Entrepreneurship in education | Deloitte Impact Foundation


Entrepreneurship in education

Students starting their own business, supported by agile training and coaching from the Deloitte Impact Foundation

Colleagues Vivianne Smiggels, Sybren van Wirdum and Bob van Dartel of Deloitte's Organization Transformation Consulting practice focus in their daily work on making organizations future-proof. Through their Deloitte Impact Foundation initiative, they now also support a group of enthusiastic HAVO 4 students in setting up their own Junior Company through Stichting Jong Ondernemen.


The call for entrepreneurship can be found on many fronts. Of course within startups, where entrepreneurship is the success factor, but also within established organizations. From a political angle and within education, entrepreneurship is a widely used concept. Education appeals to be the right target group that obtains the right qualities to develop entrepreneurship. Creativity, one of the qualities that an entrepreneur 'should' possess, is often attributed to children. The ability to think open-mindedly, not tied to frameworks and years of experience, makes the child the ultimate entrepreneur.

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Foundation Jong Ondernemen

The anchoring of entrepreneurship has found its way into education in recent years. Entrepreneurship is a recurring topic at MBO, applied- and research universities. But also at a younger age, students are challenged to develop their entrepreneurial spirit. Also within the entrepreneurial class of Elde College. 10 HAVO 4-students started in September with the Junior Company program of Stichting Jong Ondernemen. A nationwide program in which a secondary school student sets up his or her own business during a school year, not a business on paper, or an online simulation, but a real business.

Introducing an Agile way of working

Through her network Vivianne Smiggels responded to the call of Adam van Dijk (lecturer Economics & Business Economics at Elde College) to support the Entrepreneurs Class in the development of a product. The focus on delivering value, focusing on the customer and being able to respond quickly to changes are the norm within leading companies today. However, the way of working that makes this possible often turns out to be a challenge. Task-oriented working is ingrained in it. Instead of iteratively improving products and services, we have become accustomed to delivering a framed whole and then moving on to a new task assigned to us. Adam van Dijk and Rutger Klijn, together with Vivianne Smiggels and Sybren van Wirdum have taken up the challenge to let the students develop a product in an agile, iterative way. Through various trainings and coaching 'on the job', the Deloitte colleagues assist the Entrepreneurs Class similarly as in their day-to-day jobs with clients. 

A great start!

Adam van Dijk: "Also in our own thinking about how we manage a class, how we function within our team or how we approach a project as the Entrepreneurs Class, Deloitte challenges us to think from the interest of our students and society. How do we channel enthusiasm, creativity and do we deliberately take action? Very valuable and we are grateful to Deloitte, especially Vivianne and Sybren, for their professional guidance".

A learning experience, for more than the students alone

Vivianne and Sybren are also challenged to convey the material in a different way than usual. Sybren: "We go back to the core, why do we really want to work this way? That's what it's all about, we don't have to make it complex. It's about giving the students the tools to develop a product with the customer as its starting point". 

This is the first step towards making entrepreneurship an integral part of education. Deloitte sees it as her role to share knowledge and experience in society. Where do we start to anchor entrepreneurship? Right, where we are all being formed: in education.

The Deloitte Impact Foundation

Through the Deloitte Impact Foundation, Deloitte is committed to bring a positive impact to society. We share our core competences, knowledge and network in societal initiatives to make an impact in the fields of education & employment, sustainability and endurability. Read more about the Deloitte Impact Foundation and view our other initiatives.

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