Entrepreneurial Education

Entrepreneurial Education

Sergio Camisón-Haba (Universitat de València, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3473-1.ch099
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The entrepreneurial spirit is an essential ingredient for guiding the economy onto paths of sustained competitive growth. The Green Paper on Entrepreneurship in Europe marked the crucial point when the European Commission began to highlight the importance of business and entrepreneurship in developing a more dynamic and competitive Europe. However, there is a lively debate about the poor response to the growing awareness of the importance of entrepreneurial education. This article analyses what is meant by entrepreneurial education, specifying the definition and scope of the concept. It also addresses the competences, attitudes, and aptitudes that the entrepreneur must acquire. Finally, the analysis covers the background, principles, models, experiences, and best practices that could help to establish a comprehensive entrepreneurial education.
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The entrepreneurial spirit is an essential ingredient for guiding the economy onto paths of sustained competitive growth. To understand the relationship between entrepreneurship and economic growth, it can be useful to refer to the Schumpeterian concept of “creative destruction”. According to this concept, development is driven by the disruptive action of entrepreneurs who introduce innovations with the potential to transform the rules of the game and replace existing firms in the industry, even transforming the industry itself (Richardson, 2004).

The Green Paper on Entrepreneurship in Europe (European Commission, 2003) marked the crucial point when the European Commission began to highlight the importance of business and entrepreneurship in developing a more dynamic and competitive Europe. Based on Eurostat data from 2009, the European Commission estimated that new companies (mainly SMEs) created more than four million jobs a year in Europe (European Commission, 2013: 4). Since then, entrepreneurial creativity and new entrepreneurial initiatives have been considered as a crucial factor in boosting job creation (European Commission, 2013, 2016). Along the same lines, the White Paper titled Embracing Innovation: Entrepreneurship and American Economic Growth (NCOE, 2001) reported that 350,000 fast-growing firms accounted for the creation of two-thirds of all new jobs between 1993 and 1996. A study from the US Census Bureau (Business Dynamics statistics) (Haltiwanger, Jarmin & Miranda, 2009) estimated that without the jobs created by new companies, the average net growth of employment would have been negative in the United States during the Period 1980-2005.

The Green Paper (European Commission, 2003:8-9) noted additional benefits of entrepreneurship: wealth creation; economic growth; fostering economic and social cohesion; boosting business competitiveness, productivity and the overall competitiveness of the economy (by incentivizing greater competition, which should encourage innovation); maximizing personal potential; helping to solve social and environmental problems; and contributing to the development of social economy and social innovation.

The entrepreneurial spirit is also a quality that endows people with greater creative and innovative capacity. Gerber (1997) emphasized that entrepreneurial activity converts any situation into an exceptional opportunity, defining the entrepreneur as a visionary. Therefore, entrepreneurship is an attribute to be developed in order to promote progress towards a knowledge economy. It is also an essential component of the systemic response required of people and organizations in order to adapt to uncertain and complex future environments (Stevenson, 2004, Gibb, 2007).

However, starting up new companies or managing them in such a way as to ensure accelerated growth are in no way easy tasks. They require uncommon specific attitudes (such as positive risk confrontation or creative guidance) and skills and knowledge that are difficult to develop simply through the type of classroom study that does not involve active and participatory learning processes. In other words, the entrepreneur must possess a series of competences to be able to carry out his/her responsibilities successfully (Hisrich, Peters & Shepherd, 2005; Van Gelderen et al., 2008). Although many people believe that creating a new company is simply a matter of financial resources, or that we are all capable of becoming entrepreneurs, in reality it requires a wide range of financial and non-financial competences to create a viable, successful company, and most people lack such skills.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Education Through Entrepreneurship: Action-based, experiential teaching method in which potential entrepreneurs learn directly through their immersion in entrepreneurial experiences.

Education for Entrepreneurship: Theoretical-practical approach to providing entrepreneurship knowledge and skills aimed at influencing the development of entrepreneurial attitudes and behaviours.

Entrepreneurship: An attitude that reflects an individual’s motivation and capability, whether independently or within an organization, when identifying and seizing an opportunity in order to produce new economic value or achieve success.

Entrepreneurial: AU77: Hidden Text Spirit AU78: Hidden Text : AU79: Hidden Text Ability to transform creative ideas into entrepreneurial actions. It is related to creativity, innovation and risk-taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects to achieve goals.

Entrepreneurial: AU74: Hidden Text Education AU75: Hidden Text : AU76: Hidden Text Type of education and training that helps develop the entrepreneurial spirit, competences and behaviour, regardless of whether or not they are aimed at a commercial objective.

Education About Entrepreneurship: Consists of teaching general theoretical knowledge about concepts related to entrepreneurship, but does not involve practical experiences that consolidate learning and help shape learners’ attitudes.

Entrepreneurial: AU72: Hidden Text Competences: AU73: Hidden Text A set of knowledge, skills, behaviours, and attitudes that allow the identification of existing opportunities for personal, professional, and commercial activities, and enable their transformation into viable entrepreneurial ideas.

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