Entrepreneurship has attracted global interest for its potential to catalyze economic and social development. Research suggesting that certain entrepreneurial mindsets and skills can be learned has given rise to the field of entrepreneurship education and training (EET). Despite the growth of EET, global knowledge about these programs and their impact remains thin. In response, this study surveys the available literature and program evaluations to propose a Conceptual Framework for understanding the EET program landscape.
The study finds that EET today consists of a heterogeneous mix of programs that can be broken into two groups: entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurship training. These programs target a range of participants: secondary and post-secondary education students, as well as potential and practicing entrepreneurs. The outcomes measured by program evaluations are equally diverse but generally fall under the domains of entrepreneurial mindsets and capabilities, entrepreneurial status, and entrepreneurial performance.
The dimensions of EET programs vary according the particular target group. Programs targeting secondary education students focus on the development of foundational skills linked to entrepreneurship, while post-secondary education programs emphasize skills related to strategic business planning. Programs targeting potential entrepreneurs generally are embedded within broader support programs and tend to target vulnerable populations for whom employment alternatives may be limited. While programs serving practicing entrepreneurs focus on strengthening entrepreneurs’ knowledge, skills and business practices, which while unlikely to transform an enterprise in the near term, may accrue benefits to entrepreneurs over time.
The study also offers implications for policy and program implementation, emphasizing the importance of clarity about target groups and desired outcomes when making program choices, and sound understanding of extent to which publicly-supported programs offer a broader public good, and compare favorably to policy alternatives for supporting the targeted individuals as well as the overall economic and social objectives.Skills for WorkGlobalEvaluation & Systematic Review