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Peer mentoring in entrepreneurship education: towards a role typology

Elin Kubberød (School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Ås, Norway)
Siw M. Fosstenløkken (School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Ås, Norway)
Per Olav Erstad (IBM Norway, Oslo, Norway)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 3 October 2018

Issue publication date: 8 October 2018




The purpose of this paper is to explore the contributions of peer mentoring as a learning support for mentee students in higher entrepreneurship education.


This paper presents a single embedded case study focussing on mentee students’ perceptions of peer mentors’ support of their entrepreneurial learning during an experiential master’s course. Employing an abductive approach, the researchers conducted cross-sectional, thematic analyses of individual mentee interviews complemented by data from joint reflection sessions, reflection reports and observations during the course timeline.


The peer mentors contributed to the mentee students’ learning through various forms of support, which were categorised into mentor roles, mentor functions and intervention styles. The analysis found that peer mentors fulfil three coexisting roles: learning facilitator, supportive coach and familiar role model. These roles constitute the pillars of a typology of entrepreneurial peer mentoring.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes theoretical and empirical insights on peer mentoring in entrepreneurship education. It represents a first benchmark of best practices for future studies.

Practical implications

The case study suggests that adding peer mentoring represents more efficient support for entrepreneurial learning than a teacher alone is able to provide. The typology can also be used for training peer mentors.


The researchers construct a new typology for entrepreneurial learning support, which contributes to theory development within the field of entrepreneurship education.



Research reported on in this paper was part of a large nationally funded project initiative in Norway aiming at developing mentoring models in higher entrepreneurship education. This research was supported by a grant from Norgesuniversitetet (


Kubberød, E., Fosstenløkken, S.M. and Erstad, P.O. (2018), "Peer mentoring in entrepreneurship education: towards a role typology", Education + Training, Vol. 60 No. 9, pp. 1026-1040.



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