European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Engaged entrepreneurship research in Europe

Innovative Teaching and Research Methodology for Experiential and Vicarious Learning about the Positive and Negative sides of Entrepreneurship


  • Dr. JuanFra Alvarado Valenzuela– Senior Researcher at the Entrepreneurship Unit of the Centre of Economic Transformation, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
  • Dr. Natalia Blagburn – Senior Lecturer at the Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Strategy, Faculty of Business and Law in Northumbria University
  • Dr. Jeanne Martens – Senior Researcher at the Entrepreneurship Unit of the Centre of Economic Transformation, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Key Points – Summary

This workshop contributes to share educational practices that are relevant for the professional development of (prospective) entrepreneurs, with particular attention to university students. We aim to move beyond the traditional focus on starting, growing and success, by incorporating strategies for dealing with and becoming resilient in the face of business adversity and failure. Specifically in this workshop, we use our own learning modules from business failure and closure as a starting point to expand into lessons and discussions that are important for a) educators in other contexts, and, b) advisors for entrepreneurs.

Date: The session will take place on 10 February 2021 at 15.00-16.30 CET via Zoom

Registration by 9 February 2021 15.00 pm CET: please use this link:


Participation in the PDW is free for ECSB members. If you are not a member, please join on Your membership status will be checked before granting an access to the event.

Target audience

  • Entrepreneurship educators, especially those on applied entrepreneurship or involved with experiential programs where students create and run businesses.
  • Entrepreneurship researchers, interested in designing research projects incorporating modules where students are also researchers.
  • Business and start-up advisors, looking to include innovative ways and vicarious learning in support packages for entrepreneurs.

For more information about Fenix Project in English:–recovery/failure–recovery.html

Information about Fenix Project in Dutch:–recovery/onderwijsmodule-project-fenix/toolkit-project-fenix.html?_ga=2.36756832.1335656537.1611562250-392995881.1603726479


Introduction and interactive opening (through Mentimeter)

Topic: Learning from business crisis

Short presentation of invited expert

Followed by a interactive discussion

Introduction to methodology Fenix Project – Dr. JuanFra Alvarado Valenzuela

Teaching closure and failure – Dr. Natalia Blagburn

Context of the Netherlands: Amsterdam Ecosystem – Dr. Jeanne Martens

Brainstorming (through Mentimeter)

What is needed to promote ‘business adaptability and resilience’ when looking at business failure and closure in your own context (country or city / university)?

Closing remarks & Take away: how to teach business failure and closure in the future?


Entrepreneurship education (EE) has become an increasingly prevalent global phenomenon across higher education institutions (HEIs). Its association with economic growth, changes in the labour market and the increased (sometimes rock-star-like) popularity of contemporary entrepreneurs has contributed to the rapid growth in supply of and demand for EE in HEIs. There is a scant examples from current EE practice to include business failure and closure in the curriculum and, more importantly, to find a balance for students and entrepreneurs to deal with adversity and failure while still increase their (future) entrepreneurial intentions (Ng & Jenkins, 2018; Wennberg, Pathak, & Autio, 2013).

From the experiences of the organizers, students and entrepreneurs who do not address the issue of failure are prevented from developing a realistic and balanced perspective of entrepreneurship. We have developed modules where students are encouraged to understand the prevalence of failure, to find tips to mitigate the ensuing consequences, and to include lessons of prevention in plans for their entrepreneurial.

Even more important in current times, learning how to prepare for and deal with adversity and failure can help to reduce psychological, social and economic losses, and enable entrepreneurs to recover faster and re-embark on their entrepreneurial path (Shepherd, 2004).

Ng, L., & Jenkins, A. S. (2018). Motivated but not starting: how fear of failure impacts entrepreneurial intentions. Small Enterprise Research, 25(2), 152-167.

Shepherd, D. A. (2004). Educating entrepreneurship students about emotion and learning from failure. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 3(3), 274-287.

Wennberg, K., Pathak, S., & Autio, E. (2013). How culture moulds the effects of self-efficacy and fear of failure on entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 25(9-10), 756-780.