Entrepreneurship Education: Volume 7

Cover of Entrepreneurship Education

New Perspectives on Entrepreneurship Education

Subject:

Table of contents

(18 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xii
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Abstract

This chapter provides a rationale for this book and highlights the key literature in the entrepreneurship education discipline as a background context for the study. The organisation and structure of the book is identified and justified. Thereafter, each chapter included within the text is introduced and profiled. The chapter ends by drawing the overall conclusions of the studies included with suggestions for further research. Implications for the discipline in terms of policy and practice arising from the book are thereafter considered.

Part I Studies of the Impact of Entrepreneurship Education upon Student Communities

Abstract

Interpreting venture creation as a process of learning allows potential entrepreneurs to help themselves, and develop the skills and competences they required for business. The effectiveness of a learning-based approach to enterprise education is explored here. This study examines changing perceptions and performances of business students as they complete a new venture creation module. In this course, students are invited to interpret the start-up process as a process of learning, using an evolutionary metaphor. Several key findings were revealed. First, the evolutionary learning approach increased the self-efficacy of participants, as their self-belief and confidence in their ideas and abilities increased over the course of the module. This increase was even more pronounced within a sub-group who started their businesses within six months of completion of the course. Second, by adopting the ‘learning to evolve’ approach, participants increasingly focused changes made to their ideas on marketing-related issues. The more the individual focused on marketing as a source of change, the better the improvement in quality of the idea. This research has implications for enterprise educators and practicing entrepreneurs. When one shifts the focus of attention to the external world, and when changes are driven by signals from that external world, the quality of emerging opportunities is enhanced. Moreover, self-efficacy increases as nascent entrepreneurs gain confidence and self-belief both in their ideas, and the skills needed to make them happen. The shift in perspective towards the external market is the key driver in triggering the entrepreneurial process. The approach thus promotes the notion that the entrepreneurship option is open to all who can ‘learn to evolve’.

Abstract

In this chapter the authors explore some drivers of entrepreneurial intentions using the theory of planned behaviour on a sample of Italian students. Our objective is twofold. First, the study investigates if both perceiving that becoming an entrepreneur is risky and having non-financial career motivations affect university students’ entrepreneurial intentions. Second, it investigates if students’ perception that university education has an effect on their entrepreneurial skills and attitudes and their perception that the university favours and supports entrepreneurship moderate the relationship between cognitive antecedents of intentions (i.e. attitudes, norms and control) and entrepreneurial intentions. This chapter presents an analysis of a sample of more than 1,500 students from the University of Padova (Italy). According to the national ranking, this University – which is one of Italy’s oldest and largest universities – has been classified as the one with the best Faculty of Economics and Statistics in terms of teaching for more than 10 years among 45 Italian public universities. Data from the Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey (GUESSS) carried out in 2013 was used. Our analysis highlights not only on the importance of individual characteristics, but also on the role of the learning experience students have during their university studies. This means that it is important to consider how much students perceive that their university education has an effect on entrepreneurial skills and attitudes.

Abstract

Agriculture and related businesses in Ghana for the past decades have been the preserve for the smallholder, aged and illiterate farmers. Meanwhile, hundreds of students graduate in Agricultural Sciences from the universities over the years. This study seeks to investigate potential determinants of the entrepreneurial spirit of agricultural students to do self-employed businesses in the agricultural sector. A survey of 165 undergraduate students of agriculture in the University of Cape Coast, Ghana was undertaken to examine factors that influence their decision to enter into agribusiness as a self-employment venture after graduation. The results show that the majority of the students were males (87%) and approximately, 67% were willing to enter into agribusiness after school. The factors that students perceived to be hindrance to entering into agribusiness was the market competition of agro-products with imported products, unstable prices of agro-products, absence of insurance policy for agribusiness and unfavourable land tenure arrangement in Ghana. Correlation analysis showed negative and significant relationship between students’ willingness to enter agribusiness as a self-employment venture and the following personal characteristics: (1) level of education of mother, (2) level of education of guardian other than parents, (3) students who live in farming communities and (4) students who undertake farming activities at home. There were also positive and significant relationships between students’ willingness to enter agribusiness and the following: (1) availability of market for agro-products, (2) accessibility of market for agro-products and (3) accessibility of transportation facilities for agribusiness. Regression analysis showed that (1) level of education of mother, (2) students living in farming communities, (3) accessibility of transportation facilities for agribusiness and (4) accessibility of market for agro-product were the factors that best predict undergraduate agricultural students’ willingness to enter into agribusiness as a self-employment venture after graduation. To motivate students to take agribusiness as self-employment after graduation, the study suggests the development of comprehensive and sustainable long-term policy to inspire and attract the youth into agribusiness; creation of conducive environment to minimise risk and constraints associated with agribusiness in Ghana.

Abstract

This chapter explores the impact of postgraduate entrepreneurship and enterprise (E&E) education in UK Universities on the entrepreneurial actions of foreign students by reference to students from the second largest transition economy, Russia. The research identifies the most popular courses selected by foreign students for UK study and to identify and qualify the related student experience in order to identify correlations with how graduates exploit entrepreneurial opportunities upon return to home country. British universities have placed increasing dependency on foreign students which has increased pressure to enhance curricula to ‘embrace a wider global context’. Universities have been pressured also to play a new role in society by pursuing a ‘third mission’ of economic development to support the traditional roles of research and teaching. The increase in supply of HE providers has increased competition for students so curricula have to be innovative in order to attract them. An interpretivist philosophy and qualitative methods was employed across three phases, to study university managers, selected according to university and contact with foreign students; Russian non-government officials, selected to comment on the nexus of issues around Russian business and college education; and graduates (‘past’ and ‘recent’), selected according to country of origin, focus of studies and choice of university. This study confirmed that ‘the UK has a long tradition of the university third mission role’ where ‘HEIs are independent, self-governing bodies’, ‘most or part-funded by government’ and since 1992, seen an increase in the overall number; universities have been especially aggressive in pursuing foreign students so have led in designing attractive programmes and curricula. Findings show that modern UK University E&E teaching is effective in changing foreign students’ entrepreneurship perception and behaviour. The university/course selection and teaching/learning experience combine to produce measurable post-study entrepreneurial actions, whether in starting new or joining existing businesses with new found knowledge, social capital and ways of viewing the world.

Part II Novel Entrepreneurship Education Pedagogy

Abstract

This chapter focuses on how students think before we can teach them how to act. This idea is anchored in the observation that most institutions of higher education tend to teach their students to become employees, whether in the public or private sector, rather than to become employers. Thus, the mindset with which we equip our students is not sensitised to entrepreneurial action. Therefore, the aim of this chapter is to propose and illustrate a more comprehensive approach to teaching entrepreneurship, which aims to transform the way that students think about entrepreneurship. In order to achieve this objective, we identify and develop techniques for promoting entrepreneurial awareness and preparedness in our student population, and provide tools for educators to promote the individual’s innate drive to perfect him/herself, thus recognising his/her own need for personal growth. At the theoretical level, we build on the authors’ teaching experiences from different cultural contexts, which show ways in which alternative learning initiatives may enhance enterprising thinking among students. Based on our experiences with the influence of context, we propose that it is necessary to consider seven different, yet interconnected teaching principles, which may influence the impact of entrepreneurship education and which relate to the why; where; when; what and how of entrepreneurship. In continuation, on a practical level, we suggest a coherent system of innovative educational techniques, so-called Verwunderungsübungen, or wonderment exercises, that can be used individually or in combination. By creating a comprehensive teaching paradigm for entrepreneurship we pay tribute to entrepreneurship being an inherently dynamic phenomenon, which goes beyond exclusively focusing on new venture creation.

Abstract

The field of entrepreneurial education has struggled with fundamental questions in regards to the subject’s nature and purpose – to whom and for what means are educational agendas ultimately directed; these questions have become of central importance to policy makers, practitioners and academics alike in the context of the dynamic nature of the business world. Concerns have been expressed about University Business schools engaging more critically with the lived experiences of practicing entrepreneurs through alternative pedagogical approaches and methods, seeking to account for and highlighting the social, political and moral aspect of management practice. For example, in the United Kingdom where funding in higher education has become increasingly dependent on student fees there are renewed pressures to educate students for management practice as opposed to educate them about management and what it does. This latter point will be the main focus of this workshop and one which demands the inclusion of critique. Government and EU policies are calling on Business Schools to develop and enhance entrepreneurial skill sets, in order to meet these challenges entrepreneurial focused education programs must be more proactive in providing innovative educational practices that helps and facilitates life experiences and experiential learning.

Abstract

This study considers the impact of an experiential visual-based learning pedagogy on students undertaking a business start-up module. The current undergraduate student is different with a dependency culture on a range of electronic media (e.g. mobile phone, laptop, tablets) underpinning their existence. The term ‘digitally demanding’ has been coined to describe such individuals. Such individuals think and act in a different way expecting immediate personal solutions to problems they encounter. Thus, there is a need to challenge their mindsets and thought processes to think in a creative and innovative manner to identify appropriate decisions. Educational pedagogy requires a significant mind shift to create enterprising and creative individuals for the modern organisation. The focus of this study is upon enabling students to develop a valid and robust business idea through use of visual learning methods that is described here as ‘rapid entrepreneurial action’.

Abstract

Business Schools and other executive training providers have come under withering attacks since before the global financial crisis for their standardised, non-integrated executive curricula, rigid methods of instruction and weak participant engagement. The crisis has extended this critique. Further criticisms relate to the inability of providers who are schooled in Western paradigms of instruction to manage increasingly multi-cultural, executive workshops. This chapter proposes a play-based approach to executive training. The chapter argues that a play-based approach re-dresses some of the above imbalances and re-positions the interests of entrepreneurial and executive learners. The chapter evaluates the development of the approach to learning by using play-based and experiential-learning simulator called Synergy. Initial arguments are presented with indications and results on why play-based designs can offer a productive response to some of the current criticisms that are levelled at executive and entrepreneurial training provision.

Abstract

Entrepreneurship education is observed as expanding in both academic and informal settings. Drawing on the Business Schools paradigm, relevant courses deliver contiguous knowledge and competencies applicable to new business creation based on cognitive and experiential instruction. Germane studies explore the entrepreneurial intention of trainees as a consequence of the pursued instruction. This chapter follows a more student-centric perspective which supposes the underlying cognitive schemes of trainees and their evolution as primordial structures that are affected through learning. This focus turns the approach into pure constructivism where the Piagetian concepts of assimilation and accommodation underpin learning. Based on a coherent constructivist online environment, that is the TeleCC platform in Greece, evidence for reflection, critical thinking and meta-learning incidents is investigated amongst the trainees’ dialogues and comments. The appearance of these processes verifies the dynamics of constructivist learning and Piaget’s equilibration process. There has been minimal attention in research so far into genuine constructivist signatures relevant to entrepreneurial learning; a gap that motivated the research of this chapter. The features of the learning environment and the facilitating role for the educator are crucial presuppositions for deep constructivist learning processes to occur. Else, instructional interventions favour the customary guidance and knowledge or experience transfer. It is maintained that the constructivist approach is an underdeveloped yet innovative perspective for educational research in entrepreneurship that needs good examples and contextualisation of relevant concepts and processes. Its contribution will be especially important and inclusive for the lifelong learning domain where adult learners participate in with repositories of personal life experiences and crystallised and resistant conceptualisations for the phenomena under consideration.

Part III Entrepreneurship Education Intervention

Abstract

Entrepreneurship is viewed as essential to the future prosperity of Europe and creating societies that are socially and economically inclusive. The information communication technology (ICT) sector has been identified as an area of great entrepreneurial potential for Europe and yet the continent struggles to create global leaders in the digital startup space. In response to this challenge, the European Commission launched its Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan to stimulate and support young people to become entrepreneurs and exploit the potential of ICT, in terms developing new digital products and services. This chapter reports on a project to develop and deliver a series of pan-European summer academies for entrepreneurship training funded by Horizon 2020. The chapter details the process of developing the academies and offer reflections on the impacts of the project.

Abstract

This chapter proposes that enterprise education when applied to vocational education should be reconsidered according to a capability approach. This approach aims to improve students’ active participation and also their ability to make informed choices. Moreover, we believe that enterprise education needs an underpinning learning theory which can account for the collective nature of learning, innovation and movement across organisations. This new theoretical framework can be expansive learning. This chapter describes a case study carried out in 2014 in an Italian vocational course in hospitality. It documents the implementation of the theory of expansive learning for enterprise education within a series of workshops and evidences how a capabilities approach has been effectively utilised. During work experience, vocational students belong simultaneously to diverse activity systems such as school and work, which creates discontinuities in action and interaction. The basic principle of the workshops is that with the help of the researcher, vocational students, teachers and work tutors discuss the issues that students are having during work experience.

This chapter begins with a discussion on the role of enterprise education in vocational education, and continues by showing how the capability approach can contribute to education and entrepreneurship. The third section explains why and how the theory of expansive learning can underpin entrepreneurship education and how it was utilised in the model of workshops which incorporate enterprise education theory. Section four describes the case study in an Italian vocational secondary institute. The data presented includes excerpts of discussions during the fourth workshop, the student’s answer to the final questionnaire and the follow-up after two years. The conclusion draws out the learning mechanisms which characterised the workshops, what the students learnt in term of enterprise education and how the workshops are connected to a capability approach.

Abstract

Self-employment placements can provide an opportunity to experience the real-life world of the entrepreneur within an educational context but their implementation is rare. Here we describe a full sandwich year placement scheme at the University of Huddersfield – the Enterprise Placement Year (EPY). Details of the EPY are provided including academic requirements, application procedures and the learning opportunities provided. There are a growing number of EPY alumni continuing the development of their business idea or starting up a new business in their final year or after graduation and three examples are provided. In addition to increasing numbers of sustaining businesses, there is evidence of improved academic success with a greater than average percentage of ‘good degrees’ obtained. Regular changes to the delivery of the programme have been made as a result of ongoing evaluation. These are reported here with recommendations for other universities considering offering such a programme and suggestions for future research.

Abstract

This chapter examines the development of an Entrepreneurship Education initiative (Triple E: Employability, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship) in the Higher Education context. The initiative is further contextualised by a dynamic policy framework concerning widening access as a major priority for the Scottish Government. In addition, the initiative is based on innovation in contemporary pedagogical design and further policy drivers supporting the development of graduates with an enterprising mind-set and graduate attributes (articulated by employers) and interpreted by academics and public sector stakeholders as relevant for graduate labour market competitiveness. The chapter examines Entrepreneurship Education literature and presents a case study which examines pedagogical design and normative assumptions, participant progression, (students and staff) and the engagement of external stakeholders. The case study describes and analyses the key design principles for inclusive and accessible Entrepreneurship Education within the context of widening participation policy. A discussion on the practice of achieving inclusive and accessible Entrepreneurship Education explores intra-institution policy, drivers enablers and cultural and resource constraints. The chapter concludes with a summary of the design principles on inclusivity and accessibility in Entrepreneurship Education and discusses attempts to mitigate the challenges presented by a widening participation policy.

About the Editors

Pages 359-360
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About the Authors

Pages 361-369
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Index

Pages 371-380
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Cover of Entrepreneurship Education
DOI
10.1108/S2040-724620177
Publication date
2017-05-24
Book series
Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78714-281-7
eISBN
978-1-78714-280-0
Book series ISSN
2040-7246