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15 June 2021

Five things we learned from our Community Survey

At the Entrepreneurship Institute, we put our learning and listening caps on for our first Community Survey.

A group of students standing in the Bush House courtyard.

Think Lean is one of the Seven Skills of an Entrepreneurial Mindset and it is about being committed to rapid and continual learning through seeking out feedback and applying what is learnt.

We’re on a mission to enable all King’s students, staff and alumni to build their entrepreneurial skills, and after such an unusual and challenging year due to the pandemic, where our relationships with our communities have evolved and shifted, it felt important for us to put our learning caps on.

We launched our first ever Institute-wide Community Survey to listen to what you thought about what we were doing and how we can improve, and to test some assumptions we had around continuing with digital programming beyond the pandemic.

Here’s are the things we found out that we need to work on and what we plan to do in response...


Entrepreneurial skills can help you do better while you are at King’s, not just after

More than 80% of people believe entrepreneurial skills will make a positive difference to their future after King’s, but only 56% of people felt the same skills will help them excel in their degree.

We know it’s important to students to get the best result they can, so we need to shout more about how you get a return on investing in your skills now, not at some future date. Skilling up for your degree can mean more productive group work, better-researched essays and a cooler head when it comes to exams.


You really don’t need to have a start-up idea to join in

One of the most common barriers to participation with us was not having a start-up idea. This is a perception we have been looking to overcome through our Seven Skills of an Entrepreneurial Mindset, which are applicable to any situation or career path, so it sounds like we have more work to do!

We want to map more clearly some key pathways to developing entrepreneurial skills while at King’s. Some of these pathways might involve coming up with a start-up idea, while others may see you learn about the entrepreneurial skills with us (such as our Enterprise Award) or skilling up while getting hands on experience working in a startup (like Summer Internships) and then applying them in another context e.g. King’s Civic Challenge.


There’s never a ‘right time’ to get involved, so jump in!

The other barriers to participation were around readiness to get involved. We heard people are concerned they are not ‘at the right level’ to come to certain things or don’t feel confident.

We are developing a new element of the Seven Skills framework to help people identify what stage they are at in their development. We can then tailor events at a particular level and help make this more visible, so you feel reassured you are signing up to the right thing. But at the same time, most of our workshops are open to people at all levels and we can be more explicit about this in the language we use in the event descriptions.


Let’s fully take the opportunities we already have to connect with each other

We very much expected to see online fatigue as a key barrier to getting involved and a desire for more community-building / networking opportunities - and we did!

We are in the process of re-configuring our office space in Bush House to maximise collaborative working and increase our ability to host events beyond small workshops. Think ‘Pitch and Mix’, co-founder speed-dating, Office Hours and Open House networking.

But you also confirmed our assumption that digital ways of getting involved are here to stay because it makes what we do more accessible. So we need to keep building our skills to connect in real life and online. That means turning up to those Teams sessions ready to engage, posting in the chat, camera on if you can, asking questions, raising your hand and being willing to share.


It’s about creating inspiring and welcoming spaces, wherever they are

This was the main message from you about how to make a hybrid model of digital and on campus delivery work.

In addition to investing in our office as well as new online tools like Hopin and Teams to create experiences that will stand out, we know the most powerful thing we can do to welcome and inspire is to turn up as community mobilisers, not ‘staff’. We will be upskilling ourselves and our communities to make introductions, run spontaneous socials and spark up conversations, wherever we are.

A huge thank you to all those who took the time to complete our first-ever Community Survey!