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Evaluating the impact of social enterprise education on students' enterprising characteristics in the United Arab Emirates

Naveed Yasin (Abu Dhabi School of Management, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Zeinab Khansari (Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 5 July 2021

Issue publication date: 9 July 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This study evaluates the effectiveness of an enterprise education (social innovation and enterprise) learning programme on the enterprising characteristics among interdisciplinary undergraduate enterprise education students from a general (without considering gender) and gender-specific perspective at a higher education institution in the United Arab Emirates.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a convenience sampling approach, pre- and post-surveys were distributed among 180 undergraduate students from January to April 2019. An independent-samples t-test was utilised to evaluate the impact of enterprise education on students' learning for three sample classifications, which were (1) general or gender-neutral (no gender consideration), (2) male and (3) female.

Findings

This study found significant improvements in the enterprising characteristics of students as a result of undertaking the learning programme in enterprise education. There was a greater improvement among female students in comparison to male students. However, contrasts in enterprising enhancement trends between female and male students were recognised. While the greatest improvement for male students were identified in their risk-taking characteristics, for female students, the risk-taking characteristic evidenced the least influence. The differences between the enterprising levels in risk-taking, and locus of control, between male and female students, were prominent post completion of the learning programme.

Research limitations/implications

Considering that a quantitative method of inquiry was adopted to address the dearth of research evaluating the effectiveness of our learning programmes in enterprise education (i.e. social innovation) on students' psychological traits through a gendered lens, qualitative insights could enrich the depth of the research findings. As this study was conducted on a limited number of students at a single university, the results do not claim generalisation to other contexts.

Practical implications

The outcomes of this research deliver valuable insights about the divergent influences of enterprise learning programmes on male and female students. The implications of the study suggest that policymakers and stakeholders should consider gender diversities when designing an effective and equitable entrepreneurship and enterprise learning programme that fosters and stimulates students' enterprising mindset and confidence for both male and female students. The implications are for academics, educational instructors and policymakers.

Originality/value

This study presents a literature review on the impact of entrepreneurship education by focusing on the key enterprising psychological characteristics and educational systems over the last two decades, and illustrates that most studies in the field of entrepreneurship are based on either general (gender-neutral) or gender-specified investigations. This work provides a comparison between these two perspectives in a relatively underexplored region of the UAE and demonstrates that relying solely on gender-neutral analyses hinders the opportunity to enhance and effectively harness females' entrepreneurial potential.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Disclosure statement: No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

Citation

Yasin, N. and Khansari, Z. (2021), "Evaluating the impact of social enterprise education on students' enterprising characteristics in the United Arab Emirates", Education + Training, Vol. 63 No. 6, pp. 872-905. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-04-2020-0076

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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