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The case for (social) entrepreneurship education in Egyptian universities

David A. Kirby (Faculty of Business Administration, Economics and Political Science, The British University in Egypt, Cairo, Egypt)
Nagwa Ibrahim (The American University of Cairo, New Cairo, Egypt)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 28 June 2011




The purpose of this paper is to explore awareness of social entrepreneurship amongst Egyptian students and to determine what is needed to create more graduate social entrepreneurs.


The theoretical framework is Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior. Data collection is a questionnaire survey of 183 of the 2,000 undergraduates at the British University in Egypt, drawn from the University's three faculties.


The paper finds that, although three organizations, Ashoka Arab World, The Schwab Foundation and Yes Egypt, do much to support and promote social enterprise in Egypt, students are confused over what a social entrepreneur is or does and are largely unaware of existing Egyptian social entrepreneurs. The majority want a career in a multi‐national enterprise but a sizeable number are interested in establishing a social enterprise.

Research limitations/implications

The sample is small and limited to one institution but the findings corroborate theory and indicate a need for both greater awareness (information/knowledge), and support/encouragement.

Practical implications

There is a need to change the Egyptian education system to encourage students to think and behave more entrepreneurially, at the same time equipping them with the skills to start their own ventures on graduation.

Social implications

To promote a more socially aware, sustainable economy, Egyptian support organizations need to work with the country's universities to change the curriculum and the way students are taught.


This research is one of the first academic studies on entrepreneurship in Egypt. It will interest academics, educational policy makers and those concerned with the promotion of entrepreneurship.



Kirby, D.A. and Ibrahim, N. (2011), "The case for (social) entrepreneurship education in Egyptian universities", Education + Training, Vol. 53 No. 5, pp. 403-415.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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