THE WORLD IS LEARNING HOW TO EDUCATE ENTREPRENEURS

Global Research Team–from Babson, Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation, Tsinghua, and Qatar Universities−outline best practices and solutions to expand entrepreneurship worldwide

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Entrepreneurship education has grown dramatically from 600 colleges and universities offering courses in 1986 to more than 5,000 courses today at 2,600 schools around the world. The concept of entrepreneurship has also flourished from garage startup to global empire, and to a new definition as a logical, robust method to drive sustainable global economies.

A global team of researchers from Babson College, The Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation, Tsinghua University, and Qatar University presented new research, Entrepreneurship Education:A Global Consideration From Practice to Policy Around the Worldduring the 2015 WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) in Doha, Qatar with 1,200 delegates from 121 countries in attendance.

“We’re pleased to present this new research on entrepreneurship education,” said Dr. Patricia G. Greene, Paul T. Babson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Babson College. “Entrepreneurship is increasingly seen as the pathway to addressing economic and societal challenges around the world. Joint research projects like this help us improve our approach to entrepreneurship education by learning from each other.”

The report looks at entrepreneurship education internationally through a detailed review of the literature and case studies in the United States, China, Finland, and Qatar. It establishes an inventory of best practices and recommendations that educators and policy makers can adopt to develop an entrepreneurial culture and a robust set of 21st century life skills that can be used to start and grow new ventures of all kinds.

The report found an array of best practices and related implications for teaching, policymaking, and future research initiatives in entrepreneurship education.

Download the full report ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​»

Key Findings

Practice and Policy

  • Develop Teachers −Establish program standards, training programs, and assessment tools that encourage teachers to acquire and employ skills and behaviors that enable them to function as facilitators and guides to learning, rather than as traditional classroom instructors.    
  • Expand Ranks of Learners −Make entrepreneurship education compulsory for all learners in primary, secondary, and perhaps even tertiary levels, because of its effectiveness at instilling “twenty-first century” skills, in addition to venture creation skills.
  • Facilitate Sharing of Content and Pedagogy −Create a clearinghouse of leading-edge curricula and pedagogic methodologies. A great deal of good work has been achieved in this field over the past decade, and many institutions are willing to share their curricula and teaching methodologies.
  • Overhaul Pedagogy and Place −Revamp instructional standards and classroom paradigms to promote team-based, action-oriented learning in spaces designed to enhance collaboration and creativity that includes real world interactions with entrepreneurship practitioners and with target markets for new products and services.
  • Expand Access to Resources −Increase funding for entrepreneurship education and develop and promote innovative mechanisms to leverage partnerships with corporations, NGOs, global institutions, foundations, as well as with individuals.

Recommended Research Paths

  • Define and Assess an Array of Learning Outcomes to better understand the impact of entrepreneurship education. This requires creating and experimenting with various metrics beyond starting a new venture and also includes a consideration of different types of entrepreneurial learners, and assessing impacts across multiple institutions and countries.    
  • Compulsory Entrepreneurship Education at the primary/secondary level and research new stakeholders within the ecosystem. Primary and secondary teachers, as well as parents and administrators, need to have a better understanding of what entrepreneurship is and can be in their education systems.    
  • Scalability of Programming −Entrepreneurship education requires a hands-on, active, and experiential approach. These approaches are hard to scale when large numbers of students are involved. How might we scale innovative educational programs? When and how might technology be helpful? What is the effect of technology clusters on entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurship ecosystems?

About the Babson Team

The Babson research and writing team for this project brings a unique set of perspectives to the topic of entrepreneurship education around the world. With contributions from The Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation, Tsinghua University, and Qatar University, the report’s lead researchers include:

Dr. Patricia G. Greene     
Paul T. Babson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies and National Academic Director, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and 10,000 Women

Dr. Candida G. Brush
Franklin W. Olin Chair in Entrepreneurship and Vice Provost of Global Entrepreneurial Leadership, Babson College 

Dr. Elaine J. Eisenman 
Professor of Management Practice and Dean, Babson Executive and Enterprise Education 

Dr. Heidi Neck
Jeffry A. Timmons Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and Director of the Babson Symposia for Entrepreneurship Educators 

Mr. Sam Perkins
Senior Researcher, Babson College

About WISE

Since 2009, WISE has brought together decision makers, influential experts, and practitioners at an annual Summit in Doha, to explore groundbreaking innovations and take concrete steps to make significant improvements to worldwide education. The annual World Innovation Summit for Education is thpremier international platform dedicated to innovation and creative action in education where top decision-makers share insights with on-the-ground practitioners and collaborate to rethink education. The Summit offers a unique opportunity for all the participants to find out more about the most cutting-edge practices in education, network with high-level professionals from all sectors and from all countries, and to actively participate in building the future of education.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds​​​​​​​​​​​.® The top-rankedcollege for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.​​ ​​​​​


By Barbara Spies Blair, blairb@babson.edu, 781-239-4621 | 12/01/2015 02:00