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Universities and enterprise education: responding to the challenges of the new era

David Rae (Lincoln Business School, University of Lincoln, Brayford, UK)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 26 October 2010




The purpose of this paper is to suggest that the international financial and economic crisis in 2008 produced a new economic era with significant implications for enterprise and entrepreneurship education. It aims to explore the changing influences on entrepreneurship education and learning, what is the new era in entrepreneurship, the consequences of changing economic, social and cultural movements, and how entrepreneurship education and learning can respond to these challenges.


The research approach is informed by practitioner‐based educational enquiry, reflective practice and research, education and participation with groups of universities, educators, students, entrepreneurs and other groups during the economic crisis.


The paper proposes that the nature of entrepreneurship is changing in response to social and cultural movements in the new economic era. Ethical and environmental concerns are creating a discourse of responsible entrepreneurship informed by social entrepreneurship. The paper conceptualises this as the shift from an “old” to a “new” entrepreneurship.

Practical implications

Implications for the future development of enterprise and entrepreneurial education are presented, referring to the factors shaping change, including the social and economic context, learners, learning and teaching, and institutional change.


The paper presents new thinking on the future challenges and directions for entrepreneurship and related education in the context of fundamental economic change.



Rae, D. (2010), "Universities and enterprise education: responding to the challenges of the new era", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 591-606.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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