Mastering the Entrepreneurial Mindset for the changing world of work


Canterbury recognises that for students to thrive in a rapidly evolving, technological-mediated world, they must possess the ability to apply their learned core skills gained from the traditional education system and employability skills linked to critical thinking, problem-solving, persistence, collaboration, and curiosity.

However, there is an observed skills gap between the “hard” skills of foundational education and the “soft” skills required for student competency and character.

Therefore, educational institutions are intuitively needed to teach these “soft” skills, as defined by research literature, as the most critical “21st-Century skills”. In part, these critical skills support Canterbury’s vision in developing optimistic, compassionate and confident world ready students that possess both skill sets.

There is now a growing body of anecdotal and scientific evidence that suggests that a key contributor in closing this gap is a compilation of noncognitive malleable personal and social skills known as the entrepreneurial mindset.

An entrepreneurial mindset comprises skills like initiative, adaptability, communication, critical thinking and problem-solving; skills often associated in supporting people overcome challenges, identifying and making the most of opportunities, and succeeding in a variety of academic and career settings.

An entrepreneurial mindset is not concerned with the technical skills necessary for the exercise of the entrepreneurial profession. What the entrepreneurial mindset attributes do represent is the cognitive approach that is considered effective in supporting entrepreneurial enterprise.

The overarching objective of establishing an entrepreneurial mindset in young people is to expose them to research based strategies that foster their creativity, innovation, leadership and learning that is deep and context-based, with a strong focus on inquiry.

Research also supports the provision of opportunities to partner with, meet and learn from various industry professionals through structured internship programs, solve real-world problems and engage in diverse learning experiences beyond traditional approaches to learning in a school context.

This quality and diversity gives individuals a positive experience and is valuable in making learning relevant to the real world and throughout life. This quality and diversity have become more relevant for individuals as their career opportunities are now less associated with the structural progression within an organisation and more aligned with their, life trajectory and life stage. As a result, a person will now seek to develop and understand an entrepreneurial mindset as a way of significantly increasing future employment prospects. An entrepreneurial mindset, and by default, entrepreneurial learning is now considered essential for lifelong learning.

Canterbury believes that early orientation and exposure towards developing an entrepreneurial mindset in students can help them engage and succeed in school, promote educational attainment, and support developing strong personal and social skills. The Canterbury Futures Program has been designed to provide these opportunities to our students as they learn to understand the range of new and emerging skills, knowledge, and capabilities valued in the workplace.

Canterbury students are already immersed in their start-up businesses in a range of diverse and exciting fields such as:

App Design, Various Cottage Industries, and Media Production and the Arts.