How Spanish Universities are Promoting Entrepreneurship through Your Own Lines of Teaching and Research?

How Spanish Universities are Promoting Entrepreneurship through Your Own Lines of Teaching and Research?

Dolores Gallardo-Vázquez (University of Extremadura, Spain) and M. Luisa Pajuelo-Moreno (University of Sevilla, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9567-2.ch019
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Two lines of research focus on this chapter: University Social Responsibility and entrepreneurship. Once Univesrities are aware of the importance of introducing socially responsible actions, we refer to the need of Universities to foster the creation of new business, establishing the best conditions for entrepreneurs. In this sense, we study what entrepreneurship means and how it is initiated. At the same time, we set the education on entrepreneurship and how gender differences condition the new creation of firms. Some examples of promoting entrepreneurship are discussed, from the initial actions until the maintaining and growing a company already created. Later, chapter concentrates on the particular case of Spanish Universities, offering a lot of actions for the promotion of entrepreneurship, like projects, awards, chairs, masters, conferences and meeting. It is also important to consider the support of public administration and the role of cluster. The chapter finishes with some considerations about spin off, as the result of entrepreneurship from the University.
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This chapter is focused on two important lines of research today: University Social Responsibility (USR) and entrepreneurship. This way, we are going to refer these two concepts, in order to dip into them in the following pages. First, it is necessary to introduce Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a strategy assumed by organizations overall. In this sense, the European Union (EU, 2001) published the report called “Green Book. Promoting a European framework for Corporate Social Responsibility”. This is the first document which clearly establishes the content of the CSR, defining it as “the voluntary integration by companies of social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders” (EU, 2001, p. 20). The same document states the motive of adopting this CSR program by corporations, “contribute to a better society and a cleaner environment” (EU, 2001, p. 5). The definition of CSR has been treated by different sources and it is not exiting a unique idea of what the concept says. Going to the same source, the EU has renewed the previous definitions, pointing, “the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society” and making explicit reference to the need for collaboration with stakeholders to “integrate social, environmental and ethical concerns, respect for the human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations and core strategy” (EU, 2011, p. 7). This last definition offers the two most important ideas for working in: the responsibility of enterprises and the collaboration with stakeholders. We know that enterprises have the responsibility to create employment for improving the economy and it is possible if the collaboration between different agents exists. More definitions have offered a similar sense, highlighting the relationships with partners (De la Cuesta, Valor, Sanmartín, & Botija, 2002; Bell, 2002; Hemming, Pugh, Williams, & Blackburn, 2004).

It is assumed that CSR involves the integration of socially responsible practices in defining organizational strategy (Anderson & Bieniaszewska, 2005; Oskarsson & von Malmborg, 2005; Secchi, 2006). This way, today, as part of its strategy, every organization will provide voluntarily social responsibility information to offer a socially responsible behavior (Gallardo & Castilla, 2007). The adoption of CSR strategy is linked with the culture of the organization and the relationship with stakeholders. In this sense, Lyon (2004, p. 136) indicates that the culture of the organization, oriented to CSR, should be directed to the communication to all stakeholders of what that considers important.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Development Equation: Today, companies needs some factors for growing and develop, such as entrepreneurship, innovation and educations.

Education for Entrepreneurship: Specific training provides by Universities oriented to promote the new firm´s creation. It could consist of training programs, conferences, meetings, masteres, and so no.

Entrepreneurship: Action to initiate a company for developing a new activity. It involves the need to innovate, to collaborate with partners, and get competitive advantages. Entrepreneurs have the support of public administration and, more specifically, from Universities, in order to facilitate starting.

University Social Responsibility: University which has integrated Social Responsibility (SR) vision in its strategy. This University is working in a triple dimension, economic, social and environmental, and at the same time, it undertakes specific actions in its structure across four sections: teaching, research, management and projection to society.

Spin Off: Company created as a result of the entrepreneurial process and advised from Universities. With this type of firm, Universities recognize the transfer of the results of scientific research to society as one of their essential functions.

Cluster: We can define it as a Business Association around a value chain. They are formed by companies, foundations and other associations and organizations related to continuous management improvement. They have been promoted by regional administration and operate under the principle of cooperation but with autonomy own.

Incubators and Business Parks: Spaces created and offered to entrepreneurs in order to encourage the creation of businesses and self-employment. These spaces facilitate the development of activities, due to the fact that prices are lower and competitive.

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