Team Academy is an entrepreneurship education programme which originated in Finland over 20 years ago. Isla Kapasi from CEES has just returned from a week-long training event in Jyvasklya, Finland, the original home of the programme, where she learnt and experienced more about this interesting approach to degree-level education.
The learning philosophy of the Team Academy programme is that students, or Teampreneurs, learn through entrepreneurship. The programme content is based around self-determined learning and thus Teampreneur generated. In the first year, Teampreneurs are formed into teams and subsequently establish a business. Throughout the duration of their degree course the Teampreneurs work on individual or team businesses to generate profits which they can put towards team international travel, which is strongly encouraged, and/or from which they can take a wage. The programme uses many unique techniques and approaches to learning and Teampreneur development, including dialogue sessions, Birthgivings (aka 24-hour business challenges) and Houston calling. The programme reports impressive Teampreneur income generation, for example in Jyvaskyla business turnover has exceeded 1.2million Euro. Additionally, many Teampreneurs continue in business individually or with other team members post-graduation (47%).
For the full duration of their degree, Teampreneurs are supported by a Team Coach. The role of the Team Coach is to support self-determined learning and to provide a reference point for on-going individual, team and company development. Isla has been participating in the Team Coach training with Akatemia, a UK Team Academy-certified training provider, and will complete the course in December 2016. Currently, Team Academy-style programmes are available at five UK Higher Education Institutions and across the globe (e.g. China, Spain, Mexico). For more information see http://www.tiimiakatemia.com/en/ and http://www.akatemia.org.uk/.