The Oxford Foundry is launching a first of its kind digital entrepreneurship training platform - the OXFO Entrepreneurship School (E-School).

The platform will help upskill University of Oxford students from all backgrounds - providing them with access to entrepreneurship and technology-based skills and training reflective of current and future skills demands, and will support aspiring and current entrepreneurs to successfully start, grow, and scale their own high-growth start-ups. There are five key learning pathways on the platform:

  1. Be Inspired
  2. Future-Proof Yourself 
  3. Start a venture
  4. Scale a venture
  5. Tech skills

All curated content is bespoke and has been created by world leading entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders, academics, and student talent alongside people from the military, sport, and the arts, in order to support high quality, high impact learning, build the skills demanded by a new technological workforce, provide insights on key themes, and practical and technical advice on building and scaling a business.

The OXFO E-School also provides supplementary resources and a community platform to work across academic Divisions and facilitate knowledge exchange. Contributors include Reid Hoffman CBE, Co-founder, LinkedIn; Ajay Banga, Executive Chairman of Mastercard; Angela Ahrendts DBE, SVP, Apple; Biz Stone, Co-founder, Twitter; and Dan Carter, two-time New Zealand rugby union World Cup winner and highest point scorer in test match rugby.

In 2019, 22% of Oxford University students said they were interested in starting a venture, and research has shown that there were an additional 25,000 new businesses created in June 2020 compared to 2019. The top reasons start-ups fail in a report by CB Insights include; no market need (35%), flawed business model (19%), legal challenges (18%), pricing/cost issues (15%), not the right team (14%), poor product (8%) - all areas the E-School addresses.

Now, more than ever, creativity, problem-solving, communication, decision-making, critical thinking, and collaboration are essential attributes for a successful career, regardless of a student's motivation to build a business as an entrepreneur or work in a large organisation as an intrapraneur. Demand for creativity and problem-solving skills from top employers has increased by 230% (Accenture) and the number of AI related job listings has increased by 485% since 2014. The OECD has also estimated that ~14% of jobs across its member countries are highly automatable and another 32% will be radically transformed by technological progress. Increasingly, employers need graduates to have an enterprising mindset and be innovative, adaptable, resilient and flexible, and the OXFO E-School delivers skills training in all these critical areas.