Partnering for success


Partnering for success

Sharing Insights

Welcome to our new ‘Sharing Insights’ blog series, offering a unique opportunity to demonstrate the skills and expertise of some of our academics at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU)- opening new avenues for communication with businesses and a broad range of stakeholders.

Dr Aga Gordon, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Christ Church Business School discusses the role of entrepreneurship and how businesses and students can innovate together to drive change and impact the local economy and society.

Entrepreneurship is often thought to be synonymous with business creation. However, its meaning is much broader, encompassing an approach or a process that, due to its complexity, can have multiple definitions. Entrepreneurship is underpinned by creativity and innovation, bringing about change while creating value for society. Entrepreneurs display traits such as passion, open-mindedness, perseverance, and the drive to achieve and grow. They tend to be persistent and willing to take calculated risks. Entrepreneurs are also confident and independent individuals who take initiative and build successful teams. Often visionary and capable of thinking outside the box, they quickly learn from failures, experiment, and convert seemingly impossible ideas into innovative projects, such as self-driving cars.

Entrepreneurial ideas can swiftly revolutionise our world. Entrepreneurs come in various forms, such as social entrepreneurs who address social, cultural, or environmental issues, and intrapreneurs who innovate within organisations. Their creativity drives the generation of new products or services, leading to productive change in agile and opportunistic ways.

In today’s dynamic landscape, embracing change and navigating challenges are essential. Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are in high demand as organisations face Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (VUCA). Mastering the VUCA world is crucial for success, making entrepreneurship education vital for developing future-ready talent and thriving economies.

Through entrepreneurship programs at Canterbury Christ Church Business School and University-wide initiatives such as Launchpad, CCCU students learn how to think and act like entrepreneurs. In aiming to support students in unlocking their creativity and developing entrepreneurial skills to thrive in today’s complex world, there is a strong focus on contributing to meaningful change. This is achieved through interactive and varied teaching methods using modern technologies such as VR sets, opportunities to collaboratively generate and test innovative ideas within teams, and extensive interaction with industry experts.

Local businesses can get involved in various ways, including sharing expertise through guest lectures, involving students in short projects, or offering placements and internships. Throughout the academic year, the University organises events where local organisations can showcase and share their expertise, enriching students’ learning by engaging students in solving real-world problems. There are also opportunities for promotion at networking or career-focused events. Entrepreneurs and industry professionals also participate in student competitions, judge entrepreneurial pitches, and work on collaborative academia-industry projects such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) funded by Innovate UK.

Collaborations range from freelancers and micro companies to larger organisations. Some partners to date include the NHS, Discovery Park, Port of Dover, Fruitworks, and eXroid, to name a few.

In addition to the sense of fulfilment brought by making a difference, there are numerous, tangible advantages of academia and industry partnerships in shaping talent pipeline development. These include fresh, innovative, and contemporary ideas and perspectives that can revitalise business strategies. Such collaborations also enhance visibility and reputation as a supporter of education and innovation and have a positive community impact by contributing to the development of future leaders.

Moreover, such partnerships bring cost-effective solutions through student projects and placements, and practical and innovative approaches to real-world business challenges underpinned by current research and potentially valuable funding.

In summary, engaging with entrepreneurship programs offers businesses numerous benefits, including fresh perspectives, talent development, reputation enhancement, cost-effective solutions, market insights, CSR opportunities, professional growth through mentoring, innovative solutions, access to academic expertise, and collaborative opportunities for applied research and innovation. These collaborations can significantly contribute to the success and growth of local businesses.

If you would like to get involved in any of the activities described above, get in touch with Dr. Aga Gordon at


Dr Aga Gordon is a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Christ Church Business School. Her extensive background encompasses STEM fields, education, and business management. Dr. Gordon’s primary interests are in interdisciplinary teaching, research, and entrepreneurship education. She focuses particularly on social enterprise, minority entrepreneurship, including female and BAME entrepreneurs, and tech start-ups in chemistry, chemical engineering, and pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Gordon teaches and leads various undergraduate and postgraduate programs, including New Venture Creation and Strategy and Globalisation within the MBA and MSc International programmes. Additionally, she serves as a mentor for the national entrepreneurship Ingenuity program, led by the University of Nottingham, and has recently joined the supervision pool for the EnterpriseTECH Programme at Cambridge Judge Business School. She also delivers masterclasses for local SMEs on topics such as entrepreneurship, innovation, digital transformation, and design thinking.

Get more information:

University Profile: Dr Aga Gordon – Canterbury Christ Church University


LinkedIn: Dr Agnieszka (Aga) (Abkowicz) Gordon PhD, MBA (Open), SFHEA, MRSC, FCMI, PRINCE2 | LinkedIn

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