Wade Institute fosters next generation of entrepreneurs

A Masters of Entrepreneurship has been delivered by the University of Melbourne at the purpose-built Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship on the grounds of Ormond College, thanks to a $10-million donation from alumnus Peter Wade.

University of Melbourne Australia has a compelling need for a generation of entrepreneurs who will create new businesses, jobs and wealth to replace those being lost and to provide a broader base to the economy as the mining boom wanes.

The Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship offers a practically based, innovative one-year degree which will produce graduates who are ‘start-up ready’.

The program is the result of collaboration between the Faculty of Business and Economics, the School of Engineering and Ormond College after research showed 55 per cent of University students were interested in starting their own businesses.

Behind this substantial gift is successful entrepreneur Peter Wade, who says watching the decline of manufacturing and heavy industry in his home town, Geelong, and how it has reinvented itself several times to meet the challenges it has faced, has inspired him to make this significant donation to the University.

Mr Wade said Australia was a smart nation, but still too few of our great ideas are generating the future of our economy.

“Traditional manufacturing is disappearing. Even service jobs, whether they are in call centres or law and accounting firms, are going offshore. Technology is disrupting existing business from media firms to retailers. Even those who work for others will need to be more entrepreneurial and innovative to help create Australia’s future,” Mr Wade said.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis said universities contribute to their societies in a range of important ways.

“As a world-leading research university, we recognise the centrality of translating discoveries and ideas into new products and services that will add value to Australia and the world,” Professor Davis said.

Rufus Black, the Master of Ormond College said the program and new institute were a good fit with the College’s mission to educate students so they could make a disproportionate difference for the good.

The Wade Institute donation forms part of Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourne.