The End of (Enterprise) Education?

My eldest daughter came home from school last week with something like 10kg of university prospectuses.  She spent much of the week-end browsing the frightening range of courses available. 

And it got me thinking about whether the compulsory education that she has experienced so far, all 13 years of it, have really provided her with an excellent platform for wealth and fulfillment in her adult life.  And the result of my pondering was:

  1. As a premise I believe that education is at its best when it socialises people into the obligations and freedoms of active citizenship, and immunises them against imprisonment by the gilded cages of consumerism.  So why does so much (enterprise) education appear to be about the development of the next generation of employer fodder/entrepreneurs/snake oil sellers?
  2. Is this because we are failing to teach the real meaning of ‘social enterprise’ now that it has become embedded in what Todd Hannula describes as ‘agency led mush’
  3. Have we ever properly taught the notion of social enterprise?  Is it really more the the pursuit of ‘enlightened self interest’ in the marketplace?
  4. To release prodigious human energies and good will we must learn how to help people find powerful narratives that give meaning and direction to their lives.  
  5. We must help them to learn about themselves at least as much as we should help them learn about the world outside of them.
  6. We must encourage them to explore what they love and who they can become in pursuit of their potential.
  7. We must educate them to properly understand their own self interest and how this fits with the self interest of others in a mutually sustainable and progressive community. 
  8. We must help them to become experts in using power in pursuit of mutual self interest.
  9. We must help them to build their power in creating the kind of future that they want to see for themselves and for the diverse communities that live on spaceship earth.

Perhaps consideration of these statements might just help us to realise ‘the end of (enterprise) education’.


  1. Hi Mike

    I couldn’t agree more with you. Enterprise is a mindset that can be applied in any walk of life. It’s about self-sufficiency and a willingness to learn and change. If it works in business, and it does, great, but it also applies to career, relationships, sport etc. Much of our work, based upon the Enterprise Catalyst ( is about promoting these attitudes.


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