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Education for Enterprise

Education for enterprise.

Education for Enterprise (E4E) is about promoting an approach to learning – one that is real, relevant, and gives students responsibility for their learning. In this section, find out more about why an enterprising approach to learning could benefit your students, and how to develop an E4E approach in your school.

Developing an E4E school

Characteristics of an E4E school

Being enterprising means possessing the values, competencies, and knowledge to develop and use personal resources creatively and constructively, in innovative ways, and in a range of contexts.

Carefully planned enterprising environments for learning, and the ways in which those learning experiences are organised and assessed, will contribute to the development of these values, competencies, and knowledge. This will equip children and young people to contribute meaningfully to the New Zealand economy and society, and will prepare them for the role of global citizens of the 21st century.

Use the "Characteristics of an E4E school" checklist to determine how many enterprising features your school currently exhibits.

Entry points

Vision for Education for Enterprise

There are many entry points for a school to embrace an Education for Enterprise approach. 

School/strategic goals

In order to embed an Education for Enterprise approach into your school curriculum, you may need to work with your board of trustees or your community to develop some realistic and manageable goals for Education for Enterprise.

Read how Linwood College set realistic goals by working with its board of trustees and communities.

Strategic planning

If you have Education for Enterprise as one of your strategic goals, how does your strategic plan provide a clear guide for incorporating Education for Enterprise within your school?

Read how Lauriston School incorporated Education for Enterprise into its curriculum through strategic planning.

Use the "Where are we now and where do we want to be with E4E?" as a planning checklist to set Education for Enterprise as a context for developing your school curriculum.

Use the "Developing an E4E school" template to consider where your school stands currently, in terms of enterprise.


School leaders, teachers, and students each have an important and specific role to play in the development of an E4E school.


Effective leadership by the principal and other school leaders is crucial. As the leader of learning, you need a clear understanding of what Education for Enterprise means in your school, and support and value this approach to teaching and learning.

  • How, as leader of learning, will you get the commitment to Education for Enterprise as an approach to teaching and learning?
  • How will you work with your staff to build capacity and capability to embed an Education for Enterprise approach across the school curriculum?
  • How will you model the enterprising attributes?


Effective managers across the school implement and facilitate an Education for Enterprise approach. 

  • Who are the key managers in the school who will be the frontrunners to implement and facilitate initial Education for Enterprise approaches to the curriculum? What should they action? What should they be responsible for?
  • How will managers assist their staff to reach the school’s Education for Enterprise goals?


Teachers are obviously at the forefront of designing teaching and learning programmes for modelling and developing the enterprising attributes in their students.

Use the "Characteristics of an E4E teacher" checklist in resources for school leaders to determine whether you possess the traits of an enterprising teacher.

Read these school case studies for examples of teachers leading the implementation of Education for Enterprise:


An Education for Enterprise approach encourages students to participate and take ownership of their learning in authentic contexts.

  • Do we encourage students to take ownership of their learning?
  • What evidence do we use to measure this?
  • What authentic contexts are our students using now in their learning?
  • What future authentic contexts could our students use in their learning?

Developing partnerships

Effective partnerships with business and community are crucial to the success of Education for Enterprise, and an important part of a successful, school-based curriculum.

Bringing the school into the community

A wide range of community and business partners can contribute towards a school reaching the learning goals it has set itself.

Local business partners could include service organisations such as Rotary, small local businesses, national businesses, local city and town councils, regional councils, business associations, Chamber of Commerce, local entrepreneurs, voluntary and community organisations; and parents, whānau, and related family members involved in businesses.

  • What existing partnership(s) do you have?
  • What value do you get from the partnership(s)?
  • What value does the partner get from the relationship?
  • What values do you see represented in local partnerships?
  • To what extent do they align with the vision and values of your school?
  • What opportunities are there for building off existing partnerships and forming new ones in your local school area?

Engaging the community

Education for Enterprise offers many opportunities to engage a community – to showcase and celebrate what students have achieved, but also to allow the community to feedback and get involved.

See these school case studies for examples of engaging with community:

Engaging business

A number of New Zealand businesses are engaged with schools. The Sustainable Business Council has case studies about successful business and school partnerships.

When engaging with business:

  • be clear about what you want from the business
  • be clear about what the business could get from a relationship with your school
  • remember that business owners are busy people.

See this school case study for examples of engaging with business:

Use the "Developing E4E learning partnerships with the community" checklists to help with the process of developing working relationships with business and community.

Implementing Education for Enterprise

  • Who has or will have specific responsibility for enterprise education in your school?
  • What do you believe are the characteristics of enterprising schools, teachers, and learners?
  • How could these be made more explicit by using Education for Enterprise as a context in your school’s teaching and learning programmes?
  • What approaches are used in your school context to encourage your students to be enterprising?
  • What further professional development opportunities would be useful in helping teachers to develop Education for Enterprise approaches to teaching and learning?
  • What are the resource implications in considering approaching your curriculum from an Education for Enterprise perspective?
  • How can you make Education for Enterprise sustainable across the school?
  • Are there support systems in place for students when things do not go as planned?

The following resources will support you to plan and implement an E4E programme in your school:

  • Checklists on the characteristics of an E4E school and E4E teachers
  • Curriculum and pedagogical scan
  • SWOT template
  • "Leading E4E change in your school" process

Integrating E4E

E4E may be introduced through:

  • an inquiry model
  • a learning area model
  • a key competencies model
  • a project-based model
  • an in-depth school model.

This means students must have opportunities to:

  • relate what they are doing in the classroom to the outside world and have a real challenge and purpose for the task
  • demonstrate their classroom learning and enterprising attributes in real contexts outside the traditional school
  • connect to the adult world and have their learning assessed by a range of people (parents/caregivers, business, community, peers).

Monitoring progression

Read the following school case studies to understand how schools monitored progression and gathered information:

Published on: 16 Feb 2015