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ENTREPRENEURIAL CULTURE INCENTIVES AMONG ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION UNDERGRADUATES: INITIATIVE AND TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS DESIGN TO SUPPORT ENTREPRENEURSHIP

F. Crecente Romero, F. Cano Ventas

Universidad de Alcalá (SPAIN)
Labor market insertion for graduates in Economics and Business Administration has become one of the greatest threats in the current economic recession. One solution to this threat is to start a business on their own, that is, the so-called Entrepreneurial Economy. This paper presents the experiences of the University of Alcalá Business Department teachers, with undergraduate students of Economics and Business Administration in teaching activities developed in previous courses in order to encourage entrepreneurship and to equip students with the tools and information sources necessary for the implementation of new business projects. Specifically, the sample size amounts to 200 students studying their first year of degree.

All developed activities are intended to facilitate the learning of business creation process characteristics and disseminate experiences, resources, virtual simulators and web links that facilitate entrepreneurial dynamics. That is, tasks affect those resources and procedures to better disclose the benefits of undertaking a business initiative. These experiences, from the educational point of view, are an interdisciplinary and complementary integration; given the range of dimensions that entrepreneurship concept embraces (accounting, finance, human resources, environment analysis, business strategy, etc.).Furthermore, entrepreneurship simulators treatment, enterprise databases and web tools will impact both professional development and motivation in grade students. The ultimate goal of all activities is to implement strategies to stimulate effort, promoting the ability to learn on their own and with others, and develop thinking and decision skills to facilitate student autonomy, trust and personal initiatives.

Specifically, students over a semester must prepare a business plan that loops through all the steps required for business creation and all basic business functions, from production to promotion of goods or services. They must present orally the business plan relying on all the necessary resources, such as web pages creation, digital media commercials recording or the business dramatization. Thus, students speaking and communication skills are improved. Regarding students assessment, a co-evaluation process has been developed, where the students assess their own work, the work as a whole and specifically played by each workgroups member. This will involve students get a 360 degrees assessment culture. Finally, some of the most innovative projects presented by the students and the experiences of students who have decided to move the business plan from paper to reality are related.