Ryerson Entrepreneur Institute, Turning Ideas Into Reality - Located in Toronto, ON

Designing an Entrepreneurship Program

The Entrepreneurship Program Design Framework (EPDF) created by Gedeon (2014) and modified by Valliere, et al., (2014) provides a comprehensive framework for designing an entrepreneurship program.

As shown in the figure above the curriculum committee design team must clearly articulate:

  • Ontology – you must define entrepreneurship and education. You can’t teach it if you don’t know what it is.
  • Environment – you must understand who your stakeholders are, your market, entrepreneurial eco-system, competition and available resources.
  • Why – Vision, Mission and Goals for the Program
  • Who – Target audience and recruitment and retention strategies
  • How – Statement of Values and Pedagogy
  • What – Scope, Methods, Courses and Sequencing
  • Results – Knowledge, Skills and Attitude Learning Outcomes and Satisfaction

At Ryerson University and REI we summarize our Program Design Framework as follows:

“Entrepreneurship is a multi-dimensional concept that includes owning a small business (Risk Theory), being innovative (Dynamic Theory), acting as a leader (Traits School), or starting up a new company (Behavioural School). It includes spotting opportunities to drive the market toward equilibrium (Austrian School) or causing disequilibrium through “creative destruction” (Schumpeter).  It includes doing this on your own, in a team or inside a company. It involves starting without any resources and creating new values in the realm of business, social values, government or academia.” (Gedeon, 2014)

“Entrepreneurship education encompasses holistic personal growth and transformation that provides students with knowledge, skills and attitudinal learning outcomes. This empowers students with a philosophy of entrepreneurial thinking, passion, and action-orientation that they can apply to their lives, their jobs, their communities, and/or their own new ventures.” (Gedeon, 2014)

Our mission/goal is to provide students with a deeply experiential and transformative learning experience in a vibrant urban environment. We empower students with a philosophy of entrepreneurial thinking, passion, and action-orientation that they can apply to their lives, their jobs, their communities, and/or their own new ventures.

We ignite students’ passions and empower them to achieve extraordinary goals. Canada’s pre-eminent and largest entrepreneurship program, we deliver innovative educational programs and support multi-disciplinary experiences across campus with local, national and global impact. We provide access to world-class support and funding for our students’ new ventures and are embedded within our community.

Our AACSB accredited program’s Learning Goals include:

  1. Communication: Graduates will be able to express ideas and information effectively and accurately using a range of media commonly used in business environments.
  2. Ethical Understanding and Reasoning: Graduates will be able to recognize and analyze ethical problems in order to choose and defend appropriate resolutions.
  3. Critical Thinking: Graduates will be able to synthesize, analyze, and interpret a range of information using quantitative and qualitative techniques, for the purpose of making sound and ethical business decisions.
  4. Group and Individual Dynamics: Graduates will be able to effectively self-manage and perform effectively within heterogeneous teams.
  5. Integration of Business Functions: Graduates will be able to integrate all business functions, practices and related theories in order to address business problems and advance strategic decisions.
  6. Role of IT in Business: Graduates will understand the role of communications and information technology (CIT) in business applications and decision making related to the advancement of strategic business goals.
  7. Financial Theories and Analysis: Apply basic accounting and financial concepts and forms of analysis to analyze and interpret business situations and decisions.
  8. Opportunity Identification: Students specializing in ENT will be able to identify entrepreneurial opportunities.  Students will learn to become proactive and alert to information and technology trends affecting the global economy. They will have a self-directed life-long learning process for developing ‘T’ shaped skill profiles with depth and expertise in a domain as well as broad skills for identifying future trends.
  9. Acquire Resources: Students specializing in ENT will be able to understand how to acquire and exploit resources to support entrepreneurial ventures. Students will have implemented Design Thinking and the Lean Startup Method multiple times during their degree program to validate opportunities and bootstrap to obtain resources. Students will be able to recruit and manage multi-disciplinary teams to deliver impactful results.
  10. Persuading and Selling: Students specializing in ENT will develop skills for persuading and selling in a wide variety of contexts.
  11. Information Literacy: Students specializing in ENT will develop skills for identifying, selecting, storing and processing information from a variety of sources and media; developing successful information seeking and retrieval strategies; and, presenting and communicating information clearly, logically, concisely and accurately.
  12. Adaptability: Students specializing in ENT will have skills for experimentation, lean methodologies, dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty, design thinking, customer development, resiliency, and grit.
  13. Self-management: Students specializing in ENT will have skills for time management, goal-setting, self-directed life-long learning, habit formation, and self-reflection.
  14. Entrepreneurial Mindset: Students specializing in ENT will have entrepreneurial attitudes including high Self-Efficacy, Internal Locus of Control, Desirability of entrepreneurship, Social Norms and Entrepreneurial Intent.

For more details please see:

  • Gedeon, S.A. (2014) “Application of Best Practices in University Entrepreneurship Education: Designing a New MBA Program” European Journal of Training and Development, Vol 38, No. 3, pp. 231-253.
  • Valliere, D., Gedeon, S.A., and Wise, S. (2014) “A Comprehensive Framework for Entrepreneurship Education” Conference Proceedings, EEP Entrepreneurship Education Project Conference, Tampa Florida 28-29 March 2014.

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Our Address

Ryerson Entrepreneur Institute
575 Bay Street (entrance at 55 Dundas West) Room TRS 1-007
Toronto, ON M5G 2C5
Phone: 416-979-5000 ext 7085
Email us at info@ryersonentinstitute.org