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Full curriculum-based venture creation programmes: current knowledge and research challenges

Kelly Smith (University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)
Matthew Charles Rogers-Draycott (Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, UK)
David Bozward (Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, UK)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 5 April 2022

Issue publication date: 10 May 2022




Full curriculum-based Venture Creation Programmes (VCPs) are a relatively new and potentially underutilised form of degree programme in which students explore the on-going creation of a new venture as a primary aspect of their formal study. The highly experiential nature of VCPs has the potential to meet the calls of researchers and policymakers for students to actively participate in and control their own learning for enterprise and entrepreneurship. However, research into VCP's remains limited which constrains their development. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to review the literature surrounding VCPs in order to investigate the current research and explore areas for further study to support the development of these courses.


A systematic literature review was conducted in order to find and explore literature around VCPs, defined here as credit-bearing whole programmes of study, focused on learning for entrepreneurship, with the creation of a real-life business venture as an integral part of the learning experience, on which completion of the programme is dependent. First, academic literature published in peer-reviewed journals was collected through a systematic search. In parallel with this, academic colleagues working in this space were contacted for recommendations of literature and for information on work in progress. This led to additional emerging work being discovered that is primarily being presented at conferences. A further general Internet search was conducted to find non-academic information, reports and literature relating to VCP practice.


Four themes were explored covering the entire student journey (1) application and recruitment; (2) teaching, learning and assessment; (3) development of entrepreneurial identity; and (4) entrepreneurial outcomes. The literature presented in the paper suggests that VCPs can meet calls to provide an innovative curriculum based on experiential learning principles. VCPs can provide a positive learning experience in addition to leading to actual business start-up during the degree or after graduation.


This paper presents a comprehensive review of literature focusing on VCPs. Recommendations are made for further research. A key question remains: if full VCPs have the potential to enhance learning, produce positive business outcomes, and address policy calls, why are there so few known VCPs at universities around the world?



Smith, K., Rogers-Draycott, M.C. and Bozward, D. (2022), "Full curriculum-based venture creation programmes: current knowledge and research challenges", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 1106-1127.



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