ARE HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS ABLE TO PROMOTE THE CREATION OF NEW FIRMS? STUDY OF ACHIEVEMENTS AND THE MAIN BARRIERS IDENTIFIED IN A DEVELOPING COUNTRY – MOZAMBIQUE
1 School of Business and Entrepreneurship Chibuto (ESNEC)/ University of Beira Interior (MOZAMBIQUE)
2 University of Beira Interior (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Entrepreneurship education is growing as a concern of politics and academia. There have been a large number of initiatives developed worldwide to promote a broad range of entrepreneurial activities within academic institutions. This is even more true for developing countries such as the countries of sub-Saharan Africa where entrepreneurship is frequently presented as a solution for different segments of the population and for inclusive economic growth and social inclusion. However, the business landscape of this region is quite different from the context of more developed countries: it is mainly based on local markets, with an underdeveloped regional integration and high level of informal businesses. Furthermore, in these countries, the business and entrepreneurial environment is particularly adverse because of legal barriers, regulations, insecurity, corruption, inadequate infrastructure and poor financial system. Given the unfavorable conditions for entrepreneurship and the weak quality of local businesses, some governments and institutions of these countries are beginning to invest in public policies and programs to promote entrepreneurship. This is the case of Mozambique. In the framework of its National Agenda to Combat Poverty, a program for poverty reduction and creation of new jobs, one of the vectors is the promotion of entrepreneurship through the education system with emphasis in entrepreneurship support at the level of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) including incubation of new businesses.
This study focuses on the issue of entrepreneurship promotion and the role of HEI as a support instrument in the context developing countries. More specifically it aims to understand the effectiveness of this instrument and, above all, to identify the main barriers to the creation of companies promoted by /incubated in HEI with entrepreneurship education in their curricula.
The paper includes theoretical discussion and presentation of a case study.
It begins with a literature review about barriers to small firm’s creation especially in the context of developing countries; it follows with the discussion about the importance of entrepreneurship education and other support provided by HEI.
The empirical study is focused in Mozambique case. It begins with a contextualization of historical swift of the teaching of entrepreneurship in Mozambique; then the main barriers to small firm’s creation in the context of Mozambican HEI with entrepreneurship education are identified and discussed. Data collection includes documental sources and interviews with HEI representatives of a sample of 12 HEI, selected in the universe of 33 HEIs with entrepreneurship education in Mozambique. Analysis was made through content analysis. Results indicate that lack of resources, inadequate teaching methodologies and lack of cooperation networks are the main barriers.
From the theoretical point of view this study contributes for the deepening of the theme of entrepreneurship promotion in the specific contexts of developing countries. Furthermore it extends the focus of HEI role in the promotion entrepreneurship, from education to incubation. In practical terms, it highlight problems that HEIs face when their actions move from education in classroom to practical implementation of entrepreneurial business initiatives providing bases for the design and eventual adjustment of this support instrument, especially in the context of developing countries.
Keywords: Higher Education Institutions, Entrepreneurship Education, Incubation, Developing countries, Mozambique.