Gunn, R., Durkin, C., Singh, G. and Brown, J. (2007) Social entrepreneurship in the social policy curriculum. Paper presented to: Social Policy Association Conference, Birmingham University, 23 -25 July 2007.
There has been a recent focus on the need for higher education to better prepare its students for the transition to the workplace. This paper describes the development of a module that aims to introduce social policy undergraduate students to the core skills required to develop and manage a welfare organisation. The specific areas addressed were, the setting up, managing and funding a welfare organisation and how skills such as community profiling, social entrepreneurship, business planning and human resource development can be used to achieve these tasks.
The paper explores the political and educational context which inspired this initiative and the theoretical basis for the approach used. A particular focus is placed on the entrepreneurial aspects of the development. It moves on to describe the delivery of the module to the first cohort of students and includes their assessment of the learning and an evaluation of how they performed the assessment task. The paper then evaluates the place of this type of approach in higher education and offers proposals for its subsequent development based on the authors experience so far. The paper will be of interest to students, academics and practitioners in the field of contemporary welfare delivery who are interested in entrepreneurship and skills training.