Discusses the importance of learning to the survival and growth of small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). Considers research from a support programme using previous or existing entrepreneurs as mentors to support and advise new‐start entrepreneurs. The paper discusses the issues around learning, entrepreneur development, mentoring and the matching of mentors to client entrepreneurs. In particular the paper considers the role of life‐cycle development approaches in planning entrepreneurial development, the importance of double‐loop learning and learning from experience or critical incidents. The paper then considers whether “just‐in‐time”, targeted training and support provided directly or facilitated by a mentor may be more cost‐effective in the long run than a more traditional up‐front prescribed training approach.
Sullivan, R. (2000), "Entrepreneurial learning and mentoring", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 160-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552550010346587
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