“Having a set of tools is very important because suddenly things become imaginable for you.”
Name: Anna Wettermark
Title: Assistant professor in Management at Stockholm Business School
Can you tell us who you are?
I am Anna Wettermark, an assistant professor at Stockholm Business School, where I teach courses in organisation and social entrepreneurship at the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship (SSES).
How did you first discover SSES?
I first discovered SSES when I was invited to be a jury member for a panel evaluating one of the SSES courses. I was truly impressed by the students’ work and their knowledge and engagement in the subject matter.
What is your view of entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is a driving force in society that can improve the lives of many people. It involves a combination of creativity, critical thinking, and practical skills, enabling individuals or groups to create innovative solutions and generate value. It’s essential to approach entrepreneurship with curiosity, open-mindedness, and a willingness to learn. A successful entrepreneur should have a good balance between questioning existing structures and being receptive to new ideas, embracing both the practical and theoretical aspects of their endeavors.
Can a group or a collective act entrepreneurially?
Yes, groups and collectives can act entrepreneurially. In fact, there is a growing tendency in research to focus on collective initiatives and how groups relate to one another, support each other, and position themselves in relation to other groups. Collective entrepreneurship can lead to a greater exchange of ideas and resources, allowing for more innovative and impactful solutions. By working together, groups can leverage their individual strengths and overcome challenges more effectively than they would alone.
What are the key differences between social entrepreneurship and other types of entrepreneurship?
Social entrepreneurship primarily focuses on creating meaningful societal impact. However, the distinction between social and other types of entrepreneurship is not clear-cut, as they share many commonalities and can overlap. Both forms of entrepreneurship involve innovation, risk-taking, and value creation, but social entrepreneurship places a greater emphasis on addressing social or environmental issues. Despite these differences, all types of entrepreneurship can benefit from a blend of creativity, critical thinking, and practical skills, as well as a commitment to making a positive impact on society.
How can interdisciplinary collaboration be encouraged in the classroom?
Encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration in the classroom requires creating a trusting atmosphere where students feel comfortable sharing their knowledge and experiences. Teachers should be open to students’ diverse backgrounds and create an environment where different perspectives can thrive. By incorporating group projects, case studies, and other collaborative activities, students can learn from each other and develop a deeper understanding of the various aspects of entrepreneurship. This kind of collaborative learning environment fosters creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills that are essential for successful entrepreneurship.
How can entrepreneurship education be more inclusive and incorporate diverse perspectives and groups?
To make entrepreneurship education more inclusive and incorporate diverse perspectives and groups, it’s essential to broaden the scope of the curriculum. This includes discussing ethical and political questions, addressing societal challenges, and ensuring that different perspectives and groups are represented in the classroom. By fostering a diverse and inclusive learning environment, students can gain a more comprehensive understanding of entrepreneurship, explore various approaches to problem-solving, and develop a greater appreciation for the value of different perspectives.
What would be an interesting experiment in the classroom to enhance learning experiences for students?
One interesting experiment in the classroom could involve having students work closely with real startups over an extended period, allowing them to gain hands-on experience and better understand the entrepreneurial journey. This immersive learning experience would give students the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world situations, observe the challenges entrepreneurs face, and learn valuable lessons about resilience, adaptability, and innovation. Such a partnership could also benefit the startups by providing fresh perspectives and insights from the students.
What are your hopes for the future of entrepreneurship education?
My hopes for the future of entrepreneurship education include incorporating it into as many educational programs as possible, ensuring that a diverse range of students have access to the tools and knowledge they need to explore entrepreneurial paths. I also hope that entrepreneurship education continues to broaden its scope, embracing diverse perspectives, addressing ethical and political questions, and fostering inclusivity. By adopting a more comprehensive approach to entrepreneurship, we can cultivate a new generation of entrepreneurs who are well-equipped to tackle the challenges of the modern world and create meaningful societal impact.