developing creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities essential for entrepreneurial success.

The toolkit encourages the incorporation of hands-on activities, collaborative projects, and real-world experiences, so that educators can empower students to develop essential entrepreneurial competencies and develop a mindset of innovation and resilience.

Whether it is used as standalone activities or integrated into existing curricula, this toolkit offers a practical and engaging approach to developing entrepreneurial skills and mindset.

This advice serves as guidance on using this resource effectively. It is organised into the stages of the entrepreneurial process: Explore, Design, Plan, Test, and Share.

Explore: Identify and understand real-world problems or opportunities.

Design: Visualise the innovative solutions to the identified problems.

Plan: Develop a comprehensive plan to outline the implementation of the solutions.

Test: Trial the solutions in real-world settings or simulated environments.

Share: Develop effective communication strategies to share solutions and value propositions.

Professional learning: Teachers engage with the online and on-demand iEntrepreneur e-learning modules NR38318 professional learning located in MyPL. These modules aim to strengthen teachers’ comprehension and competence in delivering the entrepreneurial mindset. The e-learning modules assist teachers in understanding the process of teaching entrepreneurial skills and utilising the toolkit effectively.

iEntrepreneur learning process: When teaching iEntrepreneur, it is advised that educators follow the entrepreneurial learning process to Explore the problem, to Design possible solutions, to select and Plan a solution, to Test the solution then to Share the solution with others.

Assessment and feedback: Use the provided reflection prompts to evaluate student understanding, provide constructive feedback, and guide further skill development.

Extensions: Integrate guest speakers, industry mentors, or entrepreneurs into the learning experience to provide real-world insights and inspiration.

Classroom implementation: Utilise worksheets and lesson plans complement existing curricula across different subjects to seamlessly integrate entrepreneurial concepts into daily teaching.

Individual skill enhancement: Encourage self-directed learning by allowing students to explore problems, test solutions and embrace failure as a part of the learning process.

Cross-curricular application: Explore opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration by incorporating entrepreneurial activities into subjects such as mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies.

Real-world relevance: Highlight the practical applicability of entrepreneurial skills by linking classroom activities to real-world examples, guest speakers, or excursions.

Self-reflection: Students reflect and self-assess throughout the entrepreneurial journey to evaluate their progress, challenges, and lessons learned.

Achievements: Celebrate and recognise student achievements and successes in navigating the entrepreneurial process, promoting a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within the classroom.

Risk-taking: Risk-taking is the willing desire to take action in the face of uncertainty in the hope of achieving the desired result.

Innovating: An innovative person enjoys finding new ways of doing something or finding a solution to a complex or wicked problem.

Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skilfully conceptualising, applying, analysing, synthesising, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.

Creative thinking: Creative thinking is the ability to look at things differently and find new ways of solving problems.

Resilience: Resilience is the ability to resist surrendering to challenges or difficulties and remain open, flexible, and willing to adapt to change.

Future-focused: Being future-focused is anticipating obstacles and then preparing and planning for the future. Keeping up-to-date with changes and developments, responding to issues on sustainability, citizenship, enterprise, and globalisation.

Initiative: Initiative is when you do things without being told. You find out what you need to know, and you keep going when things get difficult. You also spot and take advantage of opportunities that others pass by. You act instead of reacting.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to emotionally understand what other people feel, see things from their point of view, and imagine yourself in their place. Essentially, it is putting yourself in someone else's position and feeling what they must be feeling.

Problem Solving: Problem Solving is the process of finding solutions to difficult or complex issues.

Curiosity: Curiosity is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning.

Communication: Communication is simply the act of transferring information from one place, person, or group to another.

Confidence: Confidence is a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something you attempt.

Flexibility: Flexible thinking is the quality of being easily adaptable to change and/or of offering many different options.

Seek Opportunities: To seek opportunities is the ongoing process of considering, evaluating, and pursuing ideas and solutions that are believed to be advantageous or will solve a particular problem.

Collaborate: To collaborate is to work together, especially on a goal, problem, or shared project. When two or more people collaborate, they often share and develop each other's ideas.

Explore: When you explore, you learn, understand, and discover. You are curious, inquisitive, and empathetic.

Design: When designing, you plan or draw to show the look and function of the object before it is made. You invent something or make existing things better.

Plan: When you plan, you organise, outline, and know what needs to be done. You know the who, what, where, and when.

Test: When you test, you determine the desirability, viability, and feasibility of your ideas/solutions.

Share: When we share, we show and grow with others our ideas and solutions to a problem.

Teachers need to consider inclusion and differentiation and curriculum planning when using the iEntrepreneur resources in the classroom. To learn more about curriculum planning for every student professional learning is available on MyPL. Differentiated learning should be enabled through both planned and contingent adjustments to the teaching approach for content, process, product, and learning environment.

Students are all unique and learn in different ways. When planning and programming, considering all students is inclusive practice. A range of differentiation models may be used to tailor learning for the diversity of students represented in classrooms. For high potential and gifted learners, differentiation can be enabled through content, process, product, and learning environment. For other learners, the UDL (universal design for learning) approach may assist with differentiation.

Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, and knowledges using Aboriginal pedagogies and content, can enhance differentiation to achieve improved outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Targeted strategies can be used to achieve improved outcomes for Aboriginal and, or Torres Strait Islander students.

EAL/D learners will require explicit English language support, informed by the student’s English language proficiency phase using the EAL/D Learning Progression. Teachers can access information about supporting EAL/D learners and literacy support specific to EAL/D learners, including Aboriginal EALD learners.

Learning adjustments enable all students including those with a disability to access syllabus outcomes and content on the same basis as their peers. Teachers can use a range of adjustments to ensure a personalised approach to student learning.

The Differentiation Adjustment Tool and high potential and gifted education supporting educators advice can assist with optimising learning for high-potential and gifted learners. For guidance how to look for high potential and develop talent, teachers can refer to Introducing the social-emotional domain - a discussion paper for school leaders and teachers (nsw.gov.au)

Professional learning for the intended use and the understanding of the iEntrepreneur mindset, qualities and processes are available on MyPL.

It is strongly recommended that teachers complete this prior to using the resources. iEntrepreneur e-learning modules NR38318

AITSL (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership), n.d., ‘Performance and Development Toolkit for Teachers Overview.’ Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership.

Australian Education Council Review Committee 1991, ‘Young people’s participation in post-compulsory education and training, report’, Australian Government, Canberra.

CISCO, 2008, ‘Equipping Every Learner for the 21st Century’. Cisco Systems incorporated.

Department for Education South Australia, November 2018, ‘Entrepreneurial Learning Strategy’, Creating a Mindset for World Class Education.

D.T.Willingham, May 2019, ‘How to Teach Critical Thinking’, NSW Department of Education. Education Future Frontiers.

Gonski, D, Arcus, T, Boston, K, Gould, V, Johnson, W, O’Brien, L, Perry, L & Roberts, M 2018, ‘Through growth to achievement: Report of the review to achieve educational excellence in Australian schools’, report, Canberra, Commonwealth of Australia.

NSW Department of Education, July 2019, ‘General capabilities: A perspective from cognitive science’, Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation.

NSW Department of Education, 2021 High Potential and Gifted Education policy High Potential and Gifted Education P-12

NSW Department of Education, October 2019, ‘Policy Reform and Innovation Strategy’ Education for a Changing World.

NSW Department of Education, June 2019, ‘Revisiting Gifted Education’, Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation.

NSW Department of Education, July 2017, ‘School Excellence Framework: Version Two’.

P. Ellerton, October 2017, ‘On Critical Thinking and Collaborative Enquiry’, NSW Department of Education. Education Future Frontiers.

2023 iEntrepreneur Teachers' Innovation Challenge

The Teachers' Innovation Challenge (TIC) provides an opportunity for schools to embed the iEntrepreneur mindsets into teaching practice and align it with their Key Learning Area (KLA). Teachers present the outcomes at the Symposium. The challenge intends to generate ideas to create new or improved teaching pedagogy and student experiences.

Teachers' Innovation Workshop - Highlight Video (60 Second Teaser)

Joachim Cohen: Today is an amazing day where so many teachers are getting the chance to learn about the importance of entrepreneurial learning and also the amazing tools that they can get access to, to inspire their students to think like an entrepreneur and hopefully become the entrepreneurs of the future.

Yvette Poshoglian: They get access to real world industry leaders talking about entrepreneurial skills. I think there's a lot of interesting conversations being generated, and this is a unique space to be in today.

David Kowalski: I'm excited to take some of the things that I've learned back to my students in order to let them know that they have the world their fingertips, that there is people willing to help them get to the next level of whatever it is they want to do.

Joachim Cohen: The students of tomorrow have got so many opportunities available to them. So many digital tools, digital skills, and opportunities that they can access no matter where they are. There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur, and there's never been a better time to learn these amazing skills that they could apply. No matter what the future holds.

Teachers' Innovation Challenge 2023 highlights

Joachim Cohen: Today is an amazing day where so many teachers are getting the chance to learn about the importance of entrepreneurial learning and also the amazing tools that they can get access to, to inspire their students to think like an entrepreneur and hopefully become the entrepreneurs of the future.

[music playing over video of the innovation workshop]

Yvette Poshoglian: Today is really important because they get access to real world industry leaders talking about entrepreneurial skills. We've had some really unique perspectives as well from some of our other subject matter experts. I think there's a lot of interesting conversations being generated, and this is a unique space to be in today.

Gareth Bower: One of the key highlights is hearing from industry experts or academics with a strong background in entrepreneurship and learning about the UTS programs that are on offer for Year 9 and 10 and Dr. James as well and just sort of hearing from him the perspectives of entrepreneurship in regards to pre-service teaching.

Kirsty Ebzery: There's been many highlights across the last two days, but I have to say meeting Chef Adam Moore his presentation last night at the dinner was just fantastic. [video plays of chef Adam Moore giving a presentation] I think we all can relate to a teacher that we've had in the past and how they have impacted our future. He had many of those fantastic teachers that impacted his future and that led to his success in life.

Joachim Cohen: There are so many things that teachers are going to take away. They're going to take all this amazing knowledge back to their schools. So they've learned so much from all the different entrepreneurs about the entrepreneurial mindset, and they're starting to explore the amazing skills that they need to pass that on to their students.

David Kowalski: My head is swimming in information and knowledge and different ideas, and I'm excited to take some of the things that I've learned back to my students in order to let them know that they have the world their fingertips, that there is people that are willing to help them get to the next level of whatever it is they want to do.

Kirsty Ebzery: I just want to really empower the students to be the voice for themselves in the community, to be re-engaged and to make a change.

Gareth Bower: We're going to be looking at new and innovative approaches to a number of our streams, encouraging students because its very student led our school, to actually be able to build their own business.

Yvette Poshoglian: The teachers are going to walk away feeling energized about their project. They're going to have most importantly, a network of other colleagues and peers to reach out to, as well as sitting and embedding within the framework that they're going to discuss further today.

Joachim Cohen: The students of tomorrow have got so many opportunities available to them, so many digital tools, digital skills, and opportunities that they can access no matter where they are. There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur, and there's never been a better time to learn these amazing skills that they could apply, no matter what the future holds.

Teachers share entrepreneurial outcomes from 2023 Teachers Innovation Challenge Symposium.

Angela Mihailou: The highlight for me was a validation that the entrepreneurship unit that we've been currently delivering at school is valid. But most of all in that there's a renewed sense of purpose for us in teaching this at the school.

Jessica Watson: The biggest highlight so far, I think, from the Symposium was actually the networking that we've had with the other schools we’ve seen some really great ideas and actually being able to engage with staff to see how they're using them and getting ideas and actually sharing those resources that people might have developed or tweaked a little bit has been really helpful. So, we've networked and made some contacts to go and visit some of the other schools.

Nathan Martin: Everyone's got fantastic ideas, that they’re implementing in their schools. So, I look forward to taking those ideas and helping our students to get this iEntrepreneur program established in our school.

Natasha Armen: I'm able to see what other schools are doing and we've all been very honest about where we are in this journey. It's not easy to build that entrepreneurial thinking, but the fact that we are sharing ideas and looking at it as a process and some way, you don't just snap your fingers and you have entrepreneurs in front of you. It's all part of a longer, I suppose, process to get your students and your staff there to make this change.

Angela Mihailou: The iEntrepreneur approach that we've taken is through our year 7 ICT subject, which is called Innovation, Collaboration and Technology. We're looking at sustainable goals and social impact issues as a driver to implement this resource.

Jessica Watson: Our approach when we've been delivering the resources is to find the best place for them to fit. So, within our projects, across our school, we're finding where the resources are most beneficial, not just trying to make a program around the resources, but actually making the resources fit what we want it to, making a bit more natural and meaningful that way.

Nathan Martin: We've taken the iEntrepreneur resources and delivered them in the state they've been given to us, and we've found that works for our students.

Natasha Armen: We focus on the first ring of the resource. We've been looking at how to use the skills of communication, collaboration to build a sense of belonging and connectedness amongst our students to get those skills that industry is looking for in people who are job and market ready.

Angela Mihailou: If you're looking for an authentic and innovative program to reinvigorate and inspire your existing content using the iEntrepreneur Program will be the essential toolkit for it. Not only will you remain industry relevant, school relevant, but you'll be able to instil in your students minds the possibilities of being able to create, problem solve and critically think about different situations in such a formative way.

Teachers' Innovation Challenge Sydney Secondary College Balmain

Elizer: The student resources really have helped in the sense of like, what does this mean? and how could you apply it in business or even outside of business? It's really nicely set out, easy to read and informative.

Calvin: It teaches me on how to think outside, different ways to solve problems.

Mitch Arvidson: Engaging with the iEntrepreneur resource was a great relief for me. I have seen an increasing number of students through my door saying they want to start my own business and I think this is absolutely fantastic as the person in charge of careers but also in charge of commerce. That's brilliant. It's exactly what we've needed.

Elizer: I definitely didn't know much about entrepreneurship, but business in general, it's definitely helped how I look at stuff now and how could I take this problem and solve it.

Calvin: So, in the entrepreneurial resources, when we learnt about the iSWOT it gave me like a more different understanding on how businesses think about themselves and their strengths, weaknesses and how they can improve on their own business to make it more competitive to other businesses out there.

Elizer: In the classroom, we mainly just talk about problems we could try to solve in and outside of business. Just talk about like possible business ideas.

Calvin: We learn about entrepreneurship, how connections work in a business and how when you’re talking to people there's so many things you can do, with connections. Also, in school we also do non-profit businesses. What can we do around the school that benefits of school. For a non-profit.

Mitch Arvidson: Teaching students entrepreneurial thinking is absolutely vital. All kids have to have access to this. Having a resource ready to go that goes from beginning to end. This is everything you need. Create your own idea. Start your own business. Be successful with it. Connect you into the support that's available. It’s fantastic. Love it.

Teachers' Innovation Challenge Denison College Kelso

Belinda Orpwood: My students and my colleague have found that iEntrepreneur resources really valuable. They're so accessible. They're really well laid out. They're really easy to use, well thought out. They align beautifully with all key learning areas across the school and all units of work, across all the stage groups. So that's fantastic. We're really enjoying being able to just pick up a resource and link that in with any area that we choose.

The resources and the lessons have been really helping improve, I suppose, the design and technology subject, but I can see how they could improve many of the other subjects here once teachers are exposed to them.

When we measure the impact of the program, we will be measuring that through a survey. So as we started the process, we measured through an entry survey. We asked students questions around what they already knew relating to entrepreneurialism.

Teaching practices have been impacted on, I suppose as a result of the challenge in ways where we have access to high quality resources and those resources can slot into any subject area across any outcome.

Ken Barwick: The iEntrepreneur resource provides exceptional insights for students to learn and grow in a way that's different to a traditional classroom. They learn different types of soft skills that they'll need in the real-world environment, particularly in an ever-changing environment where they could be changing their jobs, changing their ideas.

Bringing this program in opens the door for kids to collaborate across a range of areas, teachers to collaborate across a range of areas. I think we need to grow bigger and really get other faculties to join together and work together with the department with this pilot program and I think it's just amazing.

Belinda Orpwood: For other teachers that are looking at accessing the iEntrepreneur resources, I would definitely recommend it, they are of high quality, they're really accessible and they're aligned with the key learning areas as well as every subject area. So, if you're looking at doing a cross faculty collaboration or a cross course collaboration, then I would recommend them for sure.

Teachers' Innovation Challenge Mosman High School

Jess McCarthy: It's really easy for teachers to implement the iEntrepreneur resources because they're categorised under headings that make it easy to find. There are multiple resources underneath those headings, clickable links that can either be shared with students or printed out or rejigged to suit the project that you're doing.

I use the iEntrepreneur resources from the resource kit. I use the headings that were provided in the kit because they're very similar to the design cycle or engineering cycle or inquiry process, and I use them as like a journal for students to evaluate their process. I handpicked the resources that apply to the particular project that I was doing, and I rejigged them into like a student workbook.

Matilda: The entrepreneurial resources have helped me prepare for my future because they can help me figure out ideas if I do want to start my own business.

Jess McCarthy: By teaching an entrepreneurial mindset, it really changed students' understanding of what learning could be. They're often so focused on grades and marks and results. Teaching an entrepreneurial mindset helped them to realise that it's actually bigger than them, and it's beyond school. The best thing that has happened is that students will always surprise you.

Matilda: It’s inspired me because I know what I can do now. So, I know that there are like many possibilities.

Jess McCarthy: My advice for teachers who want to take entrepreneurship into the classroom is just do it because the students will really enjoy the journey, and I think students learn more than you expect them to. Students have so much access to knowledge and information. The entrepreneurial mindset gives them that chance to actually take it away from that classroom and create a real-world solution.

So, the iEntrepreneur resource was just so fantastic and so helpful. I knew that this sequence of learning was going to develop a really fantastic project in the end.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Education and Skills Reform
  • Skills and Pathways
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