Fostering entrepreneurship through education: A handbook for teachers.



Entrepreneurship is an increasingly desirable activity in Europe and beyond, as it is widely considered to be the backbone of the economy. The European Commission has repeatedly stressed the importance of cultivating an entrepreneurial culture or mindset, as entrepreneurs who start up their own business are a major source of job creation, innovation and economic growth. Entrepreneurship - or more specifically, "a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship" - has recently been listed by the European Commission as one of the eight key competences for life. This Handbook for school teachers enables them to foster a culture of entrepreneurship through their teaching. It was developed in response to various calls by the European Commission to develop tool boxes of entrepreneurial teaching methods and effective teaching resources to foster entrepreneurship through education. It consists of almost 200 suggestions, activities and strategies for infusing entrepreneurship across the curriculum at all levels of compulsory education.
Full-text available
Why are some entrepreneurs so much more successful than others in starting new ventures? Previous efforts to answer this question have generally focused either on the personality traits or susceptibility to various cognitive errors of individual entrepreneurs, or on such external factors as the number of competing businesses. We suggest that entrepreneurs" social skills-specific competencies that help them interact effectively with others-may also play a role in their success. A high level of social capital, built on a favorable reputation, relevant previous experience, and direct persona/contacts, often assists entrepreneurs in gaining access to venture capitalists, potential customers, and others. Once such access is gained, the nature of the entrepreneurs" face-to-face interactions can strongly influence their success. Specific social skills, such as the ability to read others accurately, make favorable first impressions, adapt to a wide range of social situations, and be persuasive, can influence the quality of these interactions. Moreover, by helping entrepreneurs expand their personal networks, social skills may also contribute to their social capital. Because social skills can readily be enhanced through appropriate training, entrepreneurs who take advantage of such opportunities may reap important benefits.
Full-text available
The editors of this special issue on "Finding the Entrepreneur in Entrepreneurship" offer an overview of the concept behind the special issue, and summarize the articles included in the special issue.
Full-text available
The growth of self-employed enterprise and the supposed ascendancy of the `enterprising self' are commonly associated with the forces of flexibilization and individualization in contemporary work arrangements. What is driving these forces and their effects can be understood, in part, by examining what psychoanalytic theory would name desire. The focus here is upon the dynamics of desire among individuals who leave jobs to enter the growing ranks of the self-employed. Drawing from findings of a qualitative study of such new women entrepreneurs across Canada, changing concepts of the enterprising self are explored with specific attention to the relations between their desires and their conception of work. This article addresses three questions in particular: How is desire enmeshed in the development of enterprising selves? How do women come to desire work through self-employed enterprise, often entailing personal and economic pain? Do these desires configure possibilities for new alternatives in enterprise? The study findings suggest not only that contradictory desires are closely integrated with identity in the transition to enterprise, but also that some women's desires appear to form resistance to aspects of conventional models of business development. Through analysis informed by psychoanalytic theories of desire, these impulses are named `transgressive desires' and their importance is demonstrated in their links to the new models of entrepreneurism that seem to be appearing among these women's enterprises.
Full-text available
Purpose The main objective of the study is to assess the self‐esteem of the human resources including future workforce, trainees, managers, and entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach Primary data based on 1,835 respondents were analyzed to compare the self‐esteem of males and females of various categories. Statistical tools such as factor analysis, correlations, analysis of variance, means, grand means, and standard deviations were used for the analysis of the data gathered. Findings Among all the derived five factors, respondents scored highest on strong belief which indicated the high self‐esteem cognition. Significant differences were found between the various categories of students, managers, entrepreneurs, and trainees. Males and females also differed on certain aspects of self‐esteem. The overall self‐esteem of the sample was found to be marginally positive. Research limitations/implications The limitation of the study was that the data were collected from North India only, though they could have been collected from the wider area. Rather it can be extended cross‐culturally so that it may give more generalized conclusions. Practical implications Self‐esteem of human resources has managerial and policy implications. Self‐esteem affects the organisational decisions regarding planning and hiring, motivating, retaining, and laying‐off of human resources. High and positive self‐esteem has a positive relationship with job performance, job satisfaction, organisational commitment, need for achievement, self‐perceived competence, self‐image, and success expectancy. Organizations should not only concentrate on hiring and retaining high and positive self‐esteem employees, but also try to maintain the self‐esteem level of the employees. Organisations can enhance employees' self‐esteem by allowing them ample room for self‐determination. Originality/value This paper helps in understanding the level of self‐esteem of males and females across categories and resultant behaviour. Inclusion of aspirants along with managers and entrepreneurs will definitely add to the existing knowledge, management theory and practice.
Full-text available
Opportunity identification represents a unique entrepreneurial behavior yet its processes and dynamics remain mysterious. Entrepreneurial alertness, a distinctive set of perceptual and information-processing skills, has been advanced as the cognitive engine driving the opportunity identification process. To date, empirical support has been equivocal; however, these early studies suffer from fundamental mistakes in theory and method. These mistakes are examined and addressed. A research agenda for the systematic and conceptually sound study of entrepreneurial alertness and opportunity identification is outlined. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
This extensively revised edition of this popular text deals with the problems and issues facing entrepreneurs and small business today. It now includes: a number of new contributions from leading experts, including new chapters on Venture Capital, Uncertainty, Innovation and Management and Small Firms Policy in Europe; a greater emphasis on the use of case studies to illustrate material; and a number of new exercises and assignments. The text will be of interest to both undergraduate and postgraduate students of business and entrepreneurship as well as to people who run or work for small businesses.
'This ambitious book draws upon a wide variety of literature in developing a comprehensive theory of entrepreneurship, ranging from the discovery of entrepreneurial activities, to industry differences in entrepreneurial activity, to the organizing process. It represents a major contribution to the field.' - Arnold C. Cooper, Purdue University, US. 'Professor Scott Shane provides a deep and comprehensive discussion of the individual-opportunity nexus in entrepreneurship. Eschewing the usual approaches of either focusing exclusively on the individuals and their motivations and actions or focusing exclusively, almost always ex-post, on the economic potential of opportunities, Scott Shane fixes his gaze squarely on the nexus of the individual and the opportunity. It is this nexus that I believe is the building block for a better understanding of the entrepreneurial phenomenon.' - From the foreword by Sankaran Venkataraman. In the first exhaustive treatment of the field in 20 years, Scott Shane extends the analysis of entrepreneurship by offering an overarching conceptual framework that explains the different parts of the entrepreneurial process - the opportunities, the people who pursue them, the skills and strategies used to organize and exploit opportunities, and the environmental conditions favorable to them - in a coherent way.
Argues that 21st century information professionals need characteristics of creativity and innovation to remain relevant. Suggests that these do not threaten the profession but are a driver to its becoming a key information player. Defines the two terms and explains that they are linked. Suggests that it is possible to develop creative skills without necessarily feeling creative, and to facilitate sessions where creativity is needed. Includes advice on a range of creative techniques for encouraging ideas, including risk taking, visualizing, daydreaming, SWOT analysis, brainstorming, learning from mistakes and extending one’s circle of contacts to obtain a fresh view of the problem.
'This book is a commendable source of reference for entrepreneurship researchers. It offers insight into a number of focused research accounts that may assist other researchers in their entrepreneurship research proposals and execution... the literature review section will be of particular value to such early scholars of the field. The book is highly recommended for both postgraduate entrepreneurship students and would be worthy of filling a space on any active entrepreneurship researcher's bookshelf.' - David Douglas, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research. © Patrick A.M. Vermeulen and Petru L. Curşeu 2008. All rights reserved.
This paper identifies a 5-step framework that can be implemented in virtually any teaching or training setting to effectively move learners toward critical thinking. This interdisciplinary model, which is built upon existing theory and best practices in cognitive development, effective learning environments, and outcomes-based assessment, provides teachers with a useful framework. This framework can be used to move students toward a more active-learning environment which, ultimately, is more enjoyable and effective for teachers and students alike. An example of the model is applied in the context of accounting education, which represents a business discipline in which critical thinking has been consistently cited as both necessary and difficult to implement.
Given the world wide predominance of the small to medium sized enterprise (SME) we should consider whether we need to segment and target our marketing knowledge, practice and attitudes towards this business type. It is argued that we need to be able to develop entrepreneurship within the context of marketing, and marketing within the context of entrepreneurship in order that we are able to understand fully that most common of business forms – the small firm. This implies that we should consider how much of our existing marketing knowledge is appropriate to the SME and how much needs to be rethought and adapted. The body of work by colleagues in what could be described as the “marketing entrepreneurship interface” demonstrates both appropriate concerns and potential solutions. As such it represents a solid start to a debate in which we hope that many of our marketing colleagues will join.
The increased pressure put on public research institutes to commercialize their research results has given rise to an increased academic interest in technology transfer. We assess under which conditions tacit knowledge transfer contributes to the performance of academic spin‐offs. Using an inductive case study approach, our evidence suggests that tacit knowledge is most effectively transferred when a substantial part of the original research team joins the new venture as founders. Commercial expertise and mindset are also required in the team on the condition that the cognitive distance between the scientific researchers and the person responsible for commercialization is not too large.
Because of their importance in creating wealth—both personal and societal—entrepreneurs have long been the subject of intensive study. Past research has focused on important issues such as: Why do some people, but not others, recognize or create new opportunities? Why do some, but not others, try to convert their ideas and dreams into business ventures? And why, ultimately, are some entrepreneurs successful and others not?Efforts to answer these questions in terms of the personal characteristics of entrepreneurs generally yielded disappointing results: contrary to what informal observation suggests, entrepreneurs do not appear to differ greatly from nonentrepreneurs with respect to various aspects of personality. As a result, a growing number of researchers have recently adopted a different approach—one emphasizing the role of cognitive processes in entrepreneurship. This perspective suggests that valuable insights into the questions posed above may be obtained through careful comparison of the cognitive processes of entrepreneurs and other persons.Whereas informative research has already been conducted within this framework, the present study seeks to expand this developing perspective by building additional conceptual bridges between entrepreneurship research and the large, extant literature on human cognition. Basic research on human cognition suggests that our cognitive processes are far from totally rational; in fact, our thinking is often influenced by a number of sources of potential bias and error. It is suggested here that entrepreneurs often work in situations and under conditions that would be expected to maximize the impact of such factors. Specifically, they face situations that tend to overload their information-processing capacity and are characterized by high levels of uncertainty, novelty, emotion, and time pressure. Together, these factors may increase entrepreneurs’ susceptibility to a number of cognitive biases.Several cognitive mechanisms that may exert such effects and that have not previously been considered in detail in the literature on entrepreneurship are examined. These include: counterfactual thinking—the effects of imagining what might have been; affect infusion—the influence of current affective states on decisions and judgments; attributional style—tendencies by individuals to attribute various outcomes to either internal or external causes; the planning fallacy—strong tendencies to underestimate the amount of time needed to complete a given project or the amount of work that can be achieved in a given time; and self-justification—the tendency to justify previous decisions even if they result in negative outcomes. Each mechanism is described, and specific hypotheses concerning its potential impact on the thinking of entrepreneurs are proposed.A final section of the article touches briefly on methods for testing hypotheses concerning these mechanisms and explores the implications of this cognitive perspective for future entrepreneurship research. This section emphasizes the fact that a cognitive perspective can provide researchers in the field with several new conceptual tools and may also facilitate the development of practical procedures for assisting entrepreneurs.
While research in entrepreneurship continues to increase general understanding of the opportunity-recognition process, questions about its nature nonetheless persist. In this study, we seek to complement recent research that relates "the self" to the opportunity-recognition process by deepening understanding of the self vis-à-vis this process. We do this by drawing on the self-representation literature and the decision-making literature to introduce two distinct types of images of self: images of vulnerability and images of capability. In a study of 1936 decisions about hypothetical entrepreneurial opportunities made by 121 executives of technology firms, we then investigate how both types of images of self affect the images of opportunities that underlie opportunity recognition. Our results indicate that both images of self - vulnerability and capability - impact one's images of opportunity.
Given the lack of unequivocal findings on person-career fit, this investigation aims to gain insight into the role of cognitive styles in understanding students’ career preferences by two complementary studies. In study 1, we examined whether students (n = 84) with different cognitive styles differ in their entrepreneurial attitudes. Results showed a strong positive correlation between the creating style and the overall occupational status choice index, which implies a preference to become self-employed. No significant correlations were found between this index and the knowing and the planning style respectively. A more detailed look at the occupational status choice sub-indexes showed a positive correlation for the knowing style with the ‘economic opportunity’ index, for the planning style with ‘security’ and ‘participation in the whole process’, and for the creating style with ‘career’, ‘challenge’, ‘economic opportunity’, ‘autonomy’, ‘authority’, and ‘self-realisation’. No significant differences in overall occupational status choice were found in terms of gender, degree option, or family background in entrepreneurship. Study 2 focused on the link between students’ career anchors and their cognitive styles and personality profile (n = 275). We found for the knowing style a positive correlation with ‘pure challenge’, for the planning style a positive correlation with ‘lifestyle’ and ‘security/stability’ and a negative one with ‘autonomy/independence’, and for the creating style a positive correlation with ‘entrepreneurial creativity’ and ‘pure challenge’ and a negative one with ‘security/stability’. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that cognitive styles and personality traits could predict people’s career anchors to a certain extent. These findings are particularly relevant for career counselling services of higher education institutions and for selection and recruitment policies of organ
How to be an entrepreneur: The six secrets of self-made success
  • S Parks
Parks, S. (2006). How to be an entrepreneur: The six secrets of self-made success. London: Prentice Hall.
Strategic Entrepreneurship
  • P A Wickham
Wickham, P. A. (2006). Strategic Entrepreneurship. Essex: Pearson Education Ltd.
designer, at the launch of Design in Business Week, 1998), cited in Bruce &Bessant
  • J Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick, J. (designer, at the launch of Design in Business Week, 1998), cited in Bruce &Bessant (2002, p. xxi)
Green Jobs from a Small State Perspective: Case Studies from Malta. Brussels: Green European Foundation and Ceratonia Foundation
  • L Baldacchino
  • C Cutajar
Baldacchino, L. & Cutajar, C. (2012). The artisan: A sustainable entrepreneur. In S. Rizzo (Ed). Green Jobs from a Small State Perspective: Case Studies from Malta. Brussels: Green European Foundation and Ceratonia Foundation. Available at: perspective.pdf
Asking the right questions: A guide to critical thinking
  • M Browne
  • S Keeley
Browne, M. & Keeley, S. (2001). Asking the right questions: A guide to critical thinking. NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Implementing the Community Lisbon Programme: Fostering Entrepreneurial Mindsets through Education and Learning. Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions
  • P Burns
Burns, P. (2001). Entrepreneurship and small business. NY: Palgrave. Commission of the European Communities (2006). Implementing the Community Lisbon Programme: Fostering Entrepreneurial Mindsets through Education and Learning. Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Available at: com2006_0033en01.pdf
Serious creativity. USA : Advanced Practical Thinking Training Inc
  • E De Bono
de Bono, E. (1993). Serious creativity. USA : Advanced Practical Thinking Training Inc.
Entrepreneurship Education in Europe: Fostering Entrepreneurial Mindsets through Education and Learning (Oslo
European Commission (2006a). Entrepreneurship Education in Europe: Fostering Entrepreneurial Mindsets through Education and Learning (Oslo, 26-27 October 2006). Final Proceedings. Available at: measures/training_education/doc/oslo_report_final_2006_en.pdf
/962/EC. The Official Journal of the European Union L 394/10 of 30.12
European Commission (2006b). Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning 2006/962/EC. The Official Journal of the European Union L 394/10 of 30.12.2006. Available at: :394:0010:0018:EN:PDF European Commission: Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General (2008). Best Procedure Project: "Entrepreneurship in Higher Education, especially in Non-Business Studies". Final Report of the Expert Group. Available at: measures/training_education/entr_highed_en.pdf
Lisbon Strategy Evaluation Document
European Commission (2009a). Lisbon Strategy Evaluation Document. Commission Staff Working Document Available at: strategy_evaluation_en.pdf
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions
European Commission (2010a). An Agenda for New Skills and Jobs: A European Contribution towards Full Employment. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Available at: 0:0682:FIN:en:PDF European Commission: Entrepreneurship Unit, Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry (2010b). Towards Greater Cooperation and Coherence in Entrepreneurship Education. Report and Evaluation of the Pilot Action High Level Reflection Panels on Entrepreneurship Education. Available at: files/entr_education_panel_en.pdf
Unlocking creativity: Teaching across the curriculum
  • R Fisher
  • M Williams
Fisher, R. & Williams, M. (2004). Unlocking creativity: Teaching across the curriculum. London: David Fulton Publishers.
Mastering the tools of the mind in school (Trying out Vygotsky's ideas in classrooms)
  • E L Grigorenko
Grigorenko, E. L. (1998). Mastering the tools of the mind in school (Trying out Vygotsky's ideas in classrooms). In R. J. Sternberg & W. M. Williams (Eds).
What makes a good entrepreneur?
  • M Hay
Hay, M. (2001). What makes a good entrepreneur? Hay Group Inc.
From search to research: Developing critical thinking through web research skills. Microsoft Corporation
  • Lane Potter
Lane Potter, M. (2010). From search to research: Developing critical thinking through web research skills. Microsoft Corporation. Available at: Pages/critical_thinking.aspx
Roadmap for starting a new business. Ministry of Education (Malta, 1999)
  • Malta Enterprise
Malta Enterprise (2004). Roadmap for starting a new business. Ministry of Education (Malta, 1999). National Minimum Curriculum: Creating the Future Together. Available at:
Mastering entrepreneurship: Your single-source guide to becoming a master of entrepreneurship
  • D Muzyka
Muzyka, D. (2000). Spotting the market opportunity. In S. Birley & D. Muzyka (Eds.). Mastering entrepreneurship: Your single-source guide to becoming a master of entrepreneurship. NY: Pearson Prentice Hall Financial Times.
Business model generation
  • A Osterwalder
  • Y Pigneur
Osterwalder, A. & Pigneur, Y (2009). Business model generation. Preview available at:
101 Fresh & Fun Critical-Thinking Activities (Grades 1-3)
  • L Rozakis
Rozakis, L. (1999). 101 Fresh & Fun Critical-Thinking Activities (Grades 1-3). NY: Scholastic.