ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
Pablo de Olavide University (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Entrepreneurship refers to an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action. It includes creativity, innovation and risk taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives (Penrose, 1959). Schumpeter (1934) defined entrepreneurs as innovators who implement entrepreneurial change within markets, where entrepreneurial change has 5 manifestations:
1) the introduction of a new (or improved) good;
2) the introduction of a new method of production;
3) the opening of a new market;
4) the exploitation of a new source of supply;
5) the re-engineering/organization of business management processes.
The importance of entrepreneurship is widely recognised as a basic skill to be provided by through life-long learning. The European Union (EU) 2020 strategy highlights the need to embed creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship into education. Indeed, there is a clear need to stimulate the entrepreneurial mindsets of young people and to create a more favourable societal climate for entrepreneurship. Furthermore, entrepreneurship education is a means to increase social inclusion and it can increase the total number of entrepreneurs (European Commission, 2012).
The following objectives are to be reached through entrepreneurship education:
- Improvement of the entrepreneurship mindset of young people to enable them to be more creative and self-confident in whatever they undertake and to improve their attractiveness for employers.
- Encourage innovative business start-ups.
- Improvement of their role in society and the economy.
Our project aims to incorporate entrepreneurial concepts and elements in a first-year undergraduate course entitled “Business Administration”. In this course, which is included in the Business Administration degree and Finance and Accounting degree, we sought to raise students’ awareness of self-employment as a career option, promote the development of personal qualities that are relevant to entrepreneurship (i.e., creativity, risk-taking and responsibility), and provide the technical and business skills that are needed to start a new venture. In order to do so, we provide students with the main theoretical frameworks regarding entrepreneurial activity. In addition, they have to work in teams of 3-4 students throughout the semester to develop their own business idea starting since the beginning and applying a set of sequential and vital decisions to gain business success. Once the course was finished, we prepared a detailed questionnaire in order to assess four key aspects:
- The influence of socio-demographic aspects on students’ entrepreneurial orientation.
- The students’ propensity to initiate a new and innovative business idea before and after the course.
- The connection between theory and entrepreneurial activity.
- The students’ experience about working in teams, sharing different tasks with the other colleagues and adopting risky decisions.
The final results show that entrepreneurship education taught in the course helps students to enhance their level of entrepreneurship,
European Commission 2012. Effects and Impact of Entrepreneurship Programmes in Higher Education.
Penrose, E T. 1959. The Theory of the Growth of the Firm. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell.
Schumpeter, J A. 1934. The Theory of Economic Development: An Inquiry into Profits, Capital, Credit, Interest, and the Business Cycle. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship education.