Developing an innovative course in design and entrepreneurship for an African university

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Developing the next generation of ethical entrepreneurial leaders, without exposing all students to formal training in entrepreneurship, was a shortfall at Ashesi University. With an existing capstone entrepreneurship option which ensures active, experiential and experimental pedagogical approach, Ashesi still saw it expedient to extend this opportunity to students of all majors. In 2013, the journey to start a course, that helped the University better achieve its mission, commenced at an Executive Committee meeting. Within a curriculum that was full, and overflowing with core and elective courses waiting to be deployed, a unified community of administrators, Heads of Departments and faculty, brainstormed how this can become a reality. This paper discuses the journey Ashesi took to arrive at what is currently running as Foundations of Design and Entrepreneurship (FDE), a maiden creative problem solving and basics of business course, heavily drawing on design thinking, design and entrepreneurship. The course was started in September 2015, after two years of planning and development. FDE seeks to inspire and equip all freshmen regardless of their majors, with foundational skills in entrepreneurship. Lessons this paper seeks to share include how a purposed institution can be innovative, the processes necessary for developing new programmes, and failure points to be mindful. This will inform peers and institutions who want to innovate entrepreneurial education in the country, by developing innovative courses to shape graduates ready to transform the continent, and represent Africa on the world platform.
Sena Agbodjah and Anthony Ebow Spio are faculty of the Business Administration department of Ashesi University College. Theresa Dei Dzanie and Opheley Salihu were both staff of Ashesi.
Ashesi University College, Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial education, curriculum development, design, innovation
Agyepong, S. A., Spio, A. E., Dzanie, T. D. & Salihu, O. 2016. Developing an innovative course in design and entrepreneurship for an African university. Proceedings of the 2016 INCEDI Conference, p. 37-49