Entrepreneurship Education: A Lifelong Learning Approach [1st ed.] 9783030488017, 9783030488024

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Entrepreneurship Education: A Lifelong Learning Approach [1st ed.]
 9783030488017, 9783030488024

Table of contents :
Front Matter ....Pages i-v
Entrepreneurship Education, Pedagogy and Delivery (Annafatmawaty Binti Ismail, Sukanlaya Sawang)....Pages 1-10
Entrepreneurship Education in UK Secondary Education (Stella Zhixin Xu)....Pages 11-34
Addressing the Pre/Post-university Pedagogy of Entrepreneurship Coherent with Learning Theories (Alexandros Kakouris, Daniele Morselli)....Pages 35-58
The Role of University-Level Entrepreneurship Education in Creating New Enterprises (Mervi Raudsaar, Piia Vettik-Leemet, Merike Kaseorg, Kaire Vahejõe)....Pages 59-76
Student Social Enterprise Engagement: Capturing Process, Benefits and Measuring Social Value (Arun Sukumar, Zimu Xu, Richard Tomlins)....Pages 77-84
Mentoring Senior Entrepreneurs (Andreas Walmsley, Ghulam Nabi)....Pages 85-100
Entrepreneurship Education for “Mature Preneurs”: The Role of Positive Psychology in Active Aging (Roxanne Zolin)....Pages 101-121
Understanding the Barriers Faced by Older Entrepreneurs: A Case Study of a “Silver Workers” Project (Hazel Squire)....Pages 123-144

Citation preview

Contributions to Management Science

Sukanlaya Sawang   Editor

Entrepreneurship Education A Lifelong Learning Approach

Contributions to Management Science

The series Contributions to Management Science contains research publications in all fields of business and management science. These publications are primarily monographs and multiple author works containing new research results, and also feature selected conference-based publications are also considered. The focus of the series lies in presenting the development of latest theoretical and empirical research across different viewpoints. This book series is indexed in Scopus.

More information about this series at http://www.springer.com/series/1505

Sukanlaya Sawang Editor

Entrepreneurship Education A Lifelong Learning Approach


Editor Sukanlaya Sawang International Centre for Transformational Entrepreneurship Faculty of Business and Law Coventry University Coventry, UK

ISSN 1431-1941 ISSN 2197-716X (electronic) Contributions to Management Science ISBN 978-3-030-48801-7 ISBN 978-3-030-48802-4 (eBook) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48802-4 © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. This Springer imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland


Entrepreneurship Education, Pedagogy and Delivery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Annafatmawaty Binti Ismail and Sukanlaya Sawang


Entrepreneurship Education in UK Secondary Education . . . . . . . . . . . Stella Zhixin Xu


Addressing the Pre/Post-university Pedagogy of Entrepreneurship Coherent with Learning Theories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alexandros Kakouris and Daniele Morselli


The Role of University-Level Entrepreneurship Education in Creating New Enterprises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mervi Raudsaar, Piia Vettik-Leemet, Merike Kaseorg, and Kaire Vahejõe


Student Social Enterprise Engagement: Capturing Process, Benefits and Measuring Social Value . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Arun Sukumar, Zimu Xu, and Richard Tomlins


Mentoring Senior Entrepreneurs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andreas Walmsley and Ghulam Nabi


Entrepreneurship Education for “Mature Preneurs”: The Role of Positive Psychology in Active Aging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Roxanne Zolin Understanding the Barriers Faced by Older Entrepreneurs: A Case Study of a “Silver Workers” Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 Hazel Squire


Entrepreneurship Education, Pedagogy and Delivery Annafatmawaty Binti Ismail and Sukanlaya Sawang

Abstract This chapter presents an overview of this book. The chapter explains the background of entrepreneurship education and relevant pedagogical concepts. Entrepreneurship education instead of seen as one of the way to job creation, it also could help to develop knowledge and skills which is benefit as a preparation for life, not just a career path. The aim of this book is to explore how entrepreneurship education is embedded throughout a lifecycle of learners. So far, the entrepreneurship education tends to start in higher education level and as an ad hoc basis. This means some institutions offer as an elective or compulsory course, others offer as a degree program. The entrepreneurship education has not yet been widely adopted as a core curriculum in most countries. Further, the formal entrepreneurship education rarely offers beyond the young learners. This book offers critical views of whom entrepreneurship education can be delivered to, including childhood/school children, higher educations, and senior/older people.

1 Defining Entrepreneurship Education Entrepreneurship education can have a positive impact on economies by equipping individuals with entrepreneurial thinking and enterprise skills (Galloway and Brown 2002). It may be useful to distinguish the concept between entrepreneurship and enterprise. According to Rae and his colleagues (Rae et al. 2012, p. 382), the two concepts are defined as following: Enterprise: Students learning to use the skills, knowledge and personal attributes needed to apply creative ideas and innovations to practical situations. These include initiative, independence, creativity, problem solving, identifying and working on opportunities, leadership,

A. B. Ismail Polytechnic Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia S. Sawang (B) Coventry University, Coventry, UK e-mail: [email protected] Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 S. Sawang (ed.), Entrepreneurship Education, Contributions to Management Science, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48802-4_1



A. B. Ismail and S. Sawang and acting resourcefully to effect change. ‘Enterprise’ is also used as a noun to describe a small or new business or community venture. Entrepreneurship: The study of enterprise and entrepreneurs, including the practical and academic knowledge, skills and techniques used in being an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is a person who identifies or creates and acts on an opportunity, for example by starting a new business venture or social enterprise. Entrepreneurship is a distinctive example of the application of enterprise skills and attributes in a specific context.

There has been a debate about the use of the terms “entrepreneurship education”, “entrepreneurial education” and “enterprise education” among entrepreneurship scholars (Bacigalupo et al. 2016). For example, a study undertaken by Durham University Business School in 1989 noticed that the term “entrepreneurship education” is commonly used in Canada and the United States. This term is rarely used in the United Kingdom (UK) and only occasionally in Europe. In the UK educational system, it is labelled “enterprise” rather than “entrepreneurship education” because its major objectives are to develop enterprising people and inculcate an attitude of self-reliance using an appropriate learning process (Garavan and O’Cinneide 1994). In contrast, the term “entrepreneurial education” or “training for entrepreneurship” are widely used phrases in Britain, and are intended to take on a generic meaning (Curran and Stanworth 1989). Apart from the terminology, there has also been a discussion whether entrepreneurship is an education program or a training program (European Commission 2013). If we look at the definition itself, “training” refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies as a result of teaching practical skills and knowledge. Conversely, “Education” refers to learning a theory and reinforcing knowledge in which you already have a background. In term of the entrepreneurship context, however, entrepreneurship education has tended to focus on building knowledge and skills about, or for the purpose of entrepreneurship, amongst secondary and higher education students. Whereas entrepreneurship training tends to focus on building knowledge and skills, explicitly in preparation for starting or operating an enterprise, targeting the potential and practicing entrepreneurs (Alexandria et al. 2014). Both entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurship traning aim to stimulate entrepreneurship, but there are difference in terms of program objectives, target audiences, and outcomes. There are also various definitions of entrepreneurship that have been proposed in the context of entrepreneurial education, in various settings, and used by various categories of actors. For example, Hindle (2007) defines entrepreneurship education with more broad definition. He refers to the transfer of knowledge about how, by whom, and with what effects opportunities to create future goods and services are discovered, evaluated, and exploited. He discusses two main aspects of seeking the effective entrepreneurship curriculum, which are the practical (skills) and the theory. Kourilsky (1995) supports this idea, asserting that entrepreneurship education is important because it provides skills related to creating jobs. Hence, to provide students with entrepreneurial skills, educational efforts must identify market opportunity as a main attribute in the entrepreneurship curriculum. Pittaway and Cope (2007) expand the definition of “entrepreneurship education” by discussing the outputs of entrepreneurship education. According to these

Entrepreneurship Education, Pedagogy and Delivery


researchers, entrepreneurship education involves aspects that include employability skills, social enterprise, self-employment, venture creation, and employment in businesses. They argue that it is important to understand what entrepreneurship education is trying to achieve, such as enhanced graduate employability or the encouragement of graduate enterprise. As a result, we can see that there are now many entrepreneurship programs with different purpose that are being offered by higher education institutions around the world (Morselli 2019). The diversity of views among researchers about the definition of entrepreneurship education is due to the lack of a clear consensus on what this education comprises (Vesper and Gartner 1997). Therefore, most of the content of entrepreneurship education varies according to the instructor’s personal preferences (Garavan and O’Cinneide 1994). The definitions of “entrepreneurship education” that have been given have been structured in a way that they reflect the major aims and objectives to be achieved among various target audiences (Mwasalwiba 2010). Nonetheless, Mwasalwiba (2010) reviewed 20 articles and found that most of the articles agreed to relate entrepreneurship education to some kind of educational process that can affect attitudes, behaviours or intentions, acquisition of personal skills, business formation, opportunity recognition, and managing small firms. Entrepreneurship Education also refers as a process that involved in the encouragement of entrepreneurial activities behaviours and mindsets (Bechard and Toulouse 1998; Binks et al. 2006). Thus, when higher education institutions design any entrepreneurship education, it is important to understand the definition, as this will affect the objective and the impact of the program (Fayolle and Gailly 2008). In this book , “entrepreneurship education” is defined as the process of providing individuals with the skills (managerial and entrepreneurial) that can influence the entrepreneurial intention.

2 Pedagogical and Andragogical Learning of Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship education is an approach or pedagogical program, or more accurately, an enterprise approach to education Gibb (1993) and Fayolle et al. (2006). The terms ‘pedagogy’ and ‘andragogy’ have often been used interchangeably. There are, however, differences between these two terms. ‘Andra’ is a form of the world ‘adult’, therefore andragogy literally means teaching adults. In contrast, ‘peda’ translates as child, and pedagogy is oriented to teaching children. According to Forrest and Peterson (2006), while pedagogy focuses on issue of children, the andragogy puts primacy on the issue of application of knowledge to real life. Meanwhile, Yonge (1985) differentiates pedagogy and andragogy based on the way of accompaniment. For this researcher, pedagogy refer to children becoming adults under the guidance of adults. Conversely, andragogy is where an adult guides and assists another adult to achieve a more refined aspect of adulthood.


A. B. Ismail and S. Sawang

Nonetheless, neither andragogy nor pedagogy are teaching techniques. Forrest and Peterson (2006) argued that regardless of whether it is pedagogy or andragogy, the points is to choose appropriate instructional strategies such as group discussions, lectures, and problem-based learning. This is in line with Richardson and Barbara’s (1995) argument that andragogy can be classed as active learning because of the learners, who tend to be self-directed, have a variety of experiences, be motivated by internal incentives, and have a problem-centred orientation to learning. By comparison, pedagogical learners can be classified as those who undergo passive learning, that is, their learning is externally motivated and depends on decisions made by teachers. Yoshimoto et al. (2007) examine the concept of pedagogical and andragogical learning in higher education. They described andragogy as learner-focused (with most of the learners being older and/or mature), while pedagogy was described as being teacher-focused (with the learners usually being young and/or immature). Knowles (1980) highlighted six differences between pedagogy and andragogy in terms of self-concept, learner experience, readiness to learn, learning orientation, motivation, and learning purpose. In the andragogical orientation, the adult learners are described as emphasizing a self-concept of autonomy and learning by self-direction. They have considerable life experience, and are ready to learn. Their learning purpose is motivated by personal need, and they are interested in learning issues that relate to living better lives. In contrast, the pedagogical orientation is more dependent on the teacher and motivated by external rewards. Notwithstanding, Stuart and Holmes (1982) argued that learners’ prior knowledge, past learning experiences, expectation and attitudes to learning differ between young and mature students. Thus, maturity is a significant factor influencing preferences for pedagogical or andragogical orientations. Since a decade that most educators preferred to use lecture, written exam, assignment and writing a business plan in teaching entrepreneurship education (Honig 2004; Lourenço and Jones 2006; Cheng et al. 2009). This approach (known as the traditional approach or sometimes called the passive approach) typically deals with the contents that are easy to verbalize and capture in writings or drawings. The conceptual emphasis of the passive approach can be important to the development of a strong theoretical foundation upon which students can build in future courses (Wingfield and Black 2005). Usually, by using this approach, educators can present a large amount of material in a relatively brief amount of time, impart knowledge, and introduce basic principles to large classes of students. This is a one-way communication, also known as teacher-centred, where the educator talks whilst the audience listens. Conversely, the active approach is a process of having students engaged in some activity that forces them to reflect upon ideas and how they use those ideas (Michael 2006). In essence, it is commonly known as a student-centered approach. This method (which sometimes called the innovative or action-based approach) emphasizes the use of action learning, experiential learning or a more action-based approach, where the student is more active and initiates the learning process (Walter and Dohse 2012). This method involves two-way communication, not only between the students and educators, but also between the students themselves. According to Michel et al. (2009), active learning is a process in which students engage in “doing things and thinking

Entrepreneurship Education, Pedagogy and Delivery


about what they are doing”, and it encompasses various practices such as problembased learning, co-operative learning, experiential learning and participative learning (Michel et al. 2009, p. 398). Nevertheless, a review of the existing literature in teaching entrepreneurship education indicates that a clear distinction exists between the passive and active pedagogical approach in terms of nature and how people engage in the learning (Ismail et al. 2018). Put simply, the passive approach is conducted in passive teaching mode, that is, educator plays the main role that initiates the learning process, while the student is meant to absorb the information that the educator transmits. The learning takes place only in the static classroom intended to develop the students’ capacity to understand the information provided. In contrast, the active approach involves a real or virtual entrepreneurial task where the student takes the primary role, and the educator acts more as “coaches” or “facilitators” of the learning. This approach emphasizes the use of action learning or experiential learning, where through the learning, learners construct knowledge and learn by trying to solve every single problem.

3 Conceptual Framework for Entrepreneurship Education This section provides an overview of the theoretical framework that underpins the teaching pedagogy for entrepreneurship education using the teaching framework proposed by Neck and Greene (2011). The framework outlines four approaches to teaching entrepreneurship education that relate to four worlds, which is how entrepreneurship education is taught currently at most universities. According to the framework, most of the educators teach in four different “worlds”, which are the entrepreneur world, the process world, the cognition world, and the method world. Firstly, in the entrepreneur world, the objective of entrepreneurship education is to impart entrepreneurship knowledge to the students. For example, the student will learn about entrepreneur traits and behaviour. The educator will emphasize the theoretical foundation that relates to the entrepreneur, such as entrepreneur theories and models. As a passive learner, the student will accept all the information and their understanding of learning will be tested via examination. Therefore, this kind of learning is considered as the behaviourist where in the context of this world, learning about entrepreneurship education only involves studying the theories that refer to the entrepreneurs, firm creation, and the contribution to the economy (Laukkanen 2000). Hytti and O’Gorman (2004) refer this type of learning as “learn about entrepreneurship”, because students learn by obtaining a general understanding about entrepreneurship as a phenomenon. Therefore, lecturers and guest speakers are frequently pedagogical approaches used in teaching entrepreneurship education because of their suitability to convey knowledge about the field (Neck and Greene 2011). The second world is the process world, where student will learn how to plan and predict their new venture creation. Laukkanen (2000) defined it as “learning for entrepreneurship”, where student learn the entrepreneurial process, such as the


A. B. Ismail and S. Sawang

start-up for a new venture. Students learn about how to write a business plan, a financial plan, a marketing plan, and an administrative plan. Hytti and O’Gorman (2004) asserted that learning entrepreneurship is a process of equipping individuals with an entrepreneurial approach to the “world of work”. Thus, the educators’ goal is to teach the student about the process of new venture creation, using business plans and cases. As a learner, the student will not only receive the knowledge, but also have to understand the process behind it (Morselli 2017). This strand of teaching involves a more complex mental process. This is similar to the cognitivist theory, where an emphasis on mental structure and an active involvement from the learner is needed. Nevertheless, some educators will extend their teaching approach to “the cognition world”. The educator usually emphasizes how to make an entrepreneurial decision, as an entrepreneur, and also as a team member. According to Hytti and O’Gorman (2004), the purpose of studying entrepreneurship education is to prepare individuals to act as entrepreneurs by setting up the “entrepreneurial environment” in the classroom. Neck and Greene (2011) have developed a learning environment that is similar to real business, and that teaches the student the process of decisionmaking using cases and simulations. Kirby (2004) defines this world as “learning through entrepreneurship”, because the student learns about business understanding and entrepreneurship skills at the same time. Because it is time-consuming, however, educators usually recommend learning as a team. Therefore, educators usually implement collaborative learning, where a group of learner works together to solve a problem. According to Vygotsky (1978), this is ideal Social Constructivism Theory. Vygotsky emphasized the critical importance of interaction with people (including other learners and teachers) in the process of cognitive development (Huang 2002). This theory asserted that the culture and context are highly important in forming understanding, and hence the beginnings of deep learning (Bryceson 2007). Learning entrepreneurship education in the “method world” is when the learners are required not only to understand and know, but also to apply and act using a portfolio of techniques to encourage creating (Neck and Greene 2011). Some of the suggested pedagogies are running a business, serious games and simulation, designbased learning, and reflective practice. The method world involves learning through experience. By providing an experience as an entrepreneur, the educators are using the experiential learning model. According to Kolb (1984), the experiential learning model is a learning process by which knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Based on Kolb’s ideas, entrepreneurial learning can be regarded as an experiential process in which entrepreneurs develop knowledge through four distinctive learning abilities: experiencing, reflecting, thinking, and acting. Kolb’s concept refers to two different ways in which an individual acquires information in the world, either through direct experience or through a recreation of experiences (Corbett 2005). Drawing from Kolb’s experiential learning model, teaching and learning can be seen as two related phenomena which are strongly associated with students’ learning approaches and learning outcomes (Postareff et al. 2007). Table 1 is a summary of the four Worlds used in teaching entrepreneurship education at most of the universities.

Entrepreneurship Education, Pedagogy and Delivery


Table 1 Summaries of the four worlds in terms of teaching goals, teaching content, teaching pedagogy and related theory Entrepreneur world

Process world

Cognition world

Method world

Teaching goals

Imparting entrepreneurship knowledge

Focusing on the process of prediction

Focusing on entrepreneurial decision

Portfolio of technique to practice entrepreneurship

Teach content

Entrepreneur Traits

New venture creation

Think entrepreneurially (individual and teams)

Business creation

Teaching pedagogy

Lectures, examinations, assessment, role-model, guest speaker

Cases (venture process), business plans

Cases (decision making process), simulations

Serious games, simulations

Related theory


Cognitive constructivism (Piaget)

Social constructivism (Vygotsky)

Experiential learning (Kolb)

Adapted from Neck and Greene (2011)

4 Entrepreneurship Education and Lifelong Learning Lifelong learning means that “education is diverse, adapted to the individual and available throughout our lives” which enhances learners’ employability and personal fulfilment (Laal 2011). Entrepreneurship and lifelong learning is connected because innovation, flexibility, entrepreneurship and creativity competencies are a necessity for lifelong learning commitment (Sezen-Gultekin and Gur-Erdogan 2016). Entrepreneurship education provides learners with skills, knowledge, and attitudes to become responsible and enterprising individuals (Pepin 2018). Literatures as well as media often shine a light toward young entrepreneurs. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg are three of the biggest role models for young entrepreneurs. They are all famous for starting their companies in their early 20 s and in many ways set the benchmark for what a successful entrepreneur looks like (Sawang 2018). In this regard, higher education institutions are seen as being key platforms for encouraging entrepreneurship. Unsurprisingly, the entrepreneurship education tends to start in higher education level and as an ad hoc basis. This means some institutions offer as an elective or compulsory course, others offer as a degree program. The entrepreneurship education has not yet been widely adopted as a core curriculum in most countries. Further, the formal entrepreneurship education rarely offers beyond the young learners. Entrepreneurship education should not be limited only within higher institutional context. To provide entrepreneurship education (only) at the age around 20 may be too late because “an investment in skills not only has a direct impact on the


A. B. Ismail and S. Sawang

current stock of skills; it also produces higher skill levels in subsequent periods by boosting current skills (self-productivity of skills) and makes investments later in life more productive (dynamic complementarity) (Huber et al. 2012)” Therefore, early education can potential benefits from embedding the entrepreneurship education as a part of its curriculum. Early education can equip students with self-confidence, ability to think outside the box and can foster individuals’ talents and skills. The entrepreneurial mindset can be embedded at an early age (Peterman and Kennedy 2003). The skills such as empathy, teamwork and creativity can be integrated throughout the basic education curriculum. For example, Swedish primary schools integrated entrepreneurship competencies (creativity, tolerance for ambiguity, courage, ability to take initiative, ability to collaborate, and ability to take responsibility) into mathematics lessons (Janne Elo and Berit Kurtén 2020). Teachers asked students to describe a geometrical figure in as much written detail as possible for their classmates to draw. Another experiment conducted among 120 Dutch primary schools showed that students who received entrepreneurship education demonstrating higher skill levels in self-efficacy, need for achievement, risk taking, persistence, analysing, pro-activity and creativity (Huber et al. 2012). Drawing from a lifelong learning framework, entrepreneurship education should extend its offering to middle and older age learners. This is also an important learner group who can drive economy as well as health and wellbeing. Take a look at Brenda Deane who was a chartered accountant for nearly five decades, she started her first business called “A Life with a View” making candles and room diffusers at the age of 82. One way to enhance the lifelong learning in entrepreneurship education is to ensure that the entrepreneurial knowledge is embedded across three-tier of education (early education, tertiary education and continue education). This book is designed to showcase how entrepreneurship education is delivered in a different level of education. The idea is to encourage educators to be creative in teaching pedagogies and the delivery methods. The following chapters of this book offer critical views of whom entrepreneurship education can be delivered to, including early education, higher education and continue education. Chapter 2 reviews the entrepreneurship education delivered in secondary schools across UK. The highlight from this review shows that secondary education which integrated enterprising skills enhanced students’ employability, staff positive motivation and improved retention of students. Chapter 3 discusses pre/post-university pedagogy of entrepreneurship education which can be applied for relevant educators. Chapter 4 showcases the role of university to create new enterprises through entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial process. Chapter 5 explores the student engagement process in setting up social enterprises and the social value created by the entrepreneurs. Chapter 6 review the concept of mature/senior entrepreneurship and the role of entrepreneurship education. Chapter 7 develops the mentoring framework supporting entrepreneurship education among senior people. Chapter 8 discuses over 50+ entrepreneurs’ perceived barriers when considering, or setting up, a new business venture and proposes policy interventions through entrepreneurship education.

Entrepreneurship Education, Pedagogy and Delivery


There is the possibility that entrepreneurship education could help economic development and therefore has become an important agenda in most developing countries. The call for embedded enterprising skills and mindset not only in higher education curriculum, but also in early education and continuing education are seen as one of the way to economic empowerment and job creation in particular.

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Entrepreneurship Education in UK Secondary Education Stella Zhixin Xu

Abstract This chapter examines the current position of Entrepreneurship Education (EE) in UK secondary schools and colleges, conducts a systematic review of UK policies, national curriculum and evaluates UK EE key successes, challenges and international collaboration in secondary education. The chapter reviews and critically assesses the available international literature on impacts of enterprise and EE initiatives aimed at secondary schools and colleges, and maps the landscape of the provision of enterprise and EE initiatives in schools (mainly in England but also in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). This chapter initially defines enterprise and EE and its expected outcomes and impacts in a logic model together with the indicators that would show they had been achieved. A wide literature search identified over 100 documents from which 30 were selected for detailed review.

1 Introduction This chapter focuses on the development of entrepreneurial learning in young people aged 13–19 years, who attend secondary education schools or colleges in the UK. It examines the current position of EE in the national curriculum in UK secondary schools and colleges, it assesses the key features of education including successful case studies across the country and key challenges, the international collaboration within the EU and rest of the world. The chapter seeks to address questions such as • Is entrepreneurship treated as a key competence at school? • How open are schools to “incursion” from the “business world”? • Have there been a “revolution” in entrepreneurial education? The chapter will explore how EE could be adopted towards improving the skills of students and preparing the future workforce. It looks at not only the academic community but also the wide implications of policy changes at national level have on the teaching of EE. S. Z. Xu (B) Coventry University, Coventry, UK e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 S. Sawang (ed.), Entrepreneurship Education, Contributions to Management Science, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48802-4_2



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2 Overview Education may be viewed as paramount in shaping young people’s attitudes, skills and culture (Chell and Huber 2015) and this means that if we are to embed EE then it must be addressed from an early age. Before looking at the various aspects, it is also important to understand what we mean by ‘entrepreneurship education’. Entrepreneurship is not solely about business creation, but also about setting the right environment for the development of a skilled, innovative, entrepreneurial workforce able to anticipate change and face challenges (Chell and Huber 2015). It acts as a process going beyond the identification and teaching of competences, showing where knowledge acquisition, attitudes and intentions development, are fundamental to the process of entrepreneurship and the expression of entrepreneurial behaviour and outcomes (Chell and Huber 2015). If we accept this overarching definition then EE should be viewed as the process whereby these processes are learned, nurtured and developed (Igwe et al. 2019). EU policy on entrepreneurship is aimed at developing an entrepreneurial, flexible and innovative workforce in order to ensure future economic growth and to reduce (youth) unemployment (Chell and Huber 2015). The European Parliament policy paper on Youth Education and Entrepreneurship published in 2015 also suggests the extent to which Member States, including the UK, succeed in promoting entrepreneurship and how strongly it is embedded both in school curricula and in teachers’ trainings/attitudes (Chell and Huber 2015). In the UK, EE is identified as a priority at all education levels, a point reiterated in the 2014 Enterprise for All report (authored by Lord Young). Despite this assertion of its importance, the Government has not adopted a national strategy to support EE in schools. Instead the focus has been on smaller scale initiatives covering secondary schools, whilst also covering primary education (School Education Gateway 2019). The current policy-led interest in EE is therefore focused on the development of the enterprising person in the wider sense of an individual being equipped to cope with the new world of globalisation. According to Gibb (2008), the conceptual emphasis is consequently upon a model of development of personal enterprising or entrepreneurial skills in the population as a whole, applicable to the design and performance of all kinds of organisations, rather than solely upon those likely to be persuaded to start or grow a business.

3 National Curriculum in the UK The current UK education landscape can be traced back to the 1986 Education Reform Act which introduced the National Curriculum. This was a series of topics and competencies that schools were expected to teach that were common to all schools that were publically funded. Although the National Curriculum has been revised several times in the decades since the Act, the basic principles enshrined in

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the Act are still in place. If a subject is included then it is guaranteed that schools will focus on it, if it is excluded then it falls to the periphery of the education provision.

3.1 Current Position of EE in the National Curriculum EE currently forms part of the economic well-being strand of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE). Whilst EE is not specifically mentioned in the curriculum a close alternative, enterprise education, is mentioned and it is within this category that entrepreneurship falls. PSHE does not have a statutory basis and is not part of the formal UK National Curriculum (Gillie 2012), instead it is an optional subject that may be addressed by schools but it is not universally adopted. Whilst it is not compulsory, there have been a number of drivers for schools to adopt the teaching of EE. The regulatory body, Ofsted, published a report in 2010 on Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education in schools, based on evidence from inspections of 165 maintained schools in England between September 2006 and July 2009, taking into consideration economic understanding and financial capability in both primary and secondary schools (Gillie 2012). This stressed its importance but presented a mixed picture of its adoption. In addition, there are non-statutory programmes of study for primary and secondary pupils, which cover personal well-being and economic well-being and financial capability (Gillie 2012). Although currently this is not something that has been introduced, there have been repeated calls for enterprise education to be placed within the statutory curriculum. Following a review of enterprise education in 2002, the then Labour government introduced initiatives to promote links between schools and business, enterprise experience for pupils and work experience for 15 and 16 year olds that were aimed at providing more business experience (Gillie 2012). The following Coalition Government introduced programmes with similar motivations and introduced a new strategy for engaging schools, further education and universities in enterprise activities, which included support for schools to run their own businesses through the Enterprise Champions Programme (Gillie 2012).

3.2 Measurement of Success of EE in the UK Secondary Schools Despite these initiatives, it has proved tricky to measure the impact and scope of EE. Ofsted has published several reports specifically on enterprise education and financial education: Developing enterprising young people (Ofsted 2005). This evaluated enterprise learning in schools at Key Stage 4 (this covers pupils aged 14–16), drawing on the research of two surveys performed in 2003/04 and 2004/05. The surveys covered a


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range of schools providing Key Stage 4 enterprise education. The report highlighted some progress but found that many shortcomings identified in earlier surveys were still present. Developing financially capable young people (Ofsted 2008a). The report found that providing personal finance education in schools could have a significant and lasting impact on pupils’ future prosperity. However, the report noted that pressures on curriculum time, teachers’ lack of subject knowledge and expertise in the area led to a wide variation in provision. Developing young people’s economic and business understanding (Ofsted 2008b). The report evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of business education for 14–19-year-olds in schools and colleges, and in the provision of initial training of teachers to teach business education in schools. Whilst highlighting some positives, there was again little evidence that entrepreneurship was embedded within the curriculum. Economics, business and enterprise education (Ofsted 2011). The report evaluated the strengths and weaknesses in economics, business and enterprise education in primary schools, secondary schools and colleges. It covered both formally assessed economics and business courses taken by students.

4 Entrepreneurship Education in UK Secondary Schools UK is unusual in its approach to EE, in that tends to stress a broad range of skills and attributes that make an individual. The assumption is that if an individual possesses each of these skills and attributes then they are viewed as being an ‘entrepreneur’ (Mclarty et al. 2010). In contrast, most countries focus on entrepreneurship education, driven by a perceived need for more business start-ups and a more entrepreneurial economy. Consequently much of the research evidence concentrates on indicators of entrepreneurial intent and capability (a subset of enterprise in the UK context), with the development of broader enterprise skills seen as a collateral benefit rather than an aim in itself (McLarty et al. 2010; Gov.uk 2010). It should be noted that in the UK responsibility for education is a devolved power, with the four UK administrations taking different approaches to education and enterprise (McLarty et al. 2010; Gov.uk 2010). Therefore, it is worth looking at each part of the UK in turn.

4.1 Scotland Determined to Succeed, Scotland’s national approach to Enterprise Education, is widely quoted and often cited as good practice. It involves a complex interrelationship between government, schools and business (Gille 2012; McLarty et al. 2010; Gov.uk 2010):

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• Students have an entitlement to enterprise activities every year from Key Stage 1 (KS1) through to KS5 • KS5 students have an additional entitlement to case study activity based on local or Scottish businesses • All local authorities must have a communication strategy for raising the awareness and commitment of parents and carers to Enterprise Education • Business organizations (such as the Federation of Small Businesses, the Confederation of British Industry, Scottish Chambers of Commerce) must each identify a champion for Enterprise Education and work with the Ministerial Strategic Forum to improve business involvement. The literature suggests that Scotland is moving towards the Finland with a strong focus on employability and a very limited focus on entrepreneurship (Gillie 2012; McLarty et al. 2010; Gov.uk 2010).

4.2 Wales Wales on the other hand has a predominantly entrepreneurship focus, driven by its Youth Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Strategy (YES)—a joint initiative between education and economic development, targeting 5–25 year olds. Twenty characteristics of entrepreneurs have been identified and turned into a model for understanding and teaching entrepreneurship according to four themes: Attitudes, Creativity, Relationships and Organisation (ACRO) (Gille 2012; McLarty et al. 2010; Gov.uk 2010). To deliver the strategy: • Curriculum materials have been developed for 5–19 years • One teacher per key stage per school has been trained in entrepreneurship teaching • 300 ‘dynamo’ role models (local entrepreneurs) have been recruited to work with schools • Enterprise is included in the inspection framework • Every college and university has an entrepreneurship champion in place.

4.3 Northern Ireland A new curriculum was introduced in Northern Ireland, which included a new statutory subject area of Learning for Life and Work. Enterprise Education, or “business education” as it is described in Northern Ireland, is embedded in this strand of the curriculum, with a major focus on employability rather than entrepreneurship (McLarty et al. 2010). As business education is a curriculum topic, much of the onus is on teachers to deliver. The recently launched Careers education, information, advice and guidance strategy and supporting action plan—Preparing for Success—sets out a framework of learning opportunities for developing employability skills across all


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key stages. Small amounts of central funding are provided to a number of local business education partnerships (BEPs) to deliver activities such as careers conventions and to facilitate employer involvement with schools at key stages 3 and 4. In addition, central funding is provided to Young Enterprise Northern Ireland, Sentinus—an organisation promoting science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)—and Business in the Community, to run activities in schools (McLarty et al. 2010; Gov.uk 2010). It is important to note the differences in scale between England and the other countries in the UK. Where Scotland has around 380 secondary schools in total, in England there are 3500, including 290 Business and Enterprise Colleges and 60 specialist enterprise Academies. This inevitably has implications for policy implementation, as smaller countries of the UK have more manageable numbers of schools in which to test and roll-out enterprise initiatives, and with which to maintain relatively close working relationships (McLarty et al. 2010; Gov.UK 2010).

4.4 Current Position of EE in the School Curriculum The Department for Education (DFE) UK generally fails to recognise EE but has made efforts to define Enterprise education. Enterprise education, is defined as consisting of enterprise capability, supported by financial capability and economic and business understanding (Department for Education 2012). The enterprise capability is the ability to handle uncertainty and respond positively to change, to create and implement new ideas and new ways of doing things, and to make reasonable risk/reward assessments and act on them in one’s own personal and working life. It can also be described as innovation, creativity, risk management, having a ‘can-do’ approach and the drive to make ideas happen. Financial capability is the ability to manage one’s own finances and to become questioning and informed consumers of financial services. Economic and business understanding is the ability to understand the business context and make informed choices between alternative uses of scarce resources (Gillie 2012). Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK) worked with the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) to produce the first UK guidelines for teaching Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education in the curriculum in 2012 (Enterprise Educators UK 2012; Jarman 2019). EEUK and QAA defined “Enterprise: the application of creative ideas and innovations to practical situations” and “Entrepreneurship: the application of enterprise skills specifically to creating and growing organizations in order to identify and build on opportunities, which develops the capacity for students to generate and demonstrate how ideas are developed into innovative products and services which deliver cultural, economic, environmental, intellectual, and social value, with a view to enhancing an individual’s ability to contribute to social and commercial activity and wider society” (Chell and Huber 2015; Jarman 2019). This involves a mix of business & market awareness, professional skills development, and mindset development around personal values, motivation, risk-tolerance, and opportunity assessment. EE

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develops specific knowledge on how to start a venture that capitalises on that idea (Jarman 2019).

5 Assessment of the Impacts of EE in UK Secondary Schools Matlay and Carey (2007) discuss that conceptual and contextual as well as design and delivery factors can impact significantly upon EE courses developed in UK HEIs and in secondary education. Participation of EE in both secondary schools and colleges does lead to students acquiring relevant business related knowledge, skills and competences for enterprise and entrepreneurship (Department for Education 2012, Department for Business Innovation and Skills 2013); participants are more likely to change attitudes, such as risk taking, and intentions, such as around being selfemployed or being entrepreneurial, than non-participants (Department for Education 2012; Department for Business Innovation and Skills 2013; Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency 2012).

5.1 Key Achievements—Positive Impacts Achieved if EE Is Embedded into School Curriculums The European Parliament policy paper on Youth Education and Entrepreneurship highlights that some competences are easier for young people (aged 13–16 years) to grasp (for example, leadership and team-working), whereas others, for example, risktaking, are particularly difficult for them (Chell and Huber 2015). This is important for EE as given its status as an optional subject, the time afforded to it is necessarily limited.

5.2 Enhanced Employability and Enterprise Skills The extent to which enterprise education is embedded into a school curriculum varies significantly amongst schools (McLarty et al. 2010; Gillie 2012; Hilpern 2019). Where successfully embedded within the curriculum, schools see enterprise education as having a positive impact on pupils’ employability and enterprise skills, self-awareness and their own enterprise capabilities and their business and economic understanding (McLarty et al. 2010). Participation does lead to the acquisition of relevant business related knowledge, skills and competences for enterprise and entrepreneurship reported by learners; in one instance these have been tested before and after; in some instances they have been


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compared to students who have not participated (Department for Business Innovation and Skills 2013). Participants are more likely to change attitudes, such as risk taking, and intentions, such as around being self-employed or being entrepreneurial, than non-participants; with an indication in one study that some students firm up their intentions as a result of such courses because they decide whether starting up a business is for them (Department for Business Innovation and Skills 2013).

5.3 Higher Level of Staff Motivation Schools reporting higher levels of Enterprise Education embedded into the curriculum also report higher levels of staff motivation and an improved teacher understanding of Enterprise Education as a teaching and learning style (McLarty et al. 2010). A more embedded and whole school approach to Enterprise Education helps to raise teachers’ awareness of the value and impact of integrating enterprise within different subjects. However, it still needs to be stressed that this refers to enterprise education rather than EE and hence, is not viewed as specific.

5.4 Improved Retention of Students Teachers also felt that effective Enterprise Education can improve the retention of pupils at risk of disengagement, increase the number of student-led activities and improve behaviour (McLarty et al. 2010). Whilst it is unclear why this is so, the engagement with students is of vital importance.

5.5 Influential Factors of Successful EE Delivery in Schools Research shows that countries stand out if they specify numerous learning outcomes for the various categories of attitudes, knowledge and skills relating to entrepreneurship or because they apply learning outcomes across several school levels (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency 2012).


Head Teachers’ Roles in EE

Head teachers’ training in EE has predictive power on schools’ EE activities and the studies indicate a great need for the development of head teacher training for EE (Ruskovaaraa et al. 2016) The results of variance and linear regression of analysis towards 135 Finnish general education head teachers show that while the head

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teachers and schools bring out some interesting differences, only the school level and the head teacher’s training in EEcan help to anticipate EE activities in the school (Ruskovaaraa et al. 2016). Focused support and involvement from senior management team (SMT) The evidence suggests that good Enterprise Education starts with focused support and involvement from the Senior Management Team (SMT) (McLarty et al. 2010). This support then sparks off a series of connected actions, ultimately leading to a culture of enterprise throughout the school (McLarty et al. 2010). This means that the push for a strong EE base is the conviction of those at the top of the organisation—given its optional status in UK education, this belief is key. Involvement from SMT is key to ensuring good communication of the benefits of enterprise to staff and pupils. Their role in discussing and implementing the school’s policy for Enterprise Education can directly impact on how well this is embedded across the curriculum (McLarty et al. 2010).


Engagement with Employers

Evidence gathered suggests that engaging employers is also a critical success factor, second only to support from SMT and allocating the appropriate set-up time to enterprise (McLarty et al. 2010). External provision can complement curriculumbased activities by supporting extracurricular opportunities and collapsed timetable events, incorporating cross-curricular themes (McLarty et al. 2010).

6 Successful Case Studies of EE in UK State Schools in Collaboration with Young Enterprise Young Enterprise, a charity that works with schools, colleges and universities to improve enterprise skills among young people has conducted research which highlights that “there is some excellent work going on in schools around enterprise and entrepreneurship, but it’s patchy and inconsistent”. The research aims to examine which schools are combining academic with enterprise learning to produce school leavers who are truly prepared for a global employment market (Hilpern 2019). It is set out to explore which are the best schools at developing this mindset, what approaches are they taking and what impact is it having on the youngsters themselves (Hilpern 2019). Margaret Ambrose, spokesperson for Young Enterprise, further explains that ‘enterprise education matters because these skills are increasingly important for


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young people when they leave full-time education and because the confidence youngsters get from getting involved in enterprise programmes can be huge’. Case study 1: Ilfracombe Academy, North Devon—A Specialist Arts School and Six Form A book company called ‘Save Our World,’ which has produced three children’s books to show the effects of plastic pollution on marine and sea life, is proving a big hit among businesses and members of the public—and not just in the UK, but in Spain, Israel and even Australia. Now on its fifth print run, it’s all down to the work of this co-ed state secondary school’s Young Enterprise Company Programme team, which is made up of fifteen year 12 students. ‘The students had to create, market and sell their product—no mean feat, considering they get absolutely no financial contribution from either the school or Young Enterprise,’ says Richard Vale, who oversees the project. Vale, who works closely with the Rotary club and other local organisations to provide both leadership and voluntary opportunities, as well as business advice, explains that Ilfracombe is in a rural and isolated location. ‘The catchment, although relatively large, is somewhat deprived in terms of affluence and job opportunities. Giving our students ways and means to access different experiences of business and learn financial and commercial skills is a vital part of what we strive to do.’ The team of pupils, which Young Enterprise describes as ‘extremely professional, focused and enthusiastic,’ are studying a mixture of subjects, with some but not all doing a business studies BTec. ‘Quite a few have been nominated for awards and a very quiet student, who previously wouldn’t say boo to a goose, is now doing radio interviews and contacting television programmes to discuss the book.’ Case study 2: North Chadderton School, Lancashire—An Academy The school recently became part of a Multi Academy Trust “The Oak Trust for Inspirational Learning and Leadership” which has a focus on developing into a Secondary, Primary Trust with local Primary Schools to support an Early Years to Post-16 educational pathways (North Chadderton School 2020). Winner of the 2017 TES1 Entrepreneurial Schools Award, this co-ed state secondary school grabs every opportunity it can to further entrepreneurial skills of all its pupils. Even 11-year-olds sell products and services to the local community. ‘We have always had a strong and popular business studies department, with teachers who really want to enthuse pupils about enterprise,’ says business curriculum leader, Amanda Marsh. ‘With the help of the senior leadership team at the school, this love of enterprise has now developed into a whole school initiative so that no pupil leaves the school without being work and life ready.’ There’s no shortage of partnerships with businesses such as KPMG, PwC and the Pennine Health Trust. The school participates in all Young Enterprise events ranging from accountancy masterclasses at PricewaterhouseCoopers to the Tenner Challenge 1 The TES Schools Awards, celebrates the extraordinary commitment, quality and innovation shown

by teachers and support staff across the UK.

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run within the school and the Young Enterprise Company Programme team attends workshops and trading opportunities to help develop their soft skills in business. ‘We believe that being involved in enterprise at a young age will inspire our next generation of entrepreneurs and will hopefully give those pupils enthusiasm about school in general,’ says Marsh, who says Justine Greening MP (previous Secretary State of Education) came to talk to the pupils as a result of hearing about the school’s commitment to enterprise—and Andy Haldane (chief economist of the Bank of England) has also given a talk to pupils. Trips also form a major focus of the school, with pupils regularly visiting local, national and international businesses across Europe. The TES reports, ‘They have a real desire to create well rounded students who have both the academic and the business skills to compete in the world or business and are looking to better the future generations through programmes and schemes of work throughout their education.’ Case study 3: Highcrest Academy, Buckinghamshire Winner of the 2016 TES Entrepreneurial Schools Award, this co-ed state secondary school joined sixteen other winners from schools all over Europe. And in 2017, five year 10 students and two teachers were flown to an international trade fair in Lithuania after inventing a new gadget to give people a cheap way to hook up neon lighting. The students were part of a Young Enterprise company called Mörk Valo formed at the academy. The company sold dozens of the kit, which retailed at £4.99 but cost just £2.89 to produce. Highcrest was one of just three UK schools among the 50-strong group of companies at the event. The school’s belief in preparing students for the world of work is probably best illustrated though through its partnership with Johnson & Johnson. A unique threeyear project, called Bridge To Employment, between Highcrest and the healthcare giant was launched in February 2016. Volunteers from the firm act as mentors to guide students through various activities and sessions. A report from the University of Derby revealed this year that the scheme has been a factor in improved science and language grades, as well as enhanced confidence in career planning and team-work skills. Over the past year, the school has run two Young Enterprise teams—a year 12 team called SoundSafe which created and sold quality wooden earphone tidies and a year 10 team called Crystalite, which created hand-grown crystal candle holders. And this April, the academy’s success story continued as it came second in a Sales Apprentice Challenge competition. ‘The academy understands that in addition to achieving impressive academic results, our students need to have all the skills needed to succeed in the world of work,’ explains careers lead Rob Evans. Case study 4: Watford Grammar School for Girls, Hertfordshire This girls’ grammar school is bursting with entrepreneurial activity. This year alone, two successful companies have hit the ground running. ‘The school has a wellestablished Young Enterprise programme for our Y12 students and this year’s students have worked with a business advisor, who kindly volunteers his time to support


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the students,’ says Robert Houslin, lead teacher of business. ‘Both of the companies— EcoCosmetic and Certi—have been very successful and have progressed to the Herts County Final of the national Young Enterprise competition. EcoCosmetic produces environmentally-friendly cosmetics, with products including rose and lavender soap, rose bath bombs and make-up bags. ‘We learned quickly how to handle large amounts of responsibility, work together and meet deadlines efficiently,’ one of the students told us. The company has sold their products at a number of events and have marketed via a dedicated Instagram channel and their own website. Meanwhile, Certi produced a children’s book with a powerful message. ‘Inspired by the diversity of the school,’ the students said they wanted to create a book which would ‘teach children to celebrate their differences’. Their book, ‘A Princess Like Me’, follows a princess called Zaelia located on the planet Zorg. She has been given the role of princess but is unsure of what to do. With the help of a hippo called Hoff, she travels to earth to see what makes a good princess. On her journey, seven different princesses from different ethnic backgrounds teach her lessons in kindness, happiness, determination, honesty, forgiveness, respect and equality. Encouraged by the positive response to their first book, the students are now working on further publications—‘A Prince Like Me’ and ‘A World Like Mine’—a book about environmental issues. Case study 5: Devonport High School for Boys, Plymouth One sixth-former has created a successful fudge business, while another group is working on developing land skis. ‘They were told quite early on that they probably wouldn’t succeed, but this just made them keener and even by exploring the challenges, it’s clear there may be things that spin off it. They’ve learned so much from practising business pitches, getting legal advice about how much they can give away about their ideas and how to crowdfund.’ Right from the off, boys have business and enterprise lessons. ‘This not only helps them in other subjects, but encourages a big take-up of computer science and business studies at GCSE,’ says Alan Jenkins head of enterprise education. No boy is given any financial aid, but they are taught about how to access funding and share ownership. ‘It makes them very accountable,’ says Jenkins, who reports that confidence among boys that get involved has soared. The dedicated space is set up within the school for enterprise that many of them wind up utilising. ‘All boys with a business idea are aligned with a teacher with the relevant skill set to help them develop it and we help them get access to other business mentoring too, thanks to some great local business partnerships. It pays off, with many of them having developed businesses they continue to run alongside their studies—with some pursuing them when they leave school instead of going to university. It’s all about getting them to drive their own futures’, he says.

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7 Successful Case Studies of EE in UK Private Schools in Collaboration with Young Enterprise Case study 1: Milton Abbey, Dorset—A Boarding School ‘Milton Abbey runs the innovative Entrepreneurship in Residence competition, aiming to inspire pupils with ambitions to launch their own business,’ reports a reviewer about this co-ed day and boarding school. ‘Top-notch designers like Anya Hindmarch, Johnnie Boden and Cath Kidston and Carphone Warehouse founder David Ross have all fronted the scheme.’ The annual competition, which awards £2000 to the most marketable and well researched business idea, is open to all pupils. ‘There’s an entrepreneurial element in the Milton Abbey DNA, partly because we are a young school—under 60-years-old,’ explains headmaster Magnus Bashaarat. ‘So that means we are more likely to produce self-starters and creative entrepreneurial people than establishment politicians and diplomats. This competition is a way to celebrate that.’ Last year’s winner is still successfully manufacturing door stops from off-cuts from fireplaces, while the previous winner continues to import and sell Brazilian liqueur. ‘This year’s winner is a girl who is making washbags out of recycled, reclaimed materials,’ says Bashaarat. Unlike some boarding schools, students do work experience—‘usually with school alumni (an Inner Temple barrister and a Coutts banker were among those who volunteered this year),’ reports a reviewer. The school also has an Entrepreneur in Residence – this year, it’s Annoushka Ducas, co-founder of Links of London and jewellery brand, Annoushka. And unusually for an independent school, Milton Abbey offers a BTec in Understanding Enterprise and Entrepreneurship—a two year course starting in the first year of sixth-form. ‘We got rid of business studies A level, which seemed to be a lot of writing up of case studies with very little practical learning, whereas the BTec is all about learning what it’s actually like to start up and run your own business,’ explains Bashaarat. Case study 2: Stowe, Buckingham—A Boarding School ‘A privileged education for those for whom more conventional schools might feel too much like a straitjacket,’ is how a reviewer sums up this co-ed independent boarding school. ‘Children need to find their passion and drive, to be inspired and to inspire, to appreciate the beauty of life, to be creative, to find their utopia. And that’s what we do at Stowe, awakening pupils’ enthusiasm and excitement and igniting the spark,’ headmaster Dr. Anthony Wallersteiner told us. No wonder that teaching entrepreneurship is embedded throughout the curriculum and enhanced through extracurricular activities and guest speaker visits. ‘Teaching staff and students are exposed to only the most up-to-date teaching resources in case studies available,’ says head of careers, Gordon West. ‘And students that are not studying the business A level—which, by the way, is the most popular A level at the school now—can also access these.’


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It helps, he says, that ‘teaching staff come from varied backgrounds including self-employed, SMEs and the more traditional teaching routes. This offers students insights into how economic and business cycles have influenced sectors that they may not think about’. With entrepreneurial alumni including the likes of Richard Branson and Marc Koska, there’s no shortage of inspiration. In fact, the Richard Branson award—the winner of which gets a week’s work experience with Branson himself—attracts some very innovative ideas, says West. ‘One winner started up a successful meat packing distribution business in the States after identifying a gap in the market for top quality mail order beef. And the most recent winner created a fanzine for The Saints football club (Southampton), establishing himself as the go-to-multi-media outlet for Southampton fans by building the site “Oh when the Saints”. Case study 3: Moreton Hall, Shropshire—An Independent School ‘Moreton Enterprises is a unique business venture consisting of a shopping mall run entirely by the girls. There is a branch of Barclays Bank and home-grown shops selling everything from stationary to records. The girls have business mentors, but basically the lower sixth operates as a small business turning over £50,000 a year. It is seriously impressive. Moreton Connect aims to create a network of Old Moretonians (OM) and parent contacts for careers advice and work experience opportunities.’ Impressive stuff from a review of this independent school for girls aged from 11 to 18 with a linked junior school. The Director’s Table is a new initiative this academic year, involving the year 12 Moreton Enterprises Team attending a series of lectures from top enterprise bods on subjects such as women in leadership, preparing for careers which don’t yet exist and managing change—whether that’s switching degree choices at university or how to manage redundancy. The brainchild of OM businesswoman Clare Downes, the concept of The Director’s Table was based on ‘introducing our young entrepreneurs to real life issues and areas to consider, regardless of their career choice, through conversation and engagement with successful business women,’ explains Caroline Lang, senior sixth form tutor. ‘It all takes place in a pavilion slightly away from the school—that’s important as this is about their journey of leaving school and becoming work-ready. It’s not about “what I want to be and how I can get the practical skills to get there”, but “how I can prepare for the ups and downs ahead”.’ The team ‘absolutely love’ being part of the conversation with these exciting, inspiring women who have brought the real world of work into the school environment, says Lang.

8 EE in UK Further Education (FE) Colleges Turning now to colleges of Further Education in the UK. Colleges are not governed by the National Curriculum and so are able to be more flexible in what they teach.

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This means that subjects such as EE are rather more developed. Colleges have looked to embed EE within vocational courses and have often linked with local businesses to help this process. The history of colleges also helps this process. Colleges are often set up to help local industry and with EE having a higher profile, colleges have responded to this. There are however positive statistical relationships between various enterprise and entrepreneurship education learning activities in school and tertiary education and economic impacts including starting a new business (strong evidence for entrepreneurship course graduates); increasing employability and earnings; and contributing to the growth of businesses (especially for graduates entering small businesses). These suggest that enterprise and entrepreneurship education is a positive stimulus (Department for Business Innovation and Skills 2013).

9 Key Challenges of Entrepreneurship Education in UK Secondary Schools Before bringing together the key challenges for EE in the UK, it is important to look at a key moment in enterprise education. The UK Review of Enterprise Education chaired by Howard Davies (2002) and Enterprise Insight, aims to bringing together all the key stakeholders to celebrate and develop a wide range of enterprise related initiatives (Gibb 2009). It aimed to cover the following: • • • • • • •

The policy rationale for the initiatives in this area The enterprise/entrepreneurial concept to be derived from this rationale The related desired outcomes from the process and associated inputs The pedagogical challenges linked to this Teacher skills and ownership The relationship of the concept to wider educational goals and practice Where in the curriculum it should be placed and how it might be integrated.

What is showed was the diversity of experience in this area. Whilst there were many examples of schools using many of the schemes described above, others had very little evidence that EE was embedded in the curriculum. Schools that were struggling to deliver enterprise were concerned about the time it takes to develop an approach that was often championed by staff. This tended to stem from a presumption that focused time would need to be spent on this on a regular basis. Despite that, the findings suggested that although some time is required for meeting with subject leads and building up provision, this is relatively time effective once integrated throughout the school (McLarty et al. 2010). Whilst this study is now somewhat dated, the evidence it presented is still resonant of the current UK landscape.


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9.1 Lack of Teaching Resources, Training and Support Jack and Anderson have suggested that teaching entrepreneurship is a bit of an enigma since the actual entrepreneurial process involves both art and science. Education for enterprise, deals more with the preparation of aspiring entrepreneurs for a career in self-employment with the specific objective of encouraging participants to set-up and run their own business. In exploring the relationship between education and entrepreneurship, Gibb has contrasted the classroom learning situation with the real world learning environment of the entrepreneur (Henry et al. 2017). There are a number of critical constraints, not least of which is resources within the school and external teacher training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Chell and Huber (2015) explain that it is very easy to write wish lists of what teachers should be doing in the classroom, but without the necessary resources, the basic training and the support within the school and at national level, the achievement of entrepreneurial competence in students is likely to be unmet.

9.2 Lack of Embedding Entrepreneurship Education A further challenge revolves around the curriculum. In the UK a typical secondary school (student ages from 11–16 years) offers a range of subjects in the Arts (e.g. languages, history, drama, music), the Sciences, (e.g. astronomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics), Social Sciences (e.g. geography, health & social care, media studies, ICT) and Technical Subjects (e.g. Technology—food, graphics, textiles, resistant materials; music technology). Non-examined courses typically include, Physical education, Citizenship, Careers, Enterprise and Health. The school is likely to have ‘themed days’ which aim to develop the students’ personal and entrepreneurial skills, and may include visits to local businesses and workplaces. The emphasis is academic attainment and is comparable to the Austrian gymnasia. Three observations may be made: (a) the separation of skills’ teaching; (b) the absence from the curriculum of subjects such as economics and finance; and (c) most obviously the absence of any attempt to embed EE across the disciplines. This falls short of what is needed to prepare students for future careers in which they draw on transversal skills and an entrepreneurial mindset (Chell and Huber 2015; School education gateway 2019). Whilst the majority of schools in the UK are state schools a number of different types of school have been established, specifically academies and free schools. Indeed, the different types of schools potentially offer opportunities to address mixed educational needs. However, the newness of the recently established wave of academies and free schools is of itself a constraint (Chell and Huber 2015).

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9.3 Insufficient Attention on Gender Impacts on EE A further issue is that of gender. Insufficient attention has been given to gender impacts on enterprise learning (EL). This is surprising given that we know about disparities in take up of STEM subjects between males and females (Stephan and ¨ El-Ganainy 2007; deBruin et al. 2007; Karata¸s-Ozkan and Chell 2015). Moreover, a recent OECD report (2015) shows a continued gap in attainment in mathematics and that the choice of STEM subjects is lower in girls. There is a higher incidence of start up activity by males and females tend to be more risk averse (Harding and Bosma 2006). However, there are now more women obtaining degree level education and it would appear that female entrepreneurs in the US and Europe are “a particularly educated group” (Kelley et al. 2013: GEM 2012 Women’s Report 13). But, it would appear that these well-educated women are tending to run businesses with lower potential, suggesting they are not performing to their full capability. Findings such as these have implications for young people’s engagement in the labour market and the price they can get for their labour. The GEM study recommends, for example, that youth (and particularly females) may benefit more from early start up activity before they have family commitments and associated financial obligations. This, they suggest, may have the added benefit of preparing them for other employment roles later and also as a source of role models for other aspiring young women entrepreneurs. The relative absence of education and training initiatives in the developed countries of Europe to address such issues is unacceptable.

10 Future Outlook of EE and Trends The current generation of young Britons leaving education have never gone into the labour market with more years of schooling and higher levels of qualifications yet they are losing out in the struggle for employment. The ratio of youth to adult unemployment has crept upwards over the last generation with earnings squeezed compared to older workers. It is a paradox of modern society—witnessed across the OECD countries—and raises fundamental questions about whether young people are being prepared effectively for twenty-first century employment (Carberry et al. 2015). Schools can, and should, respond to changes in the labour market by extending and adapting what, and how, they teach, ultimately narrowing the distance between the classroom and the workplace (Carberry et al. 2015). The landscape of initiatives to support enterprise education in the UK is very diverse and a lot of good practice examples are available. Some initiatives focus on institutions, others on individuals, teachers and/or pupils (School education gateway 2019).


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10.1 National Standard for Enterprise Education The National Standard for Enterprise Education is a support network that aims to improve the standard of EE. It aims at supporting schools in the implementation of EE and helps schools to determine their own vision of EE. Using mentoring, schools can reflect on their own needs and the needs of their students. The National Standard targets institutions (school leaders), as well as individual teachers (School Education Gateway 2019).

10.2 The National Enterprise Teacher Award Launched in 2014, the National Enterprise Teacher Award is an initiative implemented by Enterprise Village, an association supporting EE at schools. The aim is to recognise and promote best practice. The Award is a response to the “Enterprise For All” Report. It targets teachers at primary and secondary schools and those who are interested will get a mentor to help them through the application process. All the teachers who apply have access to various curriculum resources, such as guidance materials, presentations, case studies or reports (School education gateway 2019).

10.3 A Guide to Enterprise Education for Teachers and Leaders at Schools The guide to Enterprise Education For Enterprise Coordinators, teachers and leaders at schools aims to help embed EE into lesson plans, and to apply existing ideas and good practice in the school’s own approach. It also emphasizes the importance of working in partnership with the local community and with employers, giving examples of how these groups or individuals can to help develop this within schools. It provides a number of case studies and advice to facilitate integrating EE at schools. The guide’s primary target audience includes schools (school leaders) and teachers (School education gateway 2019). However, it must stressed again that this is an optional subject so the danger is that it is only going to be used by those who are already engaged in the process.

10.4 Impact Evaluation Framework—England The Impact Evaluation Framework is a new tool, which is currently being developed by Ready Unlimited, in partnership with the Centre for Education and Industry at the University of Warwick and the Centre for Education and Training at Lappeenranta

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University of Technology. Ready Unlimited was launched in 2005 by the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council as a school improvement programme for young people aged 4–19, to develop skills, attitudes and behaviours through enterprising and entrepreneurial learning. Today, it is an independent social enterprise which has trained approximately 1,800 teachers. The Centre for Education and Industry at the University of Warwick and the Centre for Education and Training at Lappeenranta University of Technology are the leading organizations of the above mentioned NSEE and the Measurement Tool for Entrepreneurship Education. The project team is working closely with practitioners (teachers and school managers) whose feedback was very valuable for the development of the framework. The framework covers the following areas: Ideas, Planning, Activity, and Capability. Each survey question is focused on an action or activity; for example, a question for head teachers asks whether they have an enterprise education policy, a question for teachers asks if they take local and regional industry strategies into account when they plan entrepreneurial learning for students, and a question for students asks whether they meet local business people and entrepreneurs. It not only enables those completing the surveys to measure what is and isn’t there, but each question is a concrete and easily understandable action that can be undertaken by respondents. The Impact Evaluation Framework is currently available only to a group of pilot schools. Early-stage feedback from users suggests that the tool has great potential because it aims for the triangulation of evidence sources. For example, teachers who have tested the tool commonly reported that capturing student views is “gold dust”, which has enabled them to sense-check their own perceptions and reflect on who may and may not be benefitting from their EE activities and adjust their practice accordingly (School education gateway 2019).

11 International Collaboration of EE in UK Secondary Education 11.1 EE in EU Nations The European Union’s Key Competence Framework states there are five key competences that enable an individual to turn ideas into action. They are: creativity, innovation, critical thinking, initiative and risk-taking, a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, the ability to turn ideas into action through creativity, innovation and risk taking as well as the ability to plan and manage projects.


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11.2 Creative Entrepreneurship in Schools (CENTRES) Project Creative Entrepreneurship in Schools (CENTRES) is an international initiative implemented in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Poland, Slovenia and the UK. The main aim of this initiative is to establish an online forum for sharing good practice in EE. The website of the project (http://centres-eu.org/) contains a lot of interesting materials, links and references, predominantly from the countries involved. They include a number of best practice examples but also offer policy recommendations. The initiative targets secondary schools. Almost 200 schools from all the partner countries are involved in this initiative (School education gateway 2019).

11.3 Norway EE in Norway is organized as a separate subject, as a topic in other subjects or it is integrated in subjects through projects (Johansen and Schanke 2012). The findings from data covering the whole population of secondary schools and data from a survey among a representative sample of school leaders, demonstrates that Norway, recognized as a European EE frontrunner has 90% of schools involved in EE (Martinez et al. 2010). It has hosted international policy conferences on EE, and has led by example in terms of how to anchor entrepreneurship in national policy documents (Johansen and Schanke 2012). Financial support from the government has also contributed to Junior Achievement–Young Enterprise (JA–YE) Norway becoming the leading JA–YE organization in Europe. The latter is important since JA–YE is Europe’s main provider of EE (Junior Achievement–Young Enterprise Europe 2011 Junior Achievement–Young Enterprise Europe 2011. Annual Report for Junior Achievement–Young Enterprise Europe) (Johansen and Schanke 2012). Most attempts at categorization typologies of EE include objectives such as identifying and preparing potential entrepreneurs for start-ups; understanding entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial processes in theory and practice; stimulating attitudes (enabling autonomous and risk-taking behaviour, for example); and training of trainers (Johansen and Schanke 2012).

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12 International Experience of Promoting Enterprise Education The evaluation of enterprise education that was published in July 2010, Evaluation of Enterprise Education in England, summarized other countries’ approaches to enterprise education. The following are extracts from the report (Gillie 2012).

12.1 Australia Australia uses a similar definition of Enterprise Education to England: “Enterprise Education is learning directed towards developing in young people those skills, competencies, understandings and attributes which equip them to be innovative, and to identify, create, initiate, and successfully manage personal, community, business and work opportunities, including working for themselves.” Enterprise Education is treated as a priority area within National Goals for Schooling in the Twenty-First Century, and is highlighted as a powerful tool for enhancing the education of boys, young people from indigenous communities and those from rural and remote communities. A recently completed four year project—Enterprising Learning for the 21st Century (EL21)—funded 47 projects to support young people in developing their enterprise capabilities. Funding of AUS$10 m (approx £5.6 m) supported these projects, which ranged from whole-community enterprise projects to the development of enterprise as an approach for re-engaging disengaged students. Prior to EL21, the Department for Education, Science and Training funded a two-year action research programme into Enterprise Education in 200 schools. This revealed a move towards a more holistic, curriculum-wide view of enterprise, away from extracurricular and “business studies only” activities (Gillie 2012).

12.2 New Zealand New Zealand shares the same definition of Enterprise Education with Australia, and makes an explicit link between enterprise and the “Kiwi identity”. Activity has focused on developing resources, including extensive enterprise-related curriculum materials for all subjects, for all key stages. These are made available through the Ministry for Education website (Gillie 2012).


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13 Recommendations 13.1 Integration of EE into National Curricula and School Curriculum EE can be integrated into general education in different ways: a cross curricular approach can be taken, it can be integrated into existing subjects or it can be introduced as a separate curriculum subject (Education et al. 2012). Moreover, although most countries explicitly recognise EE at least to some degree in primary and secondary education, the overall pattern of provision changes significantly from one school level to another (Education et al. 2012). Modules in basic finance, economics (cross-cutting geography, trade and globalisation) and business environments (linked to ICT and the use of the internet in business) should be included in the curricular of all schools across all member state to underpin and facilitate students’ understanding of the entrepreneurial process, the development of entrepreneurial competences, transversal skills and an innovative mindset (Chell and Huber 2015; Jarman 2019).

13.2 Entrepreneurship Training for Teaching Staff Commercial awareness is the primary by-product of enterprise education and increasingly that commercial awareness is critical to the employability of graduates (Jarman 2019). It is also critical that students see the ‘business ecosystem’ of different companies, products, services and roles that exist. The hidden world of business-to-business supply chains is enormous (Jarman 2019). Enterprise education that includes a strong experiential component is a valuable proving ground for skills development, professional behaviours, and establishing competency and confidence in work-related activities. This helps students identify their own strengths, weaknesses and preferences and to develop and enhance competencies useful far beyond business start-up. Communication, teamwork, negotiation, decision-making, resource acquisition, and opportunity evaluation—these are all skills with day-to-day applications in all walks of life and work (Jarman 2019). Establishing a student experience agenda, which includes organising and delivering clubs, societies, volunteering, and similar projects to engage in enterprise and entrepreneurship learning, can enhance the quality of the activities run, providing a better service to other students (Jarman 2019).

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Addressing the Pre/Post-university Pedagogy of Entrepreneurship Coherent with Learning Theories Alexandros Kakouris and Daniele Morselli

Abstract Entrepreneurship education has been initiated in higher education, especially Business Schools, as part of the curriculum but it is currently expanding to both pre- and post-university settings. It also encounters a split from academic environments to informal ones. At the crossroads of materializing educational needs in modern socioeconomic environments, this chapter aims to compare entrepreneurial teaching paradigms at different levels of the learner’s lifecycle. Once learning theories are important in supporting educators to precisely develop the pedagogy, compatibility between different theories and different levels of education underpins the systematic provision of entrepreneurial programmes across the learner’s lifecycle with consistent outcomes and evaluations. Drawing upon Illeris’s classification, this chapter addresses a selection of relevant learning theories to entrepreneurship: Dewey’s learning-by-doing, Kolb’s experiential learning, Lave and Wenger’s communities of practice, Engeström’s expansive learning and Mezirow’s transformative learning. From a lifelong learning perspective, the chapter discusses which educational theories are better suited to the school level where the entrepreneurial programmes are implemented. Thus, the chapter contributes to the pedagogical perspective of entrepreneurship, for which research has been limited.

1 Introduction Research in Entrepreneurship Education (hereafter EE) has been abundant yet less referenced compared with other entrepreneurial subjects (Kakouris and Georgiadis 2016). Our recent search in the Scopus database (19 Dec. 2019) returned a list of 651 journal articles for 2019 under the keywords “entrepreneurship” + “education” which reduces to 26 articles (4%) if the keyword “pedagogy” is added. A. Kakouris (B) University of Peloponnese, Tripolis, Greece e-mail: [email protected] D. Morselli Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 S. Sawang (ed.), Entrepreneurship Education, Contributions to Management Science, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48802-4_3



A. Kakouris and D. Morselli

However, when studying entrepreneurship, it is important to consider the specific learning processes being used (Pittaway and Cope 2007). As long as entrepreneurship itself can be thought of as a ‘dynamic learning process’ (Cope 2005), the theory of entrepreneurship calls for a learning theory (Minniti and Bygrave 2001). Fellnhofer (2019) recently mapped 1,773 research documents on entrepreneurship, written from 1975 to 2014, with the intention to systematically explore and cluster the EE field. Not surprisingly, one of the eight clusters she could identify deals with entrepreneurial learning. However, similarly to what Elkjaer (2018) explains for the educational literature, we observe that the EE literature is often unconcerned about the differences between learning theories; especially between experiential learning and learning-by-doing or transformative learning which appears mixed with other theories and referenced only as a ‘theory of reflection’ outside its context. The motivation of this study is to discuss the pedagogical framework of EE embedded throughout the lifecycle of learners. Questions we try to answer are: Which learning theories might educators rely on toward building the pedagogy of entrepreneurial programmes? How do these theories compare with each other? Are they appropriate for all levels of education? Is there evidence for their coherent use in the extant literature of EE? Addressing questions like these offers insights for both entrepreneurship educators and researchers regarding pedagogies theoretically grounded on robust learning theories and effective for specific educational levels and purposes. The aim is not to promote a theory as more appropriate against others, but to follow Wenger (2018) who remarks that, since there are diverse theories of learning and each of them points out diverse aspects, they are helpful for different objectives. In the same vein, Sfard (1998) identified, more than 20 years ago, two metaphors for learning: learning as acquisition and learning as participation. She maintained that giving up one of them is not desirable nor possible, because some things that can be achieved with the older metaphor (learning as acquisition) cannot be achieved with the newer one (learning as participation). In accordance with these views, the motive of the present study is to delve into learning theories in order to address a theoretical perspective for a holistic delivery of EE throughout the lifecycle of learners. Since learning theories have been numerous in educational studies, and have embraced different epistemologies (Hannon 2005), we consider a helpful guide to discuss theoretically grounded entrepreneurial pedagogies is the book by Illeris (2018) entitled “Contemporary Theories of Learning: Learning theorists … in their own words”. Illeris presents eighteen chapters from prominent scholars in the field offering a state-of-the-art description of the developments in learning since 1995. In the remainder of this chapter, the pedagogical issues of EE are briefly introduced together with five fundamental learning theories, identified by Illeris (2018). The fundamental learning theories selected are those which, following literature reviews on entrepreneurial learning (Fellnhofer 2019; Hägg and Gabrielsson 2019; Wang and Chug 2014; Mwasalwiba 2010), we consider the most appropriate for teaching entrepreneurship at various levels of education. Following Gibb (2005, p. 46), in this chapter EE is defined as a “set of behaviors, attributes and skills that allow individuals and groups to create change and innovation,

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and cope with, and even enjoy, higher levels of uncertainty and complexity”. The five theories selected are: (a) the fundamental pragmatist view of Dewey and the corresponding ‘learning-by-doing’, (b) Kolb’s experiential learning, (c) Mezirow’s transformative learning, (d) Lave and Wenger’s situated learning and (e) Engeström‘s expansive learning. In accordance with the demands of EE, we further discuss: • what is central in each learning theory, • how each theory applies to entrepreneurship, and • examples (if any) where there is evidence for the occurrence, in EE, of one of the theories, with a possible focus on policy documents. Secondly, we attempt to propose a comparative pattern for the appropriability of each learning theory for the development of entrepreneurial instruction in different levels of education. Finally, our conclusions are presented in the last part of this chapter.

2 Pedagogical Issues of EE By historically examining the emergence of EE (e.g. Katz 2003; Kuratko 2005; Solomon 2007), it becomes apparent that Business Schools in the US initiated this kind of instruction as part of the business curricula. It is also clear that, after the post-millennial educational bodies’ envisionment of entrepreneurship as a teachable discipline in academic settings (e.g. Kakouris et al. 2016; Oslo Agenda 2006), universities ‘took the baton’ in developing entrepreneurial courses consistent with the academically legitimate templates of Business Schools. Therefore, the Business School’s paradigm can be considered archetypical for EE and Higher Education; the cradle for its implementation. Nevertheless, the contemporary scope of EE exceeds mere informing about business phenomena or inducing immediate start-ups. It also aims at altering attitudes of trainees, making them more entrepreneurial in general (Kakouris and Liargovas 2020) and without temporal specification for the course of action (Aadland and Aaboen 2018). Despite EE being widely provided across the globe, only a small share of the associated research focuses on the pedagogy (Kakouris and Georgiadis 2016; Nabi et al. 2017; Neck and Corbett 2018; Robinson et al. 2016); hence it appears an underdeveloped subject of inquiry. Much of this type of education exerts influences from other fields adopting contingent theoretical approaches (Fiet 2001a, b). It also lacks a clear axiological basis, strives for legitimacy and appears fragmented without prevailing teaching models (e.g. Fayolle 2013; Johannisson 2016; Kyrö 2015; Mwasalwiba 2010; Nabi et al. 2017). Accordingly, entrepreneurial teaching faces internal and external difficulties for various reasons. The former are inherent to entrepreneurship as a field of research and study (Bygrave and Hofer 1992; Fiet 2001a) while the latter are due to institutional considerations of entrepreneurship as a teachable


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competence included in educational and career guidance policies under certain goals (Mwasalwiba 2010). In a recent literature review on the evolution of pedagogy to teach entrepreneurship, Hägg and Gabrielsson (2019) observe that the teaching methods have developed to become constructivist and student-centered. Departing from cognitively teaching students ‘about’ entrepreneurship (coherent with the acquisition metaphor of Sfard), entrepreneurial pedagogy has become constructivist to follow the ‘individualopportunity nexus’ of Shane and Venkataraman (2000). Meaningful entrepreneurial knowledge has to be constructed in the individual’s frame of reference instead of being transferred through lectures and books. In this way, the entrepreneurial learning can become holistic, capable of affecting the whole person and their decision-making. This learning process, which is developmental and highly experiential (i.e. progressive), has been pointed out in the extant literature (e.g. Kakouris 2017a; Krueger 2007; Minniti and Bygrave 2001; Piperopoulos and Dimov 2015; Pittaway and Cope 2007; Politis 2005). From early writings, Fiet (2001b) argues that even for theory teaching in classrooms (i.e. the knowledge acquisition metaphor of Sfard), the responsibility for theory-based activities (to master competencies) has to be delegated to students making the learning process active and student-led, leaving only the facilitator’s role to the instructor. Moreover, the literature is converging towards a progression model for EE (Hytti 2008; Lackéus 2015; Rasmussen and Nybye 2013). Such education should begin at an early age, made relevant to all students and embedded across all curricula, as recommended by policy documents such as European Commission, EACEA, Eurydice (2016). Later within the educational system, for example in Business Schools, entrepreneurship should be voluntary and adopt a business-focused approach. Similar discussions, e.g. what kind of EE for which educational level, have led to the distinction between the about/for/through forms of entrepreneurship education (e.g. Aadland and Aaboen 2018; Kakouris and Liargovas 2020; Lackéus 2015) and to the discernment of ‘enterprise’ from ‘entrepreneurship’ education in UK studies (e.g. Hannon 2005; QAA 2018; Rae 2010) and other European countries (Hytti 2008). Due to its ‘wide’ and inclusive perspective, nowadays EE exceeds higher education settings by encompassing secondary (or even primary) education, vocational education and training (VET) and lifelong learning (Lackéus 2015). The European Commission clearly considers entrepreneurship a basic competence (European Commission 2019; European Commission, EACEA, Eurydice 2016; Bacigalupo et al. 2016) that can be fostered through lifelong learning in order to facilitate the entire professional life of trainees (Morselli 2017). Accordingly, EE can be thought of as stemming from Business and Management Schools, adequately established alone or within disciplines in higher education (though optional in the majority of cases) and expanding in the rest of educational levels. Hence, the requisite to develop entrepreneurial instruction in schools, academic and lifelong learning settings entails

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a careful consideration of the pedagogy which, in turn, pertains to learning theories as conceptual pillars aspiring understanding of how humans learn.1

3 Learning Theories for Teaching Entrepreneurship 3.1 The Perspective of Pragmatism Since entrepreneurship broadly refers to making market value from practically nothing and coping with the inherent uncertainty of the market, entrepreneurial learning has been recognized as action-based (e.g. Rasmussen and Sørheim 2006). Learning-by-doing, for example, demands participation of the learner in activities where entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors can be nurtured. In this way, entrepreneurial learning aligns with the standpoint of pragmatism (e.g. Hägg and Kurczewska 2019; Pepin 2012; Taatila 2010) where experience and inquirybased learning are the central concepts. According to Dewey, pragmatism “is a method to think and act in a visionary and creative, as well as future oriented (i.e. consequences), manner” (Elkjaer 2018, p. 69). John Dewey introduced the philosophical principles of pragmatism in education almost a century ago. Dewey’s experience is characterized by specific features (Elkjaer 2018). The concept is ontological and founded on the transactional relationships between the subject and the world. Rather than being a mental state, experience is part of the objective conditions for individual action that changes via the individual response. Experience is characterized by reaching forward toward the unexplored; it is continuous and connected,2 and finally, inquiry is the only method to have experience. Dewey’s philosophy of experience recognized the value of making use of active learning strategies. He wondered: “Why is it, in spite of the fact that teaching by pouring in, learning by passive absorption, are universally condemned, that they are still so entrenched in practice?” (Dewey 1923, p. 46). Learning-by-doing entails first the active participation in a planned event (action), and then an analysis of and a reflection on what had been experienced; such reflection becomes a principle which is then applied in different life situations, work and study. ‘Hands-on’ or ‘problem-based’ learning are teaching strategies rooted to pragmatism. Dewey considers inquiry as a pathway to knowledge that follows five sequential steps (Elkjaer 2018, p. 78): (a) an indeterminate situation where a problem is felt, (b) intellectualization and definition of the problem, (c) inquiry into the condition of the situation and formulation of a working hypothesis, (d) reasoning (can be abductive) and (e) testing the hypothesis

1 The

present study confronts EE throughout the learner lifecycle and thus, it does not consider the learning areas of organizational learning or action learning (cf. Marsick and O’Neil 1999). 2 Elkjaer (2018, p. 75) stresses that “experience is a series of connected situations (organic circles) and even if all situations are connected to other situations, every situation has its own unique character”.


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in action. The final output can be a solution to problem (and control with the action) or a new idea or concept. Although very often implicitly, Dewey’s learning-by-doing is important for entrepreneurship in many instances, since it deals with learning through experience, hence trying something innovative and taking risks and then reflecting on the results for consequent action. Learning-by-doing is connected to EE in two ways (Pepin 2012): firstly, for the importance of establishing purposes, and secondly, for the need to test the hypothesis coming from reflection to the experience. Dewey’s philosophy stresses reflexivity (Lundmark et al. 2019) as a tool that characterizes all phases of the entrepreneurial process: only the dialectics between action and reflection create the entrepreneurial experience (Hägg and Kurczewska 2019). Moreover, Dewey’s notion of experience promotes creativity and innovation. For Elkjaer “taking a closer look at the Deweyan notion of experience may be helpful for the creation of a learning theory that answers the cry for creativity and innovation that, at least rhetorically, is in demand in contemporary enterprises and societies” (Elkjaer 2018, p. 73). Examples of pragmatist aspects in entrepreneurship are Sarasvathy’s (2001) theory of effectuation and entrepreneurial bricolage (Baker and Nelson 2005). Also, Cope and Watts (2000) affirm that learning-by-doing is crucial to understand how entrepreneurs learn from failure through action and reflection. The key concept connected to experience is the “critical incident”3 through which entrepreneurs learn. Hence, post-university educational programmes could be trialed, to help entrepreneurs reflecting on critical incidents to enhance their entrepreneurial learning. Looking for EE cases, Pepin (2018) recently explained how pupils in primary education can learn to be enterprising through Dewey’s inquiry-based learning. The pupils were engaged in the creation of a shop, the related inquiry process, and reflected critically on society, thus learning through being enterprising. Conducting a longitudinal study on primary school students, Lindh (2017) inspected how reflective practices challenge or maintain previously established attitudes towards entrepreneurship. In Swedish secondary schools, Lindster Norberg (2016) advocated the way in which EE can be considered progressive in a Deweyan sense. In lifelong learning settings, action-reflection learning may happen similar to Cope and Watts (2000). In higher education, Kolb’s experiential learning appears more frequent while in lifelong learning settings Mezirow’s transformative learning may appear more relevant. These other two theories have been founded on pragmatism but they exhibit their own features as well. Recently, O’Brien and Hamburg (2019) discuss how collaborative and problembased pedagogies align with the European framework for EE. Hands-on experiences have been considered key to learning entrepreneurship in the European Policy Documents, thus connecting (although implicitly) to Dewey’s experience and theory. From the early Oslo Agenda (2006) to specific guidelines for secondary entrepreneurship teachers (European Commission 2014), there are clear suggestions for reflection and


concept that will be also used in the ‘transformative learning’ section.

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learning-by-doing. In the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan the European Commission (2013) recognizes the role of practical entrepreneurship experiences to ignite entrepreneurial and innovation-oriented mindsets, thus emphasizing a learning-bydoing approach to EE. Moreover, “learning-by-doing” is part of the macro area “into action” and is a building block of the EntreComp framework. It is defined as: “Use any initiative for value creation as a learning opportunity. Learn with others, including peers and mentors. Reflect and learn from both success and failure” (Bacigalupo et al. 2016, p. 34). Moreover, the recently updated framework of the key European competences (European Commission 2019) stresses the importance of nurturing an entrepreneurship competence and to have at least one entrepreneurial experience during compulsory education.


Experiential Learning

Although Kolb (1984) drew from Dewey, he also considered other theorists, such as Kurt Lewin, Jean Piaget, William James, Carl Jung, Paulo Freire, Carl Rogers and others (Kolb and Kolb 2005), to develop a “holistic model of the experiential learning process and a multilinear model of adult development” (p. 194). Consequently his experiential learning, which was initially developed as an inventory of learning styles (Engeström and Sannino 2012), is a different form of learning than learning-by-doing (Ord 2012). Elkjaer (2018, p. 70) stresses that Dewey implies that “knowledge is just one part of experience alongside emotions, aesthetics and ethics” unlike Kolb, who considers experience only cognitively, emotionless, and strictly for knowledge creation4 —thus recalling Sfard’s metaphor of learning as knowledge acquisition. In Dewey’s experience, knowledge is not only the outcome of an interaction, but also takes part in planning a course of action—i.e. “it is just one part of experience” (p. 70). Kolb’s “experiential learning is to add ‘subjective personal meaning to abstract concepts’” (p. 71).5 Experience is converted to (new) knowledge through four distinct and sequential learning modes: concrete experience (CE), reflective observation (RO), abstract conceptualization (AC) and active experimentation (AE) (p. 70). The learner reflects on a given experience (captured through interaction with the outer world) to achieve abstract conceptualization of it (in their personal cognitive structure) which leads to further experimentation in order to test the new knowledge through a scheduled interaction with the outer world and a new experience. If this new experience is the anticipated one, learning stops otherwise the new experience triggers a new cycle of reflection-conceptualizationexperimentation until the obtained experiences attest the achieved conceptualization. This circular process is schematized in Fig. 1. Kolb introduces dialectic tensions between certain learning modes: the ones for experience grasping (CE–AC) and the ones for transformation of experience into 4 Elkjaer

(2018, p. 70) refers to experience as a ‘knowledge-affair’.

5 As Elkjaer (2018, p. 73) explains reproducing the 1896 critique of Dewey on the reflex arc, Kolb’s

theory is more aligned with the ‘orthodox’ concept of experience (Table 5.1, p. 76).


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Fig. 1 Adapted from Kolb’s (1984) model for experiential learning

knowledge (RO–AE). The preferences of individuals on specific modes of grasping and transforming experience leads to the articulation of four complementary learning styles: the diverging, dialectically opposed to converging, and the assimilating, dialectically opposed to accommodating. Kolb’s theory has received firm critique over time (see Engeström and Sannino 2012), more for the sequential process of learning through the four modes and less for the introduction of learning styles. Despite critiques, which are beyond the scope of the present chapter, this model has been the most used and referenced in literature. In the field of EE, experiential learning has been by far the most used learning theory (Fellnhofer 2019; Pepin 2012). In conclusion, Kolb’s model follows the pragmatist perspective but under a ‘quasi’-cognitive purpose. ‘Quasi’ here denotes the deviation from pure cognition as far as the reflective observation mode is included (e.g. Kakouris 2015) with wellknown critiques regarding the nature of reflection (e.g. Boud et al. 1996). In Kakouris (2015) a learning disorientation is described during reflective observation when it is unable to lead to abstract conceptualization in the collective level. Due to the cognitive perception of experience, Kolb’s model has been favored in EE when specific tasks are taught and examined. Combined with the concept of learning style, Kolb’s approach has been used on numerous occasions in management studies (e.g. human resources, building organizational capacities), workplace or career counseling. In the theory of entrepreneurship, Kolb’s model has been utilized in the concept of learning asymmetry in the context of entrepreneurial opportunity (Corbett 2007; Dimov 2007; Kakouris 2017b). It has been also used in modeling the process of opportunity identification in organizational settings (Corbett 2005). Kolb and associates have lately developed learning approaches to entrepreneurship based on experiential learning by examining how entrepreneurs interact in the social environment (Gemmell et al. 2012). In educational contexts, Piitaway and Cope (2007) propose a model for simulating ‘new venture planning’ in classrooms where specific Kolb learning modes are expected to participate in specific parts of the process (p. 219). The adoption of Kolb’s model for learning from experience largely relies on the recognition of entrepreneurial learning as a form of experiential learning (Politis

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2005). Beyond critiques from the learning perspective, Kolb’s model has offered a theoretically-grounded framework for educators to build teaching upon experience when concrete problems or tools (e.g., SWOT, CANVAS, 5Ps, Marketing plan, Business games, etc.) have to be tackled, specific notions need to be comprehended or basic competencies need to be examined in classroom. Business plan teaching, for example, is considered a form of experiential learning (Honig 2004). Educational policies and guidelines for entrepreneurship have clearly recognized the utility to pursue experiential learning—with or without direct references to Kolb’s model. For instance, the British Quality Assurance Agency (QAA 2018) mentions ‘experiential learning’ (three times though the document) for the ‘for’ mode of EE where the learner is practicing with tools and comprehends entrepreneurial concepts (i.e. what it means to be enterprising) as a preparatory stage for real entrepreneurial activity. While QAA seems only to refer to experiential learning, Kolb’s experiential learning is suggested for situations where something concrete and specific has to be learned whilst emotions, and more generally attitude, are not the main concern (Kakouris and Liargovas 2020). Such situations are more likely to be encountered in higher education curricula.


Transformative Learning

Mezirow (2018) established transformative learning—a theory suited to adult education—on the philosophy of pragmatism acknowledging influences from the work of Dewey (among others). Raikou and Karalis (2020) closely examined direct and indirect ties between the two learning theorists concluding that Dewey’s theory has been diffused across Mezirow’s writings without explicit references such as “pragmatism has been taken for granted”. Beyond Sfard’s (1998) metaphors for learning, Mezirow departs from the pillars of pragmatism but also evolves the theory and practice of transformation by focusing on habits of mind, isolation of problematic assumptions and ways to change them (Raikou and Karalis 2020). Common concepts between Mezirow and Dewey are the notion of habit and the definition of reflection (Mezirow 1990). Following Habermas in distinguishing communicative from instrumental learning, Mezirow assumes active participation of the person in construing the meaning of an experience or situation in both cases. Transformative learning has a certain focus on personal assumptions (and points of view) under its own terminology. Mezirow uses the ‘frame of reference’ of the individual as the core entity that can be transformed through learning. He defines (Mezirow 2018 p. 116): “Frames of reference are the structures of culture and language through which we construe meaning … These preconceptions set our ‘line of action’”. A frame of reference consists of (a) habits of mind and (b) resulting points of view. The former are “… broad, abstract, orienting, habitual ways of thinking, feeling and acting, influenced by assumptions that constitute a set of codes …” while the latter illustrate habits of mind on shaping particular interpretations and “… are more accessible to awareness, to feedback from others.” (p. 116). Then, “Transformative learning is an adult


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dimension of reason assessment involving the validation and reformulation of [the previous] meaning structures” where “Reasoning is understood as the process of advancing and assessing a belief” (p. 117). The learning process that enables transformation to happen, once a meaning structure is problematic, is critical reflection: (a) on others’ assumptions (‘objective’), (b) on own assumptions (‘subjective’), or alternatively, (c) participation in a Habermanian critical-dialectical discourse. The reasoning is known as critical self-reflection and it is thought more likely to happen during critical events (e.g. life crises) which stand by the notion of the ‘disorienting dilemma’ (Mezirow 1981). Transformative learning originates from a disorienting dilemma. This implies that it is not always possible in classrooms, or cannot be a predefined goal of the curriculum, unless a demand emerges through diagnosing a learning dysfunction (a disorientation) due to tacit personal assumptions. As initially articulated by Mezirow (1978, 1981), a disorienting dilemma is a major experience for a person (dramatic and often traumatic), a situation where the person is frustrated, unable to derive meaning, starting to question their own-beliefs. Nonetheless, other scholars suggest that learning disorientations able to trigger transformative learning can be milder in nature (e.g. Laros 2017; Nohl 2015). According to Mezirow (1978 [2018], p. 118), transformative learning proceeds through the following ten phases: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

a disorienting dilemma; self-examination with feelings of fear, anger, guilt or shame; a critical assessment of assumptions; recognition that one’s discontent and the process of transformation are shared; exploration of options for new roles, relationships and action; planning a course of action; acquiring knowledge and skills for implementing one’s plans; provisional trying of new roles; building competence and self-confidence in new roles and relationships; a reintegration into one’s life based on conditions dictated by one’s new perspective.

It needs to be noted that although, typically, the appearance of a disorienting dilemma triggers the transformative learning process, its existence may remain inconspicuous in practice. Sometimes learners may consciously or unconsciously silence internal misconceptions or negative sentiments which hinder their learning. To facilitate transformative learning and leverage its emancipatory potential, a (critical) educator may decide to discuss in the classroom contingent critical questions to deduce possible latent distortions or conflictions in meaning-making and (weak) disorientation before a salient critical event. The identification of the crucial critical questions at this stage is essential in order to isolate the problematic assumptions, or points of view, which need to be transformed. This is a delicate procedure undertaken by experienced educators who are aware of their own assumptions and restrict their actions within the ‘role of educator’ (Cranton and Wright 2008). The difference between Mezirow’s and Dewey’s initial step lies in the nature and magnitude of the dilemma: the former referring to salient emotional and dramatic ‘critical events’ (life

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crises) and the latter to ‘weak’ disorientations (i.e. the above mentioned indeterminate situation where a problem is felt) in conceiving the meaning of the experience (Raikou and Karalis 2020). In entrepreneurial studies, Mezirow’s transformation has been utilized in the context of ‘discontinuous learning’ in the lifetime of the entrepreneur or the small firm (e.g. Cope 2003; Deakins and Freel 1998; Rae and Carswell 2000). The ‘epochal’ transformation (a case in Mezirow’s theory contrasted to cumulative, gradual transformation) supports discontinuous learning events under a Kuhnian perspective (Kakouris 2011). Besides, the sudden alteration of deep beliefs due to criticaldevelopmental experiences (Krueger 2007) reflects the ‘critical events’ confronted in transformative learning. Furthermore, cases of deep reflection and possible selfreflection based on life-stories and ‘learning episodes’ (Rae and Carswell 2000) echo transformative learning processes. Much of this stream of research has been initiated by Cope and colleagues (cf. Cope 2003, 2005, 2011; Cope and Watts 2000; Pittaway and Cope 2007) who introduced the concept of ‘higher-level learning’ based on crises and critical experiences connecting Mezirow’s theory with the organizational double-loop learning in small firms. Another illustrative example of how disorienting dilemmas and transformative learning shaped the entrepreneurial decision-making of immigrant female entrepreneurs in Germany is given by Laros (2017). In lifelong education, Kakouris (2015) describes how a learning disorientation emerged in classroom which followed experiential learning and a crisis resolution through the Habermanian critical-dialectical discourse. Furthermore, references to Mezirow in EE can be found in Robinson et al. (2016) connected with their notion of ‘existential learning’; discussing reflection and connected with other theories in Hägg and Kurczewska (2016), Heinonen and Poikkijoki (2006) and as a holistic teaching mode in Svensson et al. (2017). Finally, the call of educational policies for innovation in entrepreneurial pedagogy may meet the transformative learning practice once EE aims to be inclusive, socially aware (responsible entrepreneurship) or offered for empowerment. The initial European document (Oslo Agenda 2006) clearly referred to this “Offer entrepreneurship education to disadvantaged groups” beyond the calls for teachers’ training and innovation in pedagogy. As a radical pedagogy, transformative learning can be followed in trainers’ training. Transformative learning will also become essential for the future of EE as a form of pedagogy with a coherent axiological base (Kyrö 2015) once the field encounters loosely-grounded external influences (e.g. Shane 2008), receives criticism from the political stance (e.g. Lackéus 2017), and more generally needs to enrich its critical perspective (Kakouris and Liargovas 2020). As a radical theory for learning in adulthood, transformative learning authentically supports aspects of the perspective of entrepreneurship as a lifelong learning process.


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3.2 The Cultural-Historical Framework Both expansive learning and the communities of practices originate from Vygotsky’s work. The motivation to draw from Vygotsky is methodological, as a strong alternative to the dominant Cartesian view of learning that conceives the human mind as a “computer” detached from the cultural context. Beyond descriptive studies, the researches that use this framework seek not only to understand but also to change the world through their actions.


Learning by Legitimate Peripheral Participation

This theory was initially developed by Lave (2018) with her studies on Iberian tailors, seen as communities in which to learn how to master the vocation in a continuum from novice to expert. In the theory of legitimate participation, she described how apprentices become masters and generalized this situated process to all cultures. Likewise for expansive learning, this theory also draws from the cultural school and especially Vygotsky, the important tenet here being learning seen as a social phenomenon. Wenger (2018) places learning in the context of lived experience of participation in the world, therefore learning goes well beyond contents in the classroom: “participation here refers not just to local events of engagement in certain activities with certain people, but to a more encompassing process of being active participants in the practices of social communities and constructing identities in relation to these communities” (p. 210). Consequently, the metaphor as conceptualized by Sfard (1998) is learning as participation. For Wenger the necessary components of learning and knowing are then meanings, practices, communities and identities. Such learning seen as participation in communities of practices has implications at the individual, community and organizational level. For individuals, learning is a matter of contributing and engaging in the practice of the communities they belong to. For communities, learning is a matter of improving their practices and securing new generations of members. For organizations, learning is a matter of supporting their associated communities of practice that develop knowledge and thus make them effective and valuable as organizations. Using Lave and Wenger’s theories in entrepreneurship mean that “entrepreneurship can be understood in terms of the social groups to which entrepreneurs relate and are committed to” (Nieminen and Hytti 2016). For Pittaway and Cope (2007) communities of practices are “complementary to action-learning approach” (p. 216) and important to collaborative learning. Rae (2017) explores the concepts of peripherality and centrality that relate to development and entrepreneurial learning. The concept of peripherality in entrepreneurial learning is widened through the concept of legitimate peripheral participation. The author suggests that peripheral-central relationships are positive when the bidirectional flow of knowledge, talent and resources between centers and peripheries are rebalanced to improve the value of peripheral

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entrepreneurship, learning and innovation. Nieminen and Hytti (2016) investigate an entrepreneurial learning programme for self-employed people, and studies learning as a participation in a community of practice. It was found that participation was a chance for these people to discover about entrepreneurship, but at the same time such participation could act as threat to their liability and identity as credible entrepreneurs. A last interesting example of the use of the concept of community of practice to study entrepreneurial learning is the longitudinal study of Lefebvre, Radu Lefebvre and Simon (2015). Entrepreneurial learning is both the process and the outcome of social interaction, and the learning processes of a formal entrepreneurial network, as well as the outcomes that result from the network transformation from a social network to a community of practice.


Expansive Learning

This theory has reached its third generation and draws from Vygotsky and Leont’ev. Beyond the metaphors of learning as acquisition and learning as participation identified by Sfard (1998), there is the expansive learning theory put forward originally by Engeström. Expansive learning focuses on “on communities as learners, on transformation and creation of culture, on horizontal movement and hybridization, and on the formation of theoretical concepts” (Engeström and Sannino 2010, p. 3). While the other learning theories share conservatory biases, such as learning being depicted as a one-way movement from incompetence to competence, in expansive learning the learners learn something that is not yet there: first they design a new object and concept for their collective activity, and then they put this concept into practice. The subject of learning moves from individuals to network and collectives. At the beginning, individuals start to question the existing logic or order of their organization. As more individuals join the change effort, they initiate a collaborative analysis to model the zone of proximal development of their activity. Eventually, the learning challenge of putting into effect a new model of activity involves all elements and members of the collective activity system (Engeström 1999). Expansive learning is realized through a sequence of learning actions as depicted in Fig. 2. The level of analysis of this theory encompasses the individual, the organisation, and the network of interacting organisations. The focus is on the activity system, namely the subject, the tools, the object and its outcome, the division of labor, the community and the rules, as well as the interactions between them, which are often represented through the triangular model of human activity (Engeström 2015, p. 63). This is a triangle representing the six elements and their relationships. In Feelnhofer’s (2019) literature review, cultural historical activity theory, that is the theoretical framework that backs expansive learning, is acknowledged to be an important theory of EE, and Illeris (2018) considers it one of the most prominent theories of adult learning. Since this theory deals with innovation and social change of practices, as well as organizational transformation, it is particularly suited to support entrepreneurship in the broader sense, for example Kyrö’s (2006) cultural


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Fig. 2 The cycle of expansive learning (adapted from Engeström 1999, p. 384)

entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship becomes important in cultural transitions when it becomes important to substitute old systems and institutions with new practices. Mainela et al. (2018), for example, inspect the collectiveness of opportunities in international entrepreneurship through the concepts of activity and object taken from expansive learning, and identify six collective opportunity beliefs. Mainela et al. (2015) use the concept of boundary crossing to study international opportunities in entrepreneurship. Opportunities lie and are made at the boundary of organizations and are embedded in actions and interactions. They involve processes of transformation and emergence and are built through expansive learning actions and generation of instrumentalities. The concept of boundary crossing has been used by Morselli (2017) on how students can be educated for enterprise between school and work experience through workshops where they meet with entrepreneurs and teachers. During the boundary crossing workshops, they deal with the issues that they have when they move from school to work experience, two very different forms of activity systems with diverse patterns of action and interaction. Kauppinen and Juho (2012) use the cycle of expansive learning as a conceptual framework to display how entrepreneurial actions between companies build international business opportunities. Beyond descriptions, expansive learning is an activist and interventionist theory, therefore it is suitable to bring about change. The co-author of this chapter used the Change Laboratory, a formative intervention designed to bring about expansive learning (Engeström and Sannino 2010), to educate secondary teachers to a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship (Morselli

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2019). Over the sessions, the teachers tackled the problem of the drop in students on their vocational course through an innovative interdisciplinary project based on authentic tasks, thus starting to co-operate.

4 Discussion Entrepreneurial learning exceeds educational settings and occurs in many ways and via different contexts during the lifetime of entrepreneurs (Rae 2017). Concerning formal and lifelong education, entrepreneurial learning may inform how effective pedagogies can be built in different educational levels regarding teaching and fostering the entrepreneurial mindset in accordance with educational policies. Table 1 summarizes the articles, reviewed in this chapter, which use each learning theory to back entrepreneurial learning with a good awareness of the learning theory, and to which consequently the reader can refer. We distinguished between research articles that use learning theory to develop the theory of entrepreneurship and research articles that apply the learning theory to teach entrepreneurship. The goal of Table 1 is to bring about insights for researchers and educators toward a precise pursuit of prominent learning theories in building entrepreneurial pedagogies in different contexts and educational levels. These paradigms do not really overlap as they rely on different and theoretically incompatible principles. They are also consistent with a different type of evaluation once the learning outcome of an entrepreneurial programme has to be derived and assessed. However, only through the Table 1 A summary of the reviewed articles adopting the selected learning theories Learning theory (theorist)

Research articles using the learning theory to develop theory of entrepreneurship

Research articles applying the learning theory to teach entrepreneurship

Learning-by-doing (Dewey)

Cope and Watts (2000), Lindster Hägg and Kurczewska (2019), Norberg (2016), Pepin (2012) Pepin (2018), Lindh (2017), European Commission (2013) (Policy document), Bacigalupo et al. (2016) (Policy document)

Experiential Learning (Kolb)

Corbett (2005, 2007), Dimov (2007), Gemmell et al. (2012), Kakouris (2017b)

Pittaway and Cope (2007), QAA (2018) (Policy document)

Transformative Learning (Mezirow)

Cope (2003, 2005, 2011), Cope and Watts (2000), Kakouris (2011), Laros (2017)

Kakouris (2015)

Communities of practice (Lave and Wenger)

Lefebvre et al. (2015)

Pittaway and Cope (2007), Nieminen and Hytti (2016), Rae (2017)

Expansive learning (Engeström)

Kauppinen and Juho (2012), Mainela et al. (2015, 2018)

Morselli (2017, 2019)


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adoption of one theory (out of the many), can evaluation be performed with intrinsic consistency. This is because the purpose of each instruction can be different e.g. learning-by-doing to undertake an active-reflective experience, experiential learning to learn a task, transformative learning to emancipate one’s self, situated learning to learn in context with others, expansive learning to learn something that is not yet there. Also, the three pragmatist theories are individualistic in contrast to the social or cultural perspectives of the other two. It was remarked in the introduction to this chapter, that most documents for EE do not stress these differences while scholars tend to use terms interchangeably in their descriptions (as Elkjaer (2018) has analyzed) or they use theories only in part. Indicative cases can be found, for example: (a) in Lackéus (2015, p. 7) “Many researchers claim that the only way to make people more entrepreneurial is by applying a learning-by-doing approach. […] However, if this kind of experiential learning based activity is to be classified as entrepreneurial, some kind of value needs to be created for the people outside the school or university in the process” where subsequently, learning-by-doing is assigned to Russian theorists “Fig. 11 [in his text] outlines a conceptual model for learning-by-doing based on Russian researchers such as Vygotsky, Leont’ev and Galperin” (p. 27) and (b) in Heinonen and Poikkijoki (2006, p. 87) “The entrepreneurial-directed approach is based on the idea of circles of experiential learning, in which new activity produces a new experience and new thinking through reflection. […] According to Mezirow (1991), reflection, as the basis of adult learning, is a precondition for the formation of ideas and thoughts that will produce new activity”, where Mezirow’s reflection in transformative learning and experiential learning are juxtaposed. In our view, only the coherent introduction of theories and concepts can inform the practice of entrepreneurship educators with concrete expectations from them. Our discussion now considers the suitability of the five selected learning theories in teaching entrepreneurship at different educational levels. The results are summarized in Fig. 3. Firstly, by contrasting the selected theories in regard to the objectives of EE in different educational levels, it appears that learning-by-doing responds to Primary, Secondary and vocational education and training (VET) settings. Participating in a well-scheduled entrepreneurial activity (or a series of activities) and creating the conditions for adequate reflection on such participation is capable of affecting a pupil’s attitude towards enterprise. Each activity needs to incorporate the ‘real’ world outside the school, and it does not require having a predefined, cognitive objective. Thus, it triggers the ‘through’ mode of EE. The same might hold in VET. This does not mean that the theory has no application in tertiary education. However, this may be limited to cases of high interaction with companies and business people (e.g. during placements) or in Masters programmes where students are asked to create micro-enterprises and act as entrepreneurs (e.g. Rasmussen and Sørheim 2006).

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Fig. 3 A schematic representation for the suitability of the five selected learning theories in teaching entrepreneurship in different educational levels

When entrepreneurial tasks are taught in classrooms, Kolb’s experiential learning is more relevant. Unlike Dewey, Kolb’s experience targets learning objectives that can be assessed during formal courses, since they are more centered on knowledge acquisition. Besides, these experiences can be manufactured in classrooms (e.g. business plans for virtual enterprises). Accordingly, this kind of teaching may accommodate the ‘about’ mode of EE based on the comprehension of concepts and tools or the mastering of ‘hard’ entrepreneurial skills (e.g. business plan, financial analysis, risk analysis, CANVAS, marketing plan) or the ‘for’ mode when ‘soft’ skills are experimented in conventional enterprising teams which create virtual ventures following optional courses. Typical for this type of instruction, the final assessment is about the (learning) outcome—i.e. the task has been learned and Kolb’s cycles have ceased—independent of the real entrepreneurial propensity of trainees. In this case, only subsequent measurements of entrepreneurial self-efficacy and intention provide an indirect feedback on the expectation to create graduate entrepreneurs. Wenger’s communities of practice are an appropriate paradigm in lifelong learning, where professionals learn by participating in the practices of a community or communities. Wenger’s theory also accounts for VET which is traditionally well-connected with the professional community. Furthermore, Lave’s theory of legitimate peripheral participation is suitable to study entrepreneurial learning when the students undertake work experience, as happens in VET, thus inspecting how trainees become professionals from “observers”. Expansive learning accounts


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for learning in VET only under certain circumstances where, during work experience, students cross the boundaries between organizations such as school and work, facing social problems and challenges in which other players and social partners are significant. This equivocal occurrence of expansive learning is depicted by the dotted arrows in Fig. 3 (unlike the rest of the aforementioned cases that are always possible and achievable = solid arrows). In Mezirow’s terms, learning in adolescence is predominantly formative unlike in adulthood where transformative learning can take place (upper right arrow in Fig. 3). When life experience is rich, entrenched in personal assumptions and points of view, habits of mind may undergo transformations and these transformations can be traumatic yet emancipatory. Hence, transformative learning may take place only in lifelong learning settings once learning disorientations or critical events appear (dotted arrow). Mezirow’s theory demands critical self-reflection on assumptions and not just problem-solving restricted to the content of the problem. The problem itself is scrutinized with its assumptions included (this resembles the organizational doubleloop learning, see Cope 2003). Unlike Dewey who considers weak disorientations as a trigger for learning, Mezirow refers to dramatic disorienting dilemmas not likely to be encountered often. However, teaching entrepreneurship for social inclusion, for recovery from a lost job and unemployment, for empowerment to failed entrepreneurs, disadvantaged people and the like, can encounter negative experiences and deep beliefs which hinder learning. In these circumstances transformative learning is a promising theory to pursue. Similar conclusions can be made for expansive learning in lifelong learning. Its occurrence demands active participation of learners as agents capable of participating in the activity process for social change (dotted arrow). Expansive learning proves useful for studying organizational transformations (for example in schools, universities, or private organizations), where the practitioners are confronted with a challenge that threatens the existence of the organization itself, and something must be done to cope with change. The learners then engage in a purposeful change effort, they first conceive a new concept or idea, and then they turn it into practice, thus bringing about innovation and social change.

5 Conclusions Minniti and Bygrave (2001) maintained that a theory of entrepreneurship, itself, needs a theory of learning. Similar insights have been derived by Politis (2005) and Cope (2005) who considered entrepreneurship ‘a dynamic learning process’. Extant learning theories not only support the methodology of entrepreneurial research but also provide a compass for a precise connection of learning with the pedagogy followed in EE (Table 1). To our view, this connection has been loose so far implying a (tacit) presupposition of ‘homogeneity’ in the anticipated entrepreneurial learning outcomes of programmes in different educational levels. The question confronted

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in this chapter is not which specific theory describes better how entrepreneurs and students learn but which learning theories are better suited to educational levels and contexts where entrepreneurship is taught. The analysis in this study focused on five fundamental learning theories which we considered as the most appropriate for EE: (a) the pragmatist view of Dewey’s learning-by-doing, (b) Kolb’s experiential learning, (c) Mezirow’s transformative learning, (d) Lave and Wenger’s situated learning and (e) Engeström’s expansive learning. In accordance with Elkjaer’s (2018) remarks, we differentiated learningby-doing from experiential learning since they are two different theories often used interchangeably in the literature of EE. Consequently, we suggest that scholars should display awareness of the learning theory that they are using to back entrepreneurial learning, and that different learning theories are based on diverse paradigms, and therefore one learning theory would be sufficient to inform teaching. We started the discussion on learning theories with Sfard’s (1998) two metaphors for learning and observed that while some theories can be included in the metaphor of learning as acquisition (Dewey, Kolb) others are more aligned with the metaphor of learning as participation (Lave and Wenger) while others (Engeström, Mezirow) can stay beyond the metaphors—i.e. cannot be classified accordingly. We also noted that the theories rooted to pragmatism (Dewey, Kolb, Mezirow) see learning from the individual’s stance compared to the cultural-historical perspective of Engeström and the social prospect of the communities of practice which see learning as a social process. Since each learning theory elucidates different aspects of learning suitable for different objectives (Wenger 2018), we claimed that when teaching entrepreneurship, the learning theories can be selected according to the educational level to which they are most suited. While Dewey’s learning-by-doing is a better match for the elementary and middle levels, Kolb’s experiential learning is more appropriate for universities and colleges of business, while Lave and Wengers’ communities of practice and Engeström’s expansive learning are best suited for VET and lifelong learning. Mezirow’s perspective transformation can be met only in lifelong learning due to its own context and purpose. We suggest that the emergent comparative pattern of Fig. 3 is not restrictive for the use of theories in EE as, for example, lifelong learning courses can be certainly grounded on learning-by-doing. Or some educators may attempt to apply transformative learning in tertiary or even secondary levels. Nonetheless, and due to the specific nature of each learning paradigm, certain facilitations, but also obstacles, can be expected when each paradigm is applied in practice. The present conceptual attempt primarily aimed to offer insights to entrepreneurship educators on how to develop theoretically grounded (on well-known theories) and effective pedagogies for different levels which then enables audiences to be assessed with coherency. In summary, EE is now offered at various educational levels covering the lifecycle of learners. This contemporary proclivity in education calls for a closer consideration of the learning science and its developments for teaching purposes. Accordingly, this chapter has provided a view on what the extant theories of learning have to offer


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provided that they are adopted coherently and systematically in the appropriate pedagogy depending on the educational setting, learning needs and the overall learning perspective.

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The Role of University-Level Entrepreneurship Education in Creating New Enterprises Mervi Raudsaar, Piia Vettik-Leemet, Merike Kaseorg, and Kaire Vahejõe

Abstract A well-developed economy based on a well-developed business and prosperous society is of interest to every country. The Estonian Entrepreneurship Growth Strategy 2014–2020 (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in Estonian entrepreneurship growth strategy 2014–2020, 2013) is focusing, among other priorities, on stimulating entrepreneurship and the creation of new jobs. Entrepreneurship is a vast concept and can be defined from different perspectives. Wiklund et al. (Entrepr Theory Pract 1–3, 2011) suggest defining entrepreneurship through an Entrepreneurial Process (EP) that allows for a holistic approach to the phenomenon. Entrepreneurship Education (EE) is a much broader concept than entrepreneurship as a practice of trade; it includes the entrepreneurship key competence that refers to an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action (Bird in Int J Entrepr Educ 1:203−227, 2002). EE in European Higher Education Institutions (HEI) is experiencing growth. In this chapter, we focus on how experiential learning in EE, EP and its components and EE in HEI influence the creation of new enterprises. The empirical analysis in this chapter is based on the qualitative case study strategy of four Estonian enterprises. The data collection methods used included interviews with owners, enterprise home pages, and reports. The results were presented, discussed, and conclusions drawn.

1 Introduction Sustainable economic development is an essential objective of each country’s economic policy because it also contributes to the well-being of its citizens. One of the sub-goals of the Estonian Entrepreneurship Growth Strategy 2014–2020 (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications 2013) is that the people of Estonia are enterprising, and the companies are ambitious. To achieve this, it is necessary to ensure integrated and high-quality EE and to create favourable growth conditions for the creation of new enterprises (Ministry of Economic Affairs and M. Raudsaar · P. Vettik-Leemet · M. Kaseorg (B) · K. Vahejõe University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 S. Sawang (ed.), Entrepreneurship Education, Contributions to Management Science, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48802-4_4



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Communications 2013). The business potential of Estonia is reliable, but the development of entrepreneurial skills, knowledge, and abilities is insufficient (Konsa and Riistop 2014). Counselling and motivation of start-up entrepreneurs, organization of entrepreneurship training, and raising of the entrepreneurship knowledge of young people help to increase entrepreneurship. The rapid development of entrepreneurship as a field of study and research is also confirmed by the growing number of Estonian universities teaching it. Because of the changing world, market conditions, and economic situation, we must think about what is the aim of teaching entrepreneurship and how to achieve its goals. Researchers have discussed if it is at all possible to teach and learn entrepreneurship. It includes such different dimensions e.g. environmental factors, personal relations in potential and established entrepreneurs and their network, development of one’s entrepreneurial behaviour and personality, and of course, the learning process itself. We agree with Varblane and Mets (2010): “EE depends very much on the acceptance of the entrepreneurial mindset of a university and the creation of an entrepreneurial environment in and around the university.” The European Commission (2008) report states that: “EE programmes can have different objectives, such as: (i) developing entrepreneurial drive among students (raising awareness and motivation); (ii) training students in what is needed to set up a business, and to manage its growth; (iii) developing the entrepreneurial abilities needed to identify and exploit business opportunities.” EE is approached in different HEI using different teaching methods, for example, integrated entrepreneurship modules within traditional subjects or specialized courses and programs. Also, many HEI or their partnerships with local community organizations can provide start-up support and mentoring services (OECD/European Union 2016). Developing new entrepreneurs is also one of the significant strategic tasks in the entrepreneurship and educational policy programs of Estonia. The concept of “Entrepreneurship Education” has been understood more narrowly, aiming to give people the knowledge and skills needed to become self-employed and develop new business for a long time (Raudsaar and Kaseorg 2016). “More recently there has been a shift in focus to a broader concept which emphasizes entrepreneurship as a way of thinking and behaving.” (Leitch et al. 2012). There has been much discussion on how it would be most useful to teach entrepreneurship, either on a topic or entrepreneurial process (EP) basis. A processbased approach can better follow the needs of the learner in the learning process and, accordingly, focus on developing knowledge and skills. Usually, EE covers the first two stages of the EP—propositions and idea development. Sometimes EE covers also the third stage—concept development, but less often the fourth stage is covered. Although EE’s primary purpose is not that students who have completed their studies set up an enterprise, it is still important to create opportunities for students who wish to do so or who come to the conclusion that this would be the right choice for them. It is, therefore, important to better understand what is happening in the third and fourth stages of the EP in the context of the learning process.

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The purpose of this chapter is to explore how students enhance their enterprising skills through the process-based entrepreneurship education. To achieve this goal, we set the following research tasks: to examine the third and fourth stages of the EP and to analyse which activities contribute to the creation of the company.

2 Entrepreneurship Education Entrepreneurship is an action-oriented process where creative ideas exploited, and the reality can change as a consequence of these actions implying a pragmatic view knowledge generation (Kyrö 2008). Stevenson and Jarillo (2007) have defined entrepreneurship as the process by which individuals, either on their own or within organizations, discover and exploit (business) opportunities. Entrepreneurship can also be characterized as the identification, assessment, and implementation of business opportunities (Nielsen et al. 2012) for example: as the discovery, evaluation, and implementation of business opportunities in introducing new products and services using new forms of organization, processes, and raw materials that did not previously exist (Shane 2003). Entrepreneurship is narrowly described as a speciality (e.g., curriculum) or as a subject that focuses on the discovery, assessment, and implementation of business opportunities as stages in the EP (Shane and Venkataraman 2000). In addition, it should be noted that new areas of entrepreneurship have emerged, where social benefits and self-fulfilment (e.g., social entrepreneurship and the creative economy) are also significant. Science and technology based entrepreneurship is important for regional innovative capacity (Mian 2011). University spin-offs often result from academic, technology or research-based knowledge (Pirnay et al. 2003; Kroll and Liefner 2008; Karnani 2013). The ever-changing and renewing world creates a constant need for learning and self-development, highlighting the concept of lifelong learning (Aykan et al. 2019). Consequently, it is crucial for HEI to develop new learning methods, including webbased and community-based learning. A sense of initiative and entrepreneurship contributes to the realization of ideas and encourage creativity, innovation, and risktaking behaviour as well as the ability to achieve students’ goals (Morselli 2019). In the HE context, the focus is on students as individual leaders in the field. Kickul and Fayolle (2007) argue that much of the entrepreneurial knowledge occurs in the collaborative and co-participation environment. EE is mostly defined as starting a new business (e.g., Gartner 1985; Hisrich and Peters 1992). The purpose of EE is that students take more responsibility in their learning for entrepreneurship, learning about entrepreneurship, and learning through entrepreneurship (Gibb 1996; Kirby 2004; Rae 2004; Hyrsky and Kyro 2005). The objectives of EE have been considered in relation to the learning process and the final results. There is a widespread distribution of “about entrepreneurship,” “for entrepreneurship,” and “through entrepreneurship” (Béchard and Grégoire 2007). In the first case, EE enables the learner to acquire knowledge of the nature of


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entrepreneurship and to raise overall awareness of entrepreneurship. According to several studies, this has been a widespread concept of EE in HE (e.g., Mwasalwiba 2010). In the second case, EE aims to increase the learner’s motivation and to develop the knowledge and skills needed to start a business. With this goal, students are allowed to build their business ideas through a practical EP and to develop a business model and/or develop a business plan. In the third case, entrepreneurship is learned through practical experience that is achievable at all levels of education (e.g., Smith et al. 2006). However, in many cases, these goals are linked or combined in the learning process. We define EE in the context of this chapter as follows: EE is an integral part of the process of creating or developing a business, providing the student with an understanding of entrepreneurship. The basic concept of EE is that the learner develops their idea throughout the learning process, plans for its implementation, and sometimes they start to implement it. It should be noted that EE is not necessarily aimed at starting a new business, although it may be one possible outcome. The stages of the EP in learning include feedback, i.e., the next stage gives feedback on the previous one. As a result, the results of the last step and, if necessary, all the previous steps, will be corrected, and the learner will then start the idea generation and analysis process, having some experience. This demonstrates the non-linear nature of the EP and the need to continually evaluate its outcomes throughout the process and, where appropriate, adjust policies and options for its implementation (see also Mets et al. 2013). Throughout the process, the learner will gain experience of what skills the entrepreneur needs, and how to implement the idea.

3 Experiential Approach Adult learning is more effective when learners are more directly involved, rather than passively receiving knowledge transmitted by educators (Kolb 1984). In HE, the focus of EE is already clearly on the development and implementation of business ideas, and one of the aims is to prepare students for the start of entrepreneurship if they choose to be an entrepreneur. The concept describes how learners construct reality and learning through choices and interpretations, past experiences, and work-based feedback. In this contextbased learning process, the social environment or working in groups (or with others) is a particularly important factor. Practical training is considered to be the most effective approach to EE. Therefore, one suitable approach is experiential learning theory. Experiential learning theory (Kolb 1984) mainly consists of two methods: learning-by-doing (Dewey 2009) and dialogue. In entrepreneurial learning based on this concept, the goal of the process is to be as realistic as possible, following the path of self-actualization in entrepreneurship to starting and developing a business of opportunity recognition, which consists of three main methods: learning by doing, Kolb’s learning cycle and dialogue. Dewey’s (2009) learning by doing and Kolb’s et al. (2000) learning cycle is quite similar to problem-based learning methods, where

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students learn the subject through practical problem-solving which is identified by Deakins et al. (2000) as the mostly action-based learning process. In the case of reflection, it is useful to distinguish between two circles of reflection (Schön 1983), where each process-based entrepreneurship learning cycle involves a continuous reflection (reflection in the middle of the activity) of learners and supervisors/lecturers. In this way, EE at a university follows good practice in EE, successfully implemented by the relevant public and private institutions providing EE (Business Centers). Continuous reflection is closely linked to the principle of co-operative learning (Johnson and Johnson 1999), where individual success depends on the success of the team, and personal responsibility for the outcome, including support for superior competence in teamwork and group decision making and rejection of ineffective working methods. Following the approach of Kolb et al. (2000), the learning process cycle is spirals: to fully understand the general principles, it is often necessary to go through the four stages several times, and so people with different learning styles can apply the learning process. Linear planning, making, evaluating, and reprogramming alone are not enough to develop thinking and practical skills. It is also necessary that the tacit knowledge acquired by learners during the learning process is acknowledged and shared. This is done through a dialogue where new learning situations generate new ideas and offer the learner new perspectives to view problems. These ideas can be turned into practical action and realistic plans by experimenting with how the project works in practice.

4 Entrepreneurial Process-Based Education New venture creation is the most used example of the EP. This process is also described as an entrepreneurial journey (Cha and Bae 2010; McMullen and Dimov 2013). EP means all cognitive and behavioural steps from the initial conception of a rough business idea, or antecedent behaviour towards the realization of new business activity, until the process is either terminated or has led to an up and running business venture with regular sales (Davidsson 2005). The EP is described in the following stages: Propositions (storage, 1st stage) consist of (prior) knowledge, motivation, skills, and capabilities. This is the stage where the individual wonders, who they are, what they know, and whom they know. With Intention and Perceived opportunity, it is possible to move into the next stage. Idea development (2nd stage) consists of social needs, problems, goal(s), creativity, intellectual capital, and social assets. The main questions are now, what do they want, why, and what can they do? At the end of this stage, the entrepreneurial idea is forming, and opportunity is filtered. The concept development (3rd stage) stage needs the following: 4P-s marketing concept, product or service, research and development (R&D), business model, intelligence, intellectual property (IP), and available resources. The main activity in this


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stage is to develop and test the business model—it should combine marketing-mix, capabilities and different venture resources it has itself or can use. Also, market testing is crucial—the best way is to involve customers and have direct feedback which has an impact on the product-development process. In this stage, the individual asks what does they need to do. At the end of this stage, the business concept and opportunity confidence are gained. The Business development (4th stage), is where the important compounds are strategy, team leadership, human resources, and accumulated resources. It involves developing a strategy and acquiring any missing tangible and intangible resources, such as teambuilding (Eckert Matzemmbacher et al. 2019). Also, this is when some legal issues are solved. In this stage, the main questions are how to proceed and with whom to continue? At the end of this stage, venture launch and further opportunity exploitation are possible results. As already pointed out, the stages are linked in series with the entrepreneurial acts—artefacts-outcomes of these stages Intention and Perceived opportunity, New Venture Idea and Filtered opportunity, Business concept and Opportunity confidence, and finally Venture launch (which can be understood as the decision to exploit the opportunity). The process is followed by Venture growth or Opportunity exploitation. Feedback to previous stages from subsequent stages is made as the result of learning from the EP, including new goals and new means (Mets et al. 2013, 2019). Many EP researchers have embarked on the point in time at which an EP begins, which is the entrepreneurial stage, as this journey begins, whether it needs certain variables or events for further development, and whether it remains permanent throughout the journey (process)? Shane et al. (2003) define opportunities as potentialities for profit making. Shane and Venkataraman (2000) point out that entrepreneurial opportunity is needed for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial opportunities are those situations in which new goods, services, raw materials, and organizing methods can be introduced and sold at more significant than their cost of production (Casson 1982). At the same time, entrepreneurial opportunity does not always mean the creation of a new organization as entrepreneurship can also occur within an existing organization. Opportunities can be sold to other individuals or existing organizations (Shane and Venkataramann 2000).

5 Empirical Research and Methodology The study in this chapter was guided by our aim to explore how students launch their enterprise during process-based EE. We focused on experimental process-based EE to explain how the skills, knowledge, and attitudes develop to create an enterprise. Entrepreneurship is a complex phenomenon, and it is reasonable to use a qualitative approach to study it. We choose a qualitative method for empirical research, a more precisely case study strategy. A case study strategy allows us to look at different cases and identify possible patterns and differences. The case study strategy enables us to study the phenomenon from different perspectives, and if necessary, one can

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go deeper to understand the phenomenon. According to this method, social actions are considered as a holistic, interactive, and complicated system, not independent discrete variables, which, as such, may be measured statistically (Rossmann and Rallis 1998). According to Yin (2003), “case studies are the preferred strategy when ‘how’ or ‘why’ questions are being posed, when the investigator has little control over events and when the focus is on a contemporary phenomenon within some real-life context.” These presumptions are also applied within the current chapter for exploring the venture launch during the third and fourth stages of the EP in the context of EE. The main characteristic of case studies is the focus on the case and exploring its main factors (Stake 1995). This is scientifically fruitful, especially for studying the EP, where the venture launch is influenced by several factors. In our case, we search for answers about what affects the third and fourth stages of the EP and venture launch process—with case studies based mainly on personal interviews and some secondary data.

6 Four Cases of Experimental Venture Creation The cases in the current chapter are presented in Table 1, according to the research questions determined for mapping the third and fourth stages of the EP of our four ventures. Sing Sale Pro Ltd. was founded in February 2014 by two craftsmen who graduated from Viljandi Culture Academy—Liina and Annika. It is a creative company that makes folk costume-inspired sweaters, jackets, and dresses. Liina and Annika realised during their studies that they wanted to start their own business together. Their original idea was slightly different, but through product development and entrepreneurship training, the idea came into being—knitwear embellished with cashmere motifs. Initially, their brand name was Abundant Etnokudum but the name Etnowerk was introduced when entering the downstream markets. Prudens Ltd. was founded in July 2019 by three psychology students who graduated from their Bachelor degree studies at Tartu University—Pärtel, Khris-Marii, and Relika. They aim to provide science-based training in psychology to improve the internal climate of companies and work teams, prevent employees’ psychosocial problems, and increase their mental well-being. The original idea was to offer psychological training to collectives, but this idea was formed through service development and marketing research. Mentoring by the lecturers and help from the University of Tartu’s Centre of Entrepreneurship and Innovation mentors has transformed this enterprise to be a novice and science-based team with a new and scientifically proven approach. Silverita Ltd. was founded in May 2018 by Margarita and her husband as a family business. Margarita graduated from Master Studies at the University of Tartu. They are dealing with the retail of watches and jewellery—dealing with jewellery


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Table 1 Cases from entrepreneurship education (Laaneoja and Vaalma 2019; Poopuu 2020; Milihhina 2020; Suurmets 2020) Company name; founders; founding data

Sing Sale Pro Ltd.; Annika Vaalma, Liina Laaneoja; 04.02.2014; private limited company https:// etnowerk.com/

Prudens Ltd.; Pärtel Poopuu, Relika Rämson, Khris-Marii Palksaar; 24.07.2019; private limited company https:// www.prudens.ee/

Silverita Ltd.; Margarita Milihhina, Nikolai Nigametzjanov; 17.05.2018; private limited company https:// www.facebook. com/SilveritaJew elry/

Tartu Muusikalikool NGO; Janika Suurmets, Kadri Kuht, Katrin Kivi, Matthew James Jordan; 2020 spring; non-profit organization

Leadership; Two owners Team/Employees (incl. founders)

Three owners

Two owners and two customer service representatives

Four founders


Involvement of customers into business development via needs and feedback

In cooperation with the University of Tartu involving different new science-based knowledge and converting them into further training

Increase the number of partners by one or two each year

Launching a pilot project and finding long-term partners

Product development strategy

High quality of ideas, products and materials

Commercialisation of new psychologic knowledge through new pieces of training

High quality of products and materials. Stand out from the competition by cooperating with different brands

Continuous development of diverse and inspiring comprehensive music education in collaboration with professionals

Resources: intangible and tangible

Intangible: unique and attractive design, competences of handicraft; Tangible: high quality of materials and handiwork

Intangible: unique techniques in the field of psychology, trained professionals; Tangible: technical equipment for conducting the pieces of training (cameras, projectors, etc.)

Intangible: new foreign brands in Estonia, attractive design, trained professionals; Tangible: high quality of materials; own shop and online shop

Intangible: high quality of service, taught by renowned professionals in their field; Tangible: technical equipment for classes and location of premises

Business development


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Table 1 (continued) Company name; founders; founding data

Sing Sale Pro Ltd.; Annika Vaalma, Liina Laaneoja; 04.02.2014; private limited company https:// etnowerk.com/

Prudens Ltd.; Pärtel Poopuu, Relika Rämson, Khris-Marii Palksaar; 24.07.2019; private limited company https:// www.prudens.ee/

Silverita Ltd.; Margarita Milihhina, Nikolai Nigametzjanov; 17.05.2018; private limited company https:// www.facebook. com/SilveritaJew elry/

Tartu Muusikalikool NGO; Janika Suurmets, Kadri Kuht, Katrin Kivi, Matthew James Jordan; 2020 spring; non-profit organization

Knowledge for Courses during entrepreneurship the studies. Learning by doing: developing a business plan, marketing plan and prototyping with testing

Courses during the studies (two different entrepreneurial courses). Learning by doing: solving practical tasks like marketing and financial plan. Lecturers gave extensive help using their own previous knowledge. Help from UT Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI)

Courses during the studies (two different entrepreneurial courses). Learning by doing: developing a business plan, marketing plan and financial plan, negotiations with several foreign and Estonian partners. Lecturers gave extensive help using their own previous knowledge

Two courses in entrepreneurship during University of Tartu (UT) studies and completion of business plan and marketing plan during studies. Feedback from lecturers and theoretical and practical knowledge and experience. Participation in Measurement and sTARTup Day and feedback from operators and the organizing team. Support and advice from team and colleagues

Intellectual property (IO)

Brand name Etnowerk

Specialized science-based psychology training

Specially created dance performances

Financial resources, support

Estonian development fund, self-financed and room from Tartu centre for creative industries

Estonian unemployment insurance fund, self-financed


Self-financing, Tartu City hobby support, project grants



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Table 1 (continued) Company name; founders; founding data

Sing Sale Pro Ltd.; Annika Vaalma, Liina Laaneoja; 04.02.2014; private limited company https:// etnowerk.com/

Prudens Ltd.; Pärtel Poopuu, Relika Rämson, Khris-Marii Palksaar; 24.07.2019; private limited company https:// www.prudens.ee/

Silverita Ltd.; Margarita Milihhina, Nikolai Nigametzjanov; 17.05.2018; private limited company https:// www.facebook. com/SilveritaJew elry/

Tartu Muusikalikool NGO; Janika Suurmets, Kadri Kuht, Katrin Kivi, Matthew James Jordan; 2020 spring; non-profit organization

Supporting features

Different courses: product development, entrepreneurship, IO. Mentoring: lectures. Useful contacts: lecturers. Testing product: fairs and lecturers sale channels

Different courses: introduction to entrepreneurship, business plan. Continuing support from UT CEI. Useful contacts: lecturers, IO legal adviser, a business consultants from CEI

Different courses: introduction to entrepreneurship, business Plan. Useful contacts: lecturers, friends, Estonian unemployment insurance fund

Different courses: product development, entrepreneurship, IO, communication management, marketing useful contacts: lecturers, friends, entrepreneurs, mentors

When started?

During studies 2014

After studies 2019 During studies 2018

During studies 2020

Supporting features

Participating in pitching competition and gaining useful contacts

Participating in pitching competition and gaining useful contacts from UT CEI

Ability to write projects, lecturers

Participating in pitching competition and gaining useful contacts. Knowledge and practical experience of the lecturers

Where started?

Location: Tartu Centre for Creative Industries

In Tartu (but no actual office)

Location: Tartu, shopping centre “Eeden”

In Tartu

Plans for expanding

International market


Estonia and web market

Estonia, cooperation with foreign professional organizations

Venture launch

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was Margarita’s dream. Margarita and her husband had excellent jobs before implementing their business idea, and they decided to continue working in these jobs in parallel with the new family business until the latter started to make a profit. Tartu Music School NGO will be founded at the beginning of 2020. The pilot project will start in September 2020 and it will be fully operational from September 2021. The authors of the idea are two master students of cultural management at the University of Tartu—Janika Suurmets and Katrin Kivi. The current business idea is to establish the Tartu Music School, which will provide combined teaching of singing, dancing and acting within the same curriculum and at the same location. The long-term goal of the school is to train future music artists in order to bring the genre to a professional level and to develop the Estonian theatre. Estonian musicians need artists with good skills in singing, dancing and acting to perform with them. Children may have a strong interest in doing auditions, but sometimes they lack the skills to pass them successfully. The idea of the company took shape in 2019 within the framework of the subject “Practical Creative Entrepreneurship” of the UT School of Economics and Business Administration. Several specialists have joined the team to develop the idea, including Matthew James Jordan, one of the best step dancers in Estonia, who is also a very talented ballet artist, director and choreographer.

7 Findings and Discussion About Venture Creation During Entrepreneurship Education 7.1 Entrepreneurship Studies at the University of Tartu EE in the University of Tartu (UT) is based on a vital and non-linear EP (see Mets et al. 2013), and is practical and project-based. Many of the subjects involve entrepreneurs and mentors. Based on many researches (for example Morselli 2019; Kickul and Fayolle 2007; Johnson and Johnson 1999; Schön 1983) different learning methods are used. Practical activities such as developing one’s idea, teamwork, seminars, continuous reflection, and homework are founded on the basic knowledge acquired during lectures, video lectures, mentoring and web-based or personal consulting. Web-based courses (including real-time online consulting) are also important in lifelong learning e.g. for continuing education students and older students. As well a variety of learning methods, different assessments are also used (see Seikkula-Leino et al. 2010). At the end of each course, a business model, business plan, project, etc. will be completed. Teaching methods involve (see Dewey 2009; Kolb 1984; Deakins et al. 2000; Smith et al. 2006 and etc.) learning by doing, experimental learning, project-based learning, group work, cooperation with entrepreneurs, networking, online business planning environment iPlanner, e-courses in Moodle, etc. Various competitions are also held so that students studying entrepreneurship in all disciplines can gain experience on how to present their entrepreneurial or


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Table 2 University of Tartu curricula in which EE is carried out by chair of entrepreneurship (Authors’ calculations based on the published curricula) Faculty

Arts and Humanities

Level of study Bachelor Studies (BS)

Applied higher Education (AHE)



Social Sciences


Medicine Science and Technology

BS+ Master’s Studies (MS)









1 6

Doctoral Studies (DS)


project ideas. It is important to do this so that audience members are ready to think about and support the implementation of the idea in some way; for example, in a “good word”, through their own network or when seeking funding. The emphasis is not on competing but on the experience and feedback of presenting a new idea (Entrepreneurship Chair 2020). In total, there are 88 curricula available in 2019/2020, where entrepreneurship themes and subjects are covered in (see Table 2).

7.2 Differences and Similarities of Venture Creation During the Third and Fourth Stages of the EP Firstly, some background of the students and their motivation during their EE: For Annika and Liina, their studies were crucial to establishing an enterprise. From the beginning of their studies, they already had the goal of creating jobs for themselves. Describing the process of setting up a company, they take the view that “everything was done in a very logical order and with good timing for them. The subjects followed the process and needs of our enterprise.” Similarly to Annika and Liina, for Pärtel and his colleagues, their studies were also very important for the goal of establishing an enterprise. However, they already had an idea to create an enterprise for organizing psychological training for collectives. Margarita said that she and her husband went on a trip abroad and visited a lot of jewellery shops with exciting brand products that they had never seen in Estonia. “This made me think of starting a business and bringing these products to Estonia as well.” Ballet dancer Janika had the idea of opening a school in Estonia in 2000, with the output of young children in nice costumes on stage. “I lived/worked in Japan from 2000 to 2005, and the TV shows and the selection of costumes in the clothing stores inspired me to develop further.”

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All of these students already had a desire to enter entrepreneurship when they entered EE and saw the acting career as an option. However, the acquired speciality is used differently—some students certainly saw that the company to be created should be their speciality, while others wanted to associate the company with their field of interest.

7.3 Concept Development in the Context of Entrepreneurship Education During Annika’s and Liina’s studies, they developed their product and acquired the skills and knowledge needed for crafting, and also gained the required experience in entrepreneurship and practically worked through the enterprise creation stages. They find that “in the meanwhile, it was tedious to formulate goals and create a marketing plan. But it all worked out and made us think about something important to our enterprise (e.g., where to get quality raw materials, use of lecturer sales channels for product testing, etc.).” The support, mentoring, and useful contacts from the lecturers were also essential during the business concept stage. They also considered it is vital to present their products and get feedback at different fairs. As Pärtel and his colleagues had no previous knowledge about entrepreneurship, they decided to start with their entrepreneurial courses. Pärtel recognizes “the biggest help was with composing the business plan.” Composing the business plan enabled them to think through things, identify target groups, market channels, and finances. Their marketing plan helped them to “thoroughly analyze what kind of competitors are in the market.” Pärtel highlights the logical structure of the studies, competent feedback to the business plan from lecturers and mentors, and the overall support from the university in the concept and business development stage. Margarita also states that her entrepreneurship courses together with many circles of reflection helped her (as a continuing education student) to establish a family business with her husband: “Both lecture and web-based real-time consultations took place. There were also different types of teaching materials (slides, videos, studies, etc.). The business plan was compiled in iPlanner, a web-based environment where different financial scenarios could be tried, and the lecturers provided feedback all the time.” Janika considers that both her entrepreneurship and professional courses were very important in developing her ideas. In addition, Janika considers that “feedback from the lecturers, [and] control questions contributed to the development of the idea”. Janika also attaches great importance to the fact that both theoretical knowledge, as well as practical skills, were provided during university studies. “The problems discussed in the course of studies, the spectators’ bystander view and the reference to the problem areas contributed to the development of the business model”. Janika also attaches great importance to the direct and friendly communication style of the experienced lecturers, thanks to which she also dared to ask so-called


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“stupid questions”. However, she considered the structure of the curriculum to be an obstacle: “The curriculum in culture management lacked enough knowledge and skills to start and run a business”. Another drawback was Janika’s own occupation, which left her too little time to develop the idea. In the third stage of the entrepreneurial process, the concept development stage, it was very important for the students that they could try everything in practice, in addition to the theory of entrepreneurship. For example, during the Intellectual Property (IP) course Liina and Annika registered their brand. All students found it important to test their market and create their own marketing plan by experimenting. Feedback from entrepreneurship lecturers, as well as speciality lecturers, and useful contacts provided by them, which were already used by students during their studies to develop their enterprise, were also considered important. The same applies to testing their product/service on a target audience, such as at fairs. For teams developing their product or working on a science-based idea, support from the university’s support structures was particularly noteworthy e.g., when to register their IP and how to develop their business strategy (licensing, mass production versus single copies).

7.4 Business Development in the Context of Entrepreneurship Education Annika’s and Liina’s need to set up a business came from a space problem—they needed somewhere to produce and showcase their products. A pitching competition helped this in EE where they got in contact with a consultant at the Tartu Center for Creative Industries and decided to become an incubator. Pärtel’s team also took part in pitching competitions for entrepreneurial courses at UT and received excellent feedback from mentors and entrepreneurs. Although the business development stage was mainly developed after the course, the necessary contacts and introduction to the UT’s Centre of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) came directly from the course. At the time of the interview, the team was developing their IP rights topic and suggested to others with the knowledge-based idea “not to fear that your idea is too original for sharing or do not fear to ask help for improving that idea.” Pärtel encourages others to share their idea with lecturers or mentors from the university as he feels that the university is very interested in commercializing knowledge-based and bold ideas. Cooperation with UT included acquiring different new science-based knowledge and converting this into further training. Starting a business was more difficult than Margarita imagined. They learned by doing. For example, as the banks refused to lend to their starting company, Margarita and her husband took out a private loan. Negotiations were held in parallel: “Half a year of negotiations with foreign partners to sell their products in Estonia.” Currently, they have cooperation agreements with five foreign companies, and they want to increase their number of partners by one or two every year. To rent a shop room,

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they had to go through several interviews, talk about themselves, their vision and show the products. “It took half a year to sign the contract.” Margarita also said that finding customer service staff was complicated: “We searched for them through Facebook and the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund. I did the interviews and had to do a lot to find the right staff. After that, I trained them.” At first, Margarita and her husband were planning to open the first shop in Tartu and then more shops in other cities. They also created a Facebook account. However, during the company’s operations, it became clear that their Facebook account was visited by middle and older customers who only wanted to see and buy products from an online shop. As a result, they initially abandoned the idea of opening physical shops in other cities and are currently focusing their efforts on developing their e-shop and developing their Instagram account. This has resulted in a large number of young customers. Janika said that their team also participated in several entrepreneurship ideas events where they pitched their ideas in front of the jury and highlighted the importance of the experience: “In addition, defending a business idea project was important, as entrepreneurs’ recommendations gave the courage to launch a pilot project”. The decision to set up the company came from the warm welcome of the business idea by faculty, entrepreneurs and colleagues. “When I kept the idea secret and talked about it to a few loved ones, everyone turned a blind eye and answered that they would put their kids in such a school or be ready to get involved, and they immediately started offering exciting ideas. After pitching at Startup, I have started to talk more boldly at Vanemuine theatre and good ideas and suggestions are still being offered.” However, there are still some legal issues to overcome. In conclusion, Janika thinks that it is extremely important to take part in entrepreneurship courses as well as to participate in various pitching events where professional feedback, as well as new acquaintances and contacts, can be obtained. During the business development stage, team building was important. One team still have on-going discussions between team members about who will be the owners and what are their responsibilities and rights. Useful contacts from lecturers or educational support events were used to obtain different resources. Other actors in the business ecosystem, such as the Tartu Centre for Creative Industries, were also important, as were intra-university entrepreneurship supporters, such as the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Thanks to the hands-on learning and the support they received, students were able to successfully set up enterprises. Based on these cases, we can also say that their activities have been sustainable, with one enterprise operating for six years and another operating for three years.

8 Conclusion From our case studies, we can say that with learning based on the EP, students can develop their ideas into business readiness stage. Our students took various forms of EE: e-course, a couple of entrepreneurship courses, or even a whole module.


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In the third stage, the testing of the business model and the market was especially useful for concept development. Practical tasks like creating a marketing plan and competitor analysis provided good feedback for further business development. Also, this stage gave confidence for the students to continue with their business idea and studies. In the fourth stage, the presence and good functioning of the team were important. Training events—such as pitching business ideas, where the jury and audience’s questions and suggestions pushed the idea forward and helped build contacts— greatly assisted the start-up of the enterprise. Also, legal issues must be solved in this stage. The practical approach, testing and feedback in the third and fourth stages of the business process are important. Feedback should not come only from business lecturers but also from outside professors and consultants. Our chapter showed that the role of the university and the entrepreneurial courses are crucial for the concept and business development stage, but in later stages, help from outside support mechanisms like incubators, university’s business support system ecosystem organisations and consultants are needed.

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Student Social Enterprise Engagement: Capturing Process, Benefits and Measuring Social Value Arun Sukumar, Zimu Xu, and Richard Tomlins

Abstract There has been a growing interest in student entrepreneurial ventures, especially the support and mentoring offered in a university set-up. Whilst traditional commercial student start-ups have been well documented, little has been mentioned on how students develop social enterprises; specifically, the processes and support systems adopted in higher education institutions. Student entrepreneurs nowadays have a choice, socially conscious students are motivated to start social enterprises when they graduate. They are interested not only in creating social value but also at creating sustained community interest. This chapter explores the student engagement process in setting up social enterprises and the social value created by the entrepreneurs. It also looks at measuring the social value created by the entrepreneurs and the challenges they face in maintaining social and economic value. Using four case studies, this chapter charts the journey of some student entrepreneurs in their quest to start social enterprise and highlights the support mechanisms that were helpful in realizing potential ideas to viable social enterprises. Three themes emerged from the primary data collected: motivations, barriers faced, and issues with continuing value creation. The results highlighted that personal circumstances and a strong desire to help local community were the fundamental motivations for venture creation. When it came to barriers, student entrepreneurs faced dual issues of maintaining academic rigor along with their desire to start a venture. Other barriers included access to finance, business marketing and overcoming start-up difficulties.

A. Sukumar · Z. Xu (B) · R. Tomlins Coventry University, Coventry, UK e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 S. Sawang (ed.), Entrepreneurship Education, Contributions to Management Science, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48802-4_5



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1 Introduction Social enterprise has gained wide recognition in addressing social and environmental issues (Wry and York 2017). In particular, since 2009, there has been an expansion of social enterprise (SE), social innovation and social entrepreneurship in Higher Education (HE) in the UK. This engagement takes many forms, including: creating opportunities for students to develop their own social enterprises; providing placements for students in social enterprises; offering specialist courses in social entrepreneurship; providing incubation spaces, dedicated support services, or research expertise to social enterprises (British Council 2018). A recent review by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)—funded Social Entrepreneurs in Education Change programme (HEFCE/Flourish Together CIC1 Flourish Together 2018)— laid out a number of recommendations that were subsequently partly adopted in The Office for Students (OFS) Business Plan (2018). Together with the upcoming Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) the recommendations place emphasis on capturing and measuring impacts, including social value and return on investment of student related engagement with the workplace, local communities and student social enterprise. However, there is a dearth of existing evidence focusing specifically on social enterprise and, in the UK, the research on enterprise education interventions reports only on economic and immediate impacts with a short-term focus (Rae et al. 2014). In addition, whilst OFS is committed to social value it does not define it nor identify how it could be managed. This omission is mirrored by KEF’s consultation, although Ulrichsen (2018) does refer to socio-economic impact in a background paper on the clustering of HE Institutions. In essence, the entire societal impact of the social enterprise is not clearly defined. The full range of the benefits and outcomes of social enterprise engagements often goes unreported or is hidden within utilitarian metrics that fail to capture the rich diversity of student-social enterprise activities in our universities and the value they add to the student experience more generally (HEPI 2018). It is in this context that this paper is set; it aims to study the evidence of social value of student contribution to, and benefits from, engagement with social enterprise incubation centres. Through creation of four detailed case studies, the study will capture the journey and longitudinal impacts of student-social enterprise engagement activities and the ways to measure and present the benefits and social value arising from these engagements.

2 Methodology Case study methodology was primarily used as the vehicle to explore the above research question. A total of four case studies were selected which met all of the following selection criteria: 1 Community

Interest Company (CIC).

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• completed enterprise education intervention and, • took part in SE internships or SE work placement or, • founded a SE start-up. Participants who met the above criteria were selected from the Coventry University Social Enterprise (CUSE) database. The four case studies represented a varied sample including: • gender split (2 male, 2 female), • SE lifecycle (e.g. recent start-up, established), • SE work placement sector (e.g. health, education). Data was collected through semi-structured interviews in June 2019. Interview questions were designed to capture detailed life stories of the graduates, their choice to start a social enterprise, their journey from pre-start up to start up and the support they received. Questions also focused on the current operations of the social enterprise and in their own viewpoint the impact their engagements are having on society. The interviews lasted for approximately 1.5 h with notes and audio recording. The recorded data was further transcribed and thematically analyzed to understand the value creation in the context of the social enterprise engagements and the support received through the incubation center. Further data was also collected on the information pertaining to the selected case studies e.g. data relating to the SE start-up, SE internship information, founding dates, number of employees, financial statements, social impact, awards received etc. This data was gathered to draw out a detailed picture of the four start-ups and the support they received. The data collected was then analyzed thematically to draw inferences and provide recommendations.

3 Results and Discussion According to Robinson (2006), while the concept of social enterprises is gaining recognition, research is still lacking in understanding the process of social entrepreneurship. Typically, when it comes to theory building, research into social enterprises still only covers understanding how social enterprises create value and how this value is measured (Robinson 2006; Tomlins 2015). Especially there is a need to differentiate social entrepreneurship with other ‘social initiatives’. This work looks at this process of social entrepreneurship. Using the experiences of social entrepreneurs it examines the motivations to start social enterprises, how opportunities were recognized, how institutional and social factors were addressed in evaluating the opportunities and how these were overcome. Finally, the work also examines how the entrepreneurs sustain value creation in changing social sector markets. A brief overview of the four case studies is given in Table 1. After reviewing the interviews, business documents and other information available on the ventures, three themes emerged from the analysis of qualitative data:


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Table 1 Snapshot of the social enterprises case studies Case study

Name, founded in, entrepreneur profile

Form and brief info

Financials (as of June 2019)



Recognition and rewards


Youth Work, 13/07/17, male, White British, Age: 30, Faculty: Health and Life Sciences, BA in Youth Work, graduated in 2017 from Coventry University

CIC; Tackling social exclusion by supporting vulnerable young people aged 11–24 who are disengaged from Education, Employment or Training from Nuneaton, North Warwickshire and surrounding areas

Debt capital raised in last year: £0; Funding received: £0; Income/sales in the last 12 months: £130,000

6 FT; 4 PT

No of active clients: 40

Most Evolved Start Up of CUSE, Santander Evolve Awards 2018; Since becoming established we have worked with over 40 young people aged 11–24. We have re-invested close to £100,000 back into our community to do this


Creative Outreach, 13/04/2016 as Limited CompanyCIC 13/04/2019; Male, Ghanaian, 31, Faculty: Engineering and Computing, B.Eng Aerospace Engineering, graduated in 2013 from Coventry University

Limited company in 2016, converted to a CIC in 2019; creative outreach is a platform for youth development and creative growth. We connect youth talent with organizations and stakeholders who have interest in our youth community

Debt capital raised in last year: £0; Funding received: £0; Income/sales in the last 12 months: £24,000

1 FT; 30 volunteers

No of active clients: 150+/month

Santander Evolve Awards 2019—Creative Business Award, BCAa British Citizen Award—Arts, Coventry University Entrepreneur of the Year 2013


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Table 1 (continued) Case study

Name, founded in, entrepreneur profile

Form and brief info

Financials (as of June 2019)



Recognition and rewards


Language Translations, 18/08/2016 as CIC and August 2019 as CIC, female, EU Romanian, 28, Business and Law, LLB and French, graduated in 2014 from Coventry University

CIC since 2019, Translation, interpreting and community outreach company, currently delivering services and creating social impact in the local communities, with plans to branch out nationwide

Debt capital raised in last year: £0; Funding Received: £9,996; Income/Sales in the last 12 months: £4,807

1 FT

No of active clients: 10

Santander Evolve Awards winner of GBP1K for Woman in Business Entrepreneur of Erasmus


Mindful Gifts, 16/07/2018, female, 24, Black British, Health and Life Sciences, M.Sc. Mindfulness and Compassion, graduate in 2019 from Coventry University

Sole Trader since 16/07/2018. Mindful Gifts is about promoting wellbeing by teaching mindfulness workshops, delivering chakra balancing therapy and selling self-care focused homemade body butters

Debt capital raised in last year: £0; Funding received: £0; Income/sales in the last 12 months: £395

1 PT

No of active clients: 40

Theme 1—Identification of opportunities: how did the entrepreneurs identify the opportunities, what was the motivation and the other factors that led to the starting of the enterprises? Theme 2—Negotiation of barriers: what sort of barriers did the entrepreneurs face in distilling and supporting the opportunities, what interventions were made and what support was received to pursue the opportunities? Theme 3—Continuing value creation: how did the entrepreneurs sustain value creation in the changing social market sector; since the formation of the business,


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how are the entrepreneurs managing the need to create value (social/economic) and make further investments in innovation? Discussing the themes individually, when it comes to identification of opportunities the data revealed that the personal circumstances and the social environment played a major role in shaping the entrepreneurial behavior of the participants. In the first case study, the ‘Youth Work’ enterprise was established to address problems faced by young people aged 11–24 in North Warwickshire, Nuneaton, and Coventry. Issues of social exclusion, disengagement from education, training or employment are tackled through the initiatives of the enterprise. The motivation to start the enterprise came from the founder actually experiencing social unrest during his childhood. He saw opportunity in addressing issues the younger population was facing in the region and decided to address them. Further evidence of the experiences and frustration of individuals leading them to identify entrepreneurial opportunities can be extracted from the other case studies. For example, Language Translations is an enterprise founded to help asylum seekers and non-native English speakers with translation and community services. The opportunity was identified when the founder saw difficulties in finding affordable translation services when non-English speakers were using public services including the NHS, government agencies and judicial bodies. In the other two case studies, the circumstances, experiences and frustrations of the current state of affairs led to entrepreneurial opportunities being identified by entrepreneurs, and addressed through innovation to create value—both social and economic. The entrepreneurs in this study are very passionate about their businesses and there was a strong desire to address social issues and develop solutions that can create value. The next theme looks at how the entrepreneurs were able to negotiate the barriers faced in realizing their business opportunities. The entrepreneurs who were studying at university at the time of their venture creation were able to utilize the university’s social enterprise incubation center (CUSE) to explore their business ventures. The programmes offered by the university’s social enterprise incubation center include entrepreneur training (Evolve/Evolve Social—innovative interactive business start-up training alongside personal development), social enterprise development (SE mentoring—coaching and 1-2-1 support on social venture development) and pioneering social innovation (externally funded projects: Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (international mobility), MiFriendly Cities and Collaborate to Train (internships, placements and apprenticeships with SEs). Table 2 lists the interventions the student entrepreneurs received from the incubation center. Each of the entrepreneurs went through systematic programmes that not only gave them theoretical knowledge of setting up a business but also practical internship experience that allowed them to develop their skills and reflect on potential solutions to social issues they were trying to address. The third theme that came out of the analysis of the data was about the continuing work done by the social entrepreneurs. The data showed that, out of the four entrepreneurs, three are continuing with their businesses and have evolved them

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Table 2 Interventions received Participant

First contact made with CUSE


SE mentoring

















Erasmus for young entrepreneurs

Evolve social

MiFriendly cities




Collaborate to train—internship at SE


based on market conditions. One entrepreneur recently filed for closure of their business, citing expanding mission drift and limited focus on the financial position of the organisation. When asked about their continuing mission to support social causes, all four of them showed strong interest in continuing their work and look at further innovations that will help them to achieve greater sustainability. The entrepreneurs were committed to provide products and services to their communities, using new avenues like social media, vlogging, blogging, and networks; they are able to offer products and services that are more tailored to community needs. A key sub-theme that came across strongly is the entrepreneurs’ strong sense to provide employment opportunities to community members. Each of the case study businesses had an embedded commitment to uplift marginalized members of the society through employment opportunities. They believed that the commitment to provide employment is a fundamental route to value creation. When asked specifically how they manage the pressures of commercial versus social value creation, the respondents noted that, even though there are financial pressures, it is their fundamental commitment to provide services and products to their community that allows them to continue their operations. By networking and using effectuation strategies, they are able to expand the businesses and sustain value creation in a changing social market sector. Further exploring their commitment to environmental sustainability, two of the respondents highlighted that it is extremely important for them to trade in an environmentally stable way that included looking at the entire supply chain and the sourcing of ethical and fair-trade suppliers and raw materials. When probed about how they manage the work-life balance of working in a social enterprise, nearly all the respondents noted that by being in a social enterprise has improved their work-life balance and they are able to devote themselves to causes they believe in. There are financial pressures but they derive satisfaction from the work they are doing and their personal experiences play a major role in their continuing commitment and the future direction of their businesses.


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4 Conclusion This chapter is an exploratory study looking at student social enterprise engagement, specifically, looking at the social value created. The study has shown that personal circumstances and situations faced by the entrepreneurs played a major role in identifying opportunities that they could exploit and create sustainable social and economic value. The entrepreneurs faced hurdles and barriers but support systems like CUSE helped them to succeed in their entrepreneurial journey. The entrepreneurs are constantly innovating to sustain their success and continue to have a strong commitment to continued value creation. Measuring the impact they have created through considering social issue and the number of clients they engaged and the rewards and recognition they received, it can be seen that the social enterprises were engaging with some of the most fundamental social challenges facing the UK such as youth social inclusion. It is evidenced that social enterprise can help to ensure wider social inclusion and community cohesion and delivery of cross cutting well-being services.

References British Council (2018) Social enterprise in a global context: the role of higher education institutions. ISBN: 978-0-86355-809-2 Flourish Together CIC (2018) What is the capacity of the higher education sector to support social innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders? https://www.flourishtogether.org.uk/what-isthe-capacity-of-the-higher-education-sector-to-support-social-innovators-entrepreneurs-andleaders. Accessed 16 Jan 2020 HEPI (2018) 2018 student academic experience survey. https://www.hepi.ac.uk/2018/06/07/2018student-academic-experience-survey/. Accessed 16 Jan 2020 Rae D, Matlay H, McGowan P, Penaluna A (2014) Freedom or prescription: the case for curriculum guidance in enterprise and entrepreneurship education. Ind High Edu 28(6):387–398 Robinson J (2006) Navigating social and institutional barriers to markets: how social entrepreneurs identify and evaluate opportunities. In: Mair J, Robinson J, Hockerts K (eds) Social entrepreneurship. Palgrave Macmillan, UK Tomlins R (2015) Social value today. Housemark, Coventry Ulrichsen TC (2018) Knowledge exchange framework metrics: a cluster analysis of higher education institutions a technical report for research England. Research England, Bristol Wry T, York JG (2017) An identity-based approach to social enterprise. Acad Manag Rev 42(3):437– 460

Mentoring Senior Entrepreneurs Andreas Walmsley and Ghulam Nabi

Abstract Mentoring has traditionally been researched within the context of organisations. There is, however, growing interest in mentoring for entrepreneurship as its potential in supporting and developing entrepreneurs is increasingly recognised. The mentoring for entrepreneurship literature tends nonetheless to draw on young aspiring entrepreneurs, in particular students and recent graduates. With rates of senior entrepreneurship on the rise, this chapter conceptualises the relationship between senior entrepreneurship, the needs of senior entrepreneurs, and mentoring functions for entrepreneurship. The results, which incorporate both knowledge development and socio-emotional support functions of mentoring, are summarised in ten propositions. These propositions provide avenues for further research and insights for practice.

1 Introduction Interest in senior entrepreneurship has been growing (Matos et al. 2018). In 1997 in the U.S., those between ages 55 and 64 constituted 15% of entrepreneurs but by 2016, that figure had reached 24% (St. Pierre 2017). In part because of this growth in entrepreneurial activity amongst seniors, but also because of the recognition of entrepreneurship’s role in economic development, as well as a wider recognition of mentoring’s potential in supporting, in particular, early-stage entrepreneurs, calls have been made to support senior entrepreneurs via mentoring (European Commission, 2016; Schøtt et al. 2017). Despite the potential benefits of mentoring to senior entrepreneurs which we endeavour to outline in this chapter, its focus may come as a surprise to some. The reason for this is because mentoring is often regarded as something seniors ‘do’ to the young. As Ozgen and Baron (2007: 177) point out, “A large amount of research in the A. Walmsley (B) Coventry University, Coventry, UK e-mail: [email protected] G. Nabi Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 S. Sawang (ed.), Entrepreneurship Education, Contributions to Management Science, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48802-4_6



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field of organisational behaviour suggests that relatively young and inexperienced persons often benefit greatly from having a mentor—an older and more experienced individual who actively assists them with various aspects of their careers”. In some respects, mentoring seniors could sound contradictory. Setting up a business comes with numerous challenges. Although identifying a precise figure for the rate of new business failures is difficult, start-ups are likely to face certain risks that larger, more established firms do not—this is often referred to as the ‘liability of newness’ following Stinchcombe’s (1965) early work in this area. The point of departure for this chapter is that entrepreneurs of all ages can benefit from formal support, here mentoring, and that senior entrepreneurship is different in kind to other forms of entrepreneurship. Therefore, we intend to explore the nature of senior entrepreneurship and then propose a mentoring framework for senior entrepreneurs. The chapter is structured as follows: Initially we clarify what we regard as falling within the remit of senior entrepreneurship for the purposes of this chapter, before moving on to the characteristics of senior entrepreneurship. We then, briefly, outline the nature of mentoring, mentoring for entrepreneurship as opposed to mentoring in organisations, before a more extensive discussion of mentoring functions and outcomes for entrepreneurship is provided. We then draw on these two domains, mentoring functions and characteristics of senior entrepreneurship, to develop a list of ten propositions relating to the relationship between mentoring and senior entrepreneurship. The chapter concludes with a review and implications for research and practice.

2 The Phenomenon of Senior Entrepreneurship What do we mean by senior entrepreneurs? There is no standard definition to draw on and without wanting to debate this issue extensively, we recognise that some clarification is required to avoid misunderstandings. We regard senior in our chapter not to relate primarily to experience. Although age and experience tend to go together, the relationship is not inevitable, and someone could be quite young and have gained much experience in entrepreneurship which, in terms of experience, would make them senior. This leaves us to revert to the common usage of senior as relating to age. Here, Rae (2005) who recognises the need to focus attention on the provision of entrepreneurship skills beyond students and young people, targets what he calls midcareer entrepreneurs (35–55 years of age). We do not intend to put an upper age limit on our understanding of senior entrepreneurs and would broadly agree with Rae’s (2005) mid-career definition of those aged between 35–55 years. Schøtt et al. (2017) suggest those who are 50–64 years of age belong to the senior category in relation to entrepreneurship, drawing the line where senior entrepreneurship begins somewhat earlier than Rae (2005). Wherever one decides to draw the line between senior entrepreneurs and their younger counterparts, these age boundaries should be seen as guide values, not as an absolute division. Ultimately, for the purposes of this chapter,

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it is important to recognise that we are not focusing on students or recent graduates, the common focus of entrepreneurship studies (certainly in studies of mentoring for entrepreneurship—see also below) but looking at those who are at an age where, commonly, they might be considering ‘hanging up their corporate/employee jackets’ and instead are looking to don the mantle of the entrepreneur. Loosely defined then, we are looking at those older than approximately 50 years of age, those who have already had corporate careers, or at least many years of employment, and who are considering entrepreneurship as an option instead of retirement, or as the final phase of their working lives before retirement. Staying with the theme of life phases, a common theme in studies of career development is that of phases of career development and the concept of life stage has been linked to senior entrepreneurship (Matos et al. 2018). Alongside Levinson et al. (1978) seminal text with repercussions for mentoring, Super’s extensive work in this area (e.g. Super, 1953, 1984; Super et al. 1963) suggests that careers develop in distinct stages over time (careers guidance would then consist of more than simply matching an individual’s interests and skills at one point in life as typical in trait-and-factor approaches to careers). More specifically, Super proposed five career stages: Growth, Exploration, Establishment, Maintenance and Disengagement. Although Super initially described each stage as requiring certain tasks, with each stage being associated with a particular age, in his later work he recognised that the neat, sequential perspective of career development is not a given (Super 1984). Today, we are arguably in an era of growing career uncertainty (Arnold and Randall 2016; Arthur and Rousseau 1996; Hall 2004). Employees are more likely than ever to seek a career change in what was typically regarded as mid-career, explore and establish themselves in a new field of endeavour, including entrepreneurship. In some circumstances, moving from one job to the next could be regarded as a manifestation of the gig economy. The so-called ‘Third Age’ is no longer necessarily a period of rest and relaxation for many, no longer characterised by a gradual winding down. There is no longer ‘one way to age’. In this regard, Katz and Calasanti (2014) critically question the notion of ‘successful aging’, arguing that not following an active model of aging can equate to individual and social failure. This ‘successful’ or ‘active’ aging model is reflected, for example, in travel trends where the senior market is witnessing rapid growth. Here Patterson et al. (2017) suggest that the baby boomer generation perceive themselves to be younger and more physically active, are more adventurous often than younger cohorts, and crucially from a business perspective are more affluent also. Robbins (2018) also discusses a trend for mature travellers to engage in more adventurous activities, typically associated with younger generations. He cites figures from the UK Office for National Statistics that show the number of British over-65 s travelling overseas leapt by 13.7% from 2014 to 2016. Rather than disengaging from the economically active population, some people in their late fifties and beyond are disengaging as employees and re-engaging as entrepreneurs. The reasons for this vary, from economic need to advances in health, alongside changing attitudes towards entrepreneurship. More seniors are trying out entrepreneurship. Schøtt et al. (2017) provide several statistics from a range of sources


A. Walmsley and G. Nabi

indicating not only a high proportion of senior entrepreneurs, but also that this proportion is growing. According to Kautonen et al. (2014) there is some indication that entrepreneurial activity can increase with age. In the UK, a report by Hitachi Capital (2017) presents figures that suggest the number of over 50s who work for themselves has increased steadily, from around 1.7 million in 2011 up to 2.1 million in 2016. Although some of the growth in senior self-employment comes down to a general ageing of the population, some of the changes are structural. The Hitachi Capital (2017: 13) report extrapolates current trends and points out: “If the over 50s demographic maintains their lead in the growth rate over the under 50s, they will represent more than 50% of all self-employed in the UK from 2024 onwards.”

3 Characteristics of Senior Entrepreneurs and Senior Entrepreneurship The assumption underpinning this chapter is that support requirements for senior entrepreneurs will differ from those of young or mid-career entrepreneurs. They will not be entirely different, setting up and running a business will present similar challenges irrespective of age (Rehák et al. 2017), but differences do exist. In this section, we present some of these differences and challenges distinct to senior entrepreneurs. In an opinion piece, St. Pierre (2017) suggests middle-aged entrepreneurs have ‘a formidable range of weaponry’ to use against their competitors whereby he lists: depth of experience, wisdom, accumulated wealth and confidence. While he does not provide evidence to support these claims, other studies corroborate them, and some of them stand to reason. For example, senior entrepreneurs will be more experienced than their younger counterparts. (This does not mean that all senior entrepreneurs share similar levels of experience.) Analysis of data from a European Commission (2016) study, derived from speaking to 55 senior entrepreneurs, identified the following: (a) Specific characteristics of senior entrepreneurs: they tend to have broader experience and a more developed network of contacts (higher level of social capital), often a desire to ‘give back’ to the community and are less willing to take risks given the stage of life they’ve reached. (b) Support needs of senior entrepreneurs: the use of technology (particularly new technologies), developing an entrepreneurial mindset via entrepreneurship education, identification of business opportunities, identifying funding opportunities, and support with employment transition. Other studies that point to characteristics specific to senior entrepreneurs include Schøtt et al.’s (2017) Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) special report where it is argued that the key difference between young and senior entrepreneurs was their willingness to take on risks. In Rehák et al. (2017), which also drew on GEM data relating to Europe, the two key distinctions between senior and youth entrepreneurs

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were a greater impact on entrepreneurial behaviour of the levels of self-confidence and household income for senior entrepreneurs. An important consideration in mentoring any entrepreneur is understanding what has led them to start a business. Although traditionally entrepreneurs are seen to be driven by a profit motive (Parrish 2010), actual motivations for venture creation are more complicated and there is some evidence that senior entrepreneurs do not primarily set up businesses for financial reasons (Matos et al. 2018). For some, setting up a new venture could be linked to a life-long dream. However, this need not be the case. Thus, a distinction can, for example, be made between opportunity (pull) and necessity (push) entrepreneurship (Nabi et al. 2013). Continuing with the more critical approach to senior entrepreneurship (or at least discourses surrounding senior entrepreneurship) (Katz and Calasanti 2014; Stypinska 2018), career decisions, and here specifically the decision to start a business, may not in fact be directly desired. It can be a reaction to labour market circumstances. Thus, there has been some criticism of simplistic models of senior entrepreneurship assuming equal access to capital and resources, social, health and financial (Stypinska 2018). This stands in stark contrast to other literature in this area which takes a more sanguine approach at describing the phenomenon of senior entrepreneurship. With people increasingly taking mortgages later in life, low basic pensions and means-tested supplements (in the UK), financial pressures on many elderly are mounting, with the proportion of pensioners in severe poverty rising in many countries in Europe (Doward 2019). We cannot assume then that the senior entrepreneur seeking support necessarily started their business solely out of a desire or opportunity; there may have been an element of necessity although the literature on senior entrepreneurship has largely ignored environmental factors in explaining the phenomenon (Martin and Omrani 2019). The reason(s) for their decision to be an entrepreneur will have implications for the mentor—as will be discussed below. For those senior entrepreneurs for whom financial considerations are important, and yet not the driving force behind start-up, entrepreneurship may appeal for a range of other reasons. Entrepreneurship has been associated with the need for achievement (McClelland 1961), for example, with a need for the retiree in particular to still prove their worth. This is especially true in societies where one’s value is often related to one’s economic value or contribution. For people who have had successful, meaningful careers, the moment of retiring can leave a vacuum. This may then affect one’s sense of self-worth, and in certain situations and for certain individuals it can even affect their mental health (Dave et al. 2008). The effect of retiring on mental health is nonetheless not straightforward (Avendano and Berkman 2015). Given what we have just said one may assume retiring has a negative impact on mental health and yet retiring can have a positive effect too, in particular where work itself was the cause of previous poor mental health. Belloni et al. (2016) identified that at the time of a recession (economic crisis) retiring improved the health of men but not women. The effect is stronger for regions with a high proportion of blue-collar workers more severely hit by the economic downturn. Job insecurity and worsening working conditions could contribute to this, with retirement being regarded as a relief (Belloni et al. 2016). What this discussion


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surrounding retiring and mental health demonstrates is that it would be wrong to make generic assumptions about all senior entrepreneurs. While we would like to think that senior entrepreneurs start their businesses for pull/opportunity reasons, it is not a given that all do; appreciating these distinctions is important to acknowledge for the mentor seeking to provide support to the senior entrepreneur (see further discussion below). Just as the intention of setting up a new venture will come down to an interplay of personal and economic circumstances, the decision to embark on the entrepreneurial pathway will also be influenced by friends and family. The idea of the lone, maverick entrepreneur is a myth (Neck and Corbett 2018). Entrepreneurs do not generally operate in a vacuum and very rarely decide to set up a business without conferring with others. More formally, the intention to set up a business is affected by perceived social norms as the application of Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen 1991) in numerous entrepreneurship studies attests. Here, different cultures will have different expectations of what retirees should do in retirement. In cultures where social attitudes towards senior entrepreneurship are unsupportive this could present a real challenge for the aspiring senior entrepreneur (see for example Bogatyreva et al. 2019 whose study confirms the importance of national culture with regard to entrepreneurship). Here Schøtt et al. (2017: 12) maintain: “One can hope that eventually, the awareness of the option of entrepreneurship will be as widespread among older people as it likely is among younger groups, but until then efforts are needed to build this awareness”. Conversely, where attitudes towards senior entrepreneurship are supportive, then this could lead to further growth in the phenomenon of senior entrepreneurship.

4 Mentoring Mentoring is not a novel activity, its foundations go back millennia with references frequently referring to Greek mythology and the guidance provided to Telemachus, Odysseus’ son, by Athena who took on the guise of a family friend ‘Mentor’. Notwithstanding these early origins, one could tentatively argue that the modern era of mentoring arose with the publication of Kram’s seminal work (Kram 1983, 1985, 1988), upon which, at some point or another, most of the mentor literature draws. In her work, Kram draws on eighteen biographic narratives of youth entering the corporate world as well as mid-career adults in a career re-appraisal phase. This context-setting study thereby laid the foundation for ensuing work on mentoring which saw, and still sees, much of the mentoring literature relate to mentoring in organisations. It is generally accepted that mentoring provides a variety of personal developmental and growth functions (Mullen 1998). Here, Kram distinguishes between psychosocial functions and career enhancement functions, a distinction that persists today (Crisp and Cruz 2009). Psychosocial functions are those functions that relate to enhancing one’s sense of competence, effectiveness in the organisational role and clarity of identity. Career functions relate to career advancement. Kram (1983) gives

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the examples of such functions as sponsorship, exposure and visibility, coaching, protection, and challenging assignments. It is important to stress that, given the often-interchangeable use of the terms, we are not focusing in this chapter on coaching. Coaching, as opposed to mentoring, tends to be more directed towards meeting the needs of the sponsoring organisation (or at least as much as it supports the mentee’s development) and tends to entail a business relationship with coaches financially rewarded for their work (Audet and Couteret 2012). This has consequences for what are regarded as legitimate goals. Mentoring on the other hand is driven first-and-foremost by the needs of the individual, crucially, as defined by the individual themselves (Garvey 2004). This is an important consideration especially within the context of mentoring for entrepreneurship as individual entrepreneurs are driven by different things (as discussed in the next section).

5 Organisational Versus Entrepreneurship Mentoring The majority of the mentoring literature adopts an organisational perspective (McKevitt and Marshall 2015). This is not least evidenced in the use of the terminology ‘protégé’ instead of ‘mentee’ whereby a more senior organisational member takes their protégé under their wing. Thus, organisational mentoring has very direct career developmental functions as outlined above. Although not quite as directive as coaching, mentoring in organisations will differ from entrepreneurship mentoring. In organisational mentoring, mentor and mentee aside, the organisation will have a vested interest in the outcome of the mentoring. They will be funding the programme, not just financially but in terms of allocating employee time too. They will be doing this with some anticipation of organisational benefits such as more motivated, productive employees, greater levels of organisational commitment and higher levels of staff retention, for example. In contrast, literature in the area of entrepreneurship mentoring is very limited even though the potential of entrepreneurship mentoring is substantial (Kubberød et al. 2018; Wilbanks 2013). Part of the reason for the absence of literature on mentoring for entrepreneurship could be the prevalence of informal mentoring which, because it is informal, does not find recognition in the literature. Thus, we imagine that entrepreneurs are frequently mentored on an informal basis if we regard informal mentoring as involving support that results from ‘unstructured social interaction’ (Wanberg et al. 2006: 104); in other words if we interpret informal mentoring very broadly. Most entrepreneurs will, at least informally, have experienced some element of mentoring. Although much literature has focused on mentoring employees, as Wilbanks (2013: 93) notes, “less is known about how the demands for effective mentoring change in the entrepreneurial context”.


A. Walmsley and G. Nabi

6 Mentoring Functions and Mentee Benefits Despite the relative absence of literature on mentoring for entrepreneurship, the fact that mentoring is important as part of an entrepreneurial support system, or entrepreneurial ecosystem has been recognised. Drexler et al. (2014), for example, suggest an entrepreneurial ecosystem consists of eight pillars which includes a ‘support systems/mentors’ pillar. The potential benefits of mentoring for entrepreneurs has been recognised generally (Kubberød et al. 2018; Wilbanks 2013), and calls have been made to support senior entrepreneurs via mentoring specifically (European Commission 2016; Schøtt et al. 2017). Although not excessive, the literature does reveal several studies that review the impact of formal mentoring on the entrepreneur. St-Jean and colleagues have contributed some very useful insights here (St-Jean and Audet 2013; St-Jean et al. 2018, 2017; St-Jean and Tremblay 2011), though much of their work focuses on young, novice entrepreneurs, i.e. while still at university or recently graduated which is different to our context here. In one of his early papers, St-Jean (2011) established that more experienced entrepreneurs were able to offer a number of support functions to novice entrepreneurs. Rather than just a two-dimensional categorisation of mentoring functions (psychosocial and career developmental), St-Jean (2011) included a third: ‘role model’. His quantitative study of over 3,500 novice entrepreneurs confirmed nine different mentor functions across the three categories (St-Jean 2011: 69–70): • Psychosocial – Reflector: The mentor gives the mentee feedback on who he is and his business project, including strengths and weaknesses. – Reassurance: The mentor reassures the mentee during difficult times. – Motivation: The mentor motivates and encourages the mentee. – Confidant: the mentee may confide in the mentor just as he would in a friend. • Career Developmental – Integration: The mentor facilitates the integration of the mentee in the business community. – Information support: The mentor gives the mentee information (e.g. relating to legal aspects, market knowledge). – Confrontation: The mentor confronts the mentee’s ideas to help further his reflection. – Guide: When problem solving, the mentor guides the mentee to improve problem comprehension, widen problem vision and context. • Role Model – The role model function focuses on the mentor as a person. The mentor may be a source of inspiration, or at least, of comparison.

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In a more recent study, Nabi et al. (2019) adopted a qualitative approach at trying to understand how mentoring in the early years of university impacted nascent entrepreneurs. Their focus was on how mentoring impacted intentions and nascent entrepreneurial behaviour. Adapting a framework tailored to a HE mentoring environment (Crisp and Cruz 2009) the posited mentoring functions indicated more adaptation to an entrepreneurship in the early years of HE context than St-Jean’s (2011) work. Thus, rather than distinguishing between psychosocial, career development and role model functions, their focus was on the impact of mentoring functions (knowledge development and socio-emotional support) and on entrepreneurial development (entrepreneurial intentions and nascent behaviour). With regard to knowledge development, two broader themes were proposed: ‘Entrepreneurial Career Development’ and ‘Market/Product/Financial Knowledge’ which themselves comprised further mentoring functions as follows: • Entrepreneurial Career Development – Understanding self. – Understanding steps in the start-up process. • Market/Product/Financial Knowledge – Market/Product knowledge. – Finance-related knowledge. With regard to socio-emotional support Nabi et al. (2019) proposed two broader themes ‘Presence of Role Model’ and ‘Emotional Support’ with further associated subthemes as follows: • Presence of Role Model – Real-life inspiration and that ‘it can be done’. – Similar entrepreneurial process (shared experience). • Emotional Support – – – –

Financial fears and anxieties. Worries about the business idea. Emotional Resilience. Realism.

What we can see in comparing both St-Jean’s (2011) and Nabi et al.’s (2019) studies of mentoring functions in mentoring for entrepreneurs is that there are many ways in which mentoring can support entrepreneurs (particularly novice entrepreneurs). There are numerous overlaps, unsurprisingly given a shared provenance in the mentoring literature, not least Kram’s (1985) work, but there are also differences. In Nabi et al.’s (2019) study the role model function is broken down into two strands (real life inspiration that business start-up ‘can be done’, and reassurance that comes from a shared experience). There is also slightly more emphasis in St-Jean (2011) on the cognitive benefits of mentoring, not just the provision of knowledge but also their thinking skills (almost meta-cognition: confronting the mentee’s ideas, assisting the


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mentee in seeing their issue in a bigger context, reframing problems etc.) whereas in Nabi et al.’s (2019) study their findings indicated the importance of the emotional support over the provision of information (though both were important, as is the case in St-Jean’s 2011, study). Crucially though, while emotional support was appreciated by mentees in Nabi et al.’s (2019) study, a greater impact on the development of entrepreneurial intentions and nascent entrepreneurial behaviour (e.g. raising funds, business planning, market research) was provided by the knowledge-development functions. Other studies have pointed to additional benefits of mentoring to entrepreneurs. Ozgen and Baron (2007) identified mentors’ ability to enhance entrepreneurs’ opportunity recognition which is something inherent to entrepreneurship (Shane and Venkataraman 2000). However, opportunity recognition, as Ozgen and Baron (2007: 177) propose, relates to providing mentees with “frameworks useful in interpreting complex information” thus helping mentors to “develop the cognitive frameworks they [mentees] need to recognize emerging opportunities”. As such, this is very similar to St-Jean’s (2011) explication of mentoring’s ‘information’, ‘confrontation’ and ‘guide’ functions and Nabi et al.’s (2019) market/product knowledge function.

7 Towards a Mentoring Framework for Senior Entrepreneurship What we offer now is a synthesis of our review into mentoring functions for senior entrepreneurship into a series of ten propositions. It is based primarily on Nabi et al.’s (2019) framework but also links to St-Jean’s (2011) framework. To start with, we maintain the distinction between socio-emotional and knowledge functions. These mirror, as discussed, the fundamental distinction in much of the mentoring literature, starting with Kram’s (1985) work, between psychosocial and career development mentoring benefits. Extending from Crisp and Cruz (2009), both of these fundamental functions are further segmented by Nabi et al. (2019) into ‘entrepreneurial career development’ and ‘market/product/financial knowledge’ on the knowledge development side, and ‘presence of role model’ and ‘emotional support’ on the socio-emotional side. Proposition 1 Mentoring can assist in helping the senior entrepreneur understand themselves, their goals, career ambitions and also strengths and weaknesses in relation to entrepreneurship. This is similar to Nabi et al.’s (2019) ‘self-understanding’ and St-Jean’s (2011) ‘reflector’ functions. We also posit, however, that this function may play less of a role than in mentoring for young entrepreneurs who may not have as strongly developed understanding of themselves. Thus, it has been argued that values tend to develop in adolescence but then gain a degree of stability later in life (Parks and Guay 2009). That said, although traditional career development theory (e.g. Super 1957) proposes

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that early adulthood is the time for career exploration, we also recognise that given the changing nature of careers (as evidenced by the rise in senior entrepreneurship), senior years can also be a time of exploration, not just of entrepreneurship as a career option, but also of oneself, perhaps rediscovering hidden interests and talents (Propositions 2–4 relate to Nabi et al.’s (2019) understanding ‘steps in the start-up process’ and ‘market/product/financial knowledge’ functions as well as St-Jean’s (2011) ‘information provision’ function). Proposition 2 Mentoring can support the senior entrepreneur in understanding the process of business start-up. It is not just the individual elements of the entrepreneurial process that need to be understood but how they come together. Business start-up is rarely neat, following a predefined path, and so support with the process can be very valuable. This would apply to entrepreneurs of all ages, young, mid-career or senior. Proposition 3 Mentoring can support the senior entrepreneur in gaining market/product knowledge. This support function could include assistance with identifying business opportunities as per the European Commission’s (2016) report on senior entrepreneurs. However, if the senior entrepreneur embarks on a new venture in an area where they already have a great deal of experience, this could be less of an important senior entrepreneurship support function. We could extend this function to also support the senior entrepreneur in gaining social capital (introducing them to relevant networks). Proposition 4 Mentoring can support the senior entrepreneur in gaining financial knowledge (costs of materials/premises and pricing, funding opportunities and so forth). As we note in Proposition 5, although senior entrepreneurs may ‘generally’ be regarded to be in a more financially stable position than young entrepreneurs, this cannot be taken for granted, not least given the rise in poverty amongst the elderly in many countries (Doward, 2019). This proposition also relates to identifying funding sources, something highlighted in the European Commission (2016) report on support for senior entrepreneurs. Proposition 5 Mentoring can support the senior entrepreneur, ensuring they stay inspired during the entrepreneurial process and that ‘it can be done’. This relates most to Nabi et al.’s (2019) ‘real-life inspiration’ as well as St-Jean’s (2011) ‘role model’ and ‘motivation’ functions. This is perhaps particularly important in situations where there is still some reluctance, culturally and/or on the part of significant others, that entrepreneurship is not for seniors. In fact, as Stypinska (2018) has suggested, it would be wrong to simply assume senior entrepreneurs have equal, or even improved access to, for example, social and financial resources. This is certainly not a given for all senior entrepreneurs and so Proposition 5 could be very relevant for senior entrepreneurs.


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Proposition 6 Mentoring can support the senior entrepreneur emotionally by being able to share the experience of the entrepreneurial process with the mentor (akin to Nabi et al.’s 2019 ‘similar entrepreneurial process’ and St-Jean’s 2011, ‘role model’ functions). We propose that, for many senior entrepreneurs, there could be an emotional challenge relating to having to ‘start from the ground up again’. They may have held senior functions in their employing organisations, now to find themselves as the novices in their area. Here we suggest that being mentored by another senior entrepreneur would augment the notion of shared experience (cf., Nabi et al. 2019). Proposition 7 Mentoring can support the senior entrepreneur to tackle financial concerns, especially fears relating to financial loss. This relates most specifically to Nabi et al.’s (2019) support for ‘financial fears and anxieties’ function, as well as to St-Jean’s (2011) more generic ‘reassurance’ function. We acknowledge, however, that this mentoring function may differ in its relevance to senior entrepreneurs than to young entrepreneurs. On the one hand, and as was acknowledged earlier, senior entrepreneurs may have a different attitude to risk. They have less time to recoup financial losses if things do go wrong. On the other hand, they are less likely to need to rely on others’ financial support, i.e. they tend to be more financially stable (Rehák et al. 2017; St. Pierre 2017). Proposition 8 Mentoring can support the senior entrepreneur tackle fears about the viability of the business idea. This, as with Proposition 5, could be related to Nabi et al.’s (2019) functions of ‘worries about the idea’ and ‘real-life inspiration’ as well as St-Jean’s (2011) notions of ‘reassurance’ and ‘motivation’. This proposition may not be as relevant to senior entrepreneurs as to youth if we consider St. Pierre (2017) who claims that senior entrepreneurs can draw on more wisdom and confidence than their younger counterparts. However, this is clearly a broad generalisation and there will be senior entrepreneurs who would benefit from reassurance provided by the mentor in relation to their business idea. Proposition 9 Mentoring can support the senior entrepreneur by strengthening their resilience when setbacks occur. This relates most to Nabi et al.’s ‘emotional resilience function’ but also to StJean’s (2011) idea of ‘reassurance’. Having a ‘sounding-board’ to both off-load onto (akin to St-Jean’s 2011, notion of ‘confidant’), to offer emotional succour, but also to test and refine ideas (see also Proposition 8, akin to St-Jean’s 2011, notion of ‘guide’) would be useful to the senior entrepreneur. The transition from employee to entrepreneurs can be daunting and it is here that the senior entrepreneur might need support also (European Commission 2016). Although entrepreneurs of all ages may benefit from mentoring support for emotional resilience, there may be more unique

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challenges and set-backs for senior entrepreneurs rather than their younger counterparts related to their particular set of circumstances and events. These may typically relate to, for example, health, retirement, redundancy, or reducing or divesting from other business or social commitments (cf. Rae 2005). Proposition 10 Mentoring can support the senior entrepreneur by ensuring their ideas include a dose of realism. This is related to Nabi et al.’s (2019) ‘realism’ function but could also be said to relate to St-Jean’s (2011), notion of ‘confrontation’. It is recognised that entrepreneurs are frequently understood to be less risk-averse than the general population and that they have a ‘get-up-and-go’ attitude, and yet, taking uncalculated risks, and demonstrating blind optimism are likely to result in failure with potentially drastic consequences for the individual (Ucbasaran et al. 2011). The danger of falling for unwarranted optimism is less likely to occur perhaps for senior entrepreneurs than for young entrepreneurs. Senior entrepreneurs will have more knowledge and general life experience and will possibly have learnt from earlier bouts of blind optimism. However, early successes may lead to exuberance and unwavering faith in one’s business acumen. Mentoring can support the senior entrepreneur as part of the start-up process but also beyond.

8 Conclusion Despite a wider recognition of mentoring’s potential in supporting entrepreneurs, we set out in this chapter to provide a theoretical overview of a topic, mentoring for senior entrepreneurs, which has hitherto received limited attention. In doing so we have developed an outline framework via a set of ten propositions explaining mentoring functions for senior entrepreneurs. Regarding the propositions in particular, it should be noted we are making generalisations across all senior entrepreneurs based on what are commonly perceived to be characteristics of, or challenges for, senior entrepreneurs. However, it is crucial to recognise that mentoring involves a one-to-one relationship, whereby the unique, individual needs of the senior entrepreneur should be at the forefront of considerations. We advise mentors not to fall into the ‘ecological fallacy’ trap of treating the individual based on characteristics of the wider group to which they belong. Particularly with regard to their motivation for starting a business, we acknowledge mentoring’s potential extra value in contrast to ‘off the shelf’ solutions which tend to homogenise what can be quite complex scenarios. The motivations for setting up a business are varied, and advice and support would need to take this into consideration as a starting point. Mentoring is ideally suited to accommodating for this individuality and personalisation of entrepreneurial support. The efficacy of some of our propositions will be augmented where the senior entrepreneur is being mentored by an entrepreneur. Where this is not the case, the


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benefits of mentoring are still potentially achievable, but probably less directly for Propositions 2 (understanding entrepreneurial process) and 6 (shared experience). With regard to Propositions 3, (market/product knowledge), 4 (financial knowledge) and 6 (shared experience), a further moderating role may be ascribed to similarity of industry. What we are referring to is that if the mentor and mentee’s businesses are in the same or similar market/industry the benefits accruing to the mentee from Propositions 3 and 6 are likely to be augmented. These variations point to avenues for future research. Beyond a broader recognition of mentoring’s potential in supporting entrepreneurs (of all ages), there is still only limited empirical research that document mentoring’s functions and benefits, for the mentee and also for the mentor, and even less available research looking at the senior entrepreneur perspective. Our propositions offer a broad set of hypothesised relationships for researchers to explore and engage with and to test empirically (quantitatively or qualitatively), including the role of moderating or mediating factors such as cultural and national context, social norms, financial stability, attitudes towards risk and so forth. As such, we believe we have made a useful contribution to future research endeavours in the area of mentoring for senior entrepreneurs. For practitioners, equally, the propositions offer insights into how and where mentoring can help the senior entrepreneur. They also offer aspects of senior entrepreneurship to be mindful of when mentoring senior entrepreneurs (e.g. emotional needs, information needs). Ultimately, the application of these propositions must adhere to the tenets of mentoring in relation to ensuring the mentee’s needs are met, and crucially that it is the mentee who defines what these needs are (Garvey et al. 2009). In sum, as interest in senior entrepreneurship continues to rise mentoring can and should, we argue, continue to play a role in supporting the development of senior entrepreneurs.

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Dave D, Rashad I, Spasojevic J (2008) The effects of retirement on physical and mental health outcomes. South Econ J 75(2):497–523 Doward J (2019) UK elderly suffer worst poverty rate in western Europe, the guardian. https:// www.theguardian.com/society/2019/aug/18/elderly-poverty-risen-fivefold-since-80s-pensions. Accessed 12 Jan 2020 Drexler M, Eltogby M, Foster G, Shimizu C, Ciesinski S, Davila A, Hassan SZ, Jia N, Lee D, Plunkett S, Pinelli M, Cunningham J, Hiscock-Croft R, McLenithan M, Rottenberg L, Morris R (2014) Entrepreneurial ecosystems around the globe and early-stage company growth dynamics: the entrepreneur’s perspective. World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland European Commission (2016) Senior entrerpeneurship good practices manual. European Commission, Brussels Garvey R (2004) The mentoring/counseling/coaching debate: Call a rose by any other name and perhaps it’s a bramble? Dev Learn Org Int J 18(2):6–8 Garvey R, Stokes P, Megginson D (2009) Coaching and mentoring: theory and practice. Sage, London Hall D (2004) The protean career: a quarter-century journey. J Vocat Behav 65:1–13 Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC (2017) The economic impact of the silver pound updated November 2017 ed. Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC. https://www.hitachicapital.co.uk/media/1393/hitachi-capital-uksilver-pound-report.pdf. Accessed 20 Jan 2020 Katz S, Calasanti T (2014) Critical perspectives on successful aging: does it “appeal more than it illuminates”? The Gerontologist 55(1):26–33 Kautonen T, Down S, Minniti M (2014) Ageing and entrepreneurial preferences. Small Bus Econ 42(3):579–594 Kram K (1983) Phases of the mentor relationship. Acad Manag J 26(4):608–625 Kram K (1985) Mentoring at work: developmental relationships in organizational life. Scott Foresman, Glenview, IL Kram K (1988) Mentoring at work: developmental relationships in organizational life, 2nd edn. University Press of America, Lanham Kubberød E, Fosstenløkken S, Erstad PO (2018) Peer mentoring in entrepreneurship education: towards a role typology. Educ Train 60(9):1026–1040 Levinson DJ, Darrow CN, Klein EB, Levinson MA, McKee B (1978) Seasons of a man’s life. Knopf, New York Martin L, Omrani (2019) Understanding senior entrepreneur behaviour. J Enterp Cult 27(3):259–282 Matos CS, Amaral M, Baptista R (2018) Senior entrepreneurship: a selective review and a research agenda. Found Trends Entrepreneurship 14(5):427–554 McClelland DC (1961) The achieving society. Van Nostrand, New York McKevitt D, Marshall D (2015) The legitimacy of entrepreneurial mentoring. Int J Entrepreneurial Behav Res 21(2):263–280 Mullen E (1998) Vocational and psychosocial mentoring functions: identifying mentors who serve both. Hum Resour Dev Quart 9(4):319–331 Nabi G, Walmsley A, Akhtar I (2019) Mentoring functions and entrepreneur development in the early years of university. Studies in Higher Education. https://srhe.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10. 1080/03075079.2019.1665009 Nabi G, Walmsley A, Holden R (2013) Pushed or pulled? Exploring the factors underpinning graduate start-ups and non-start-ups. J Educ Work 10(1):1–26 Neck H, Corbett A (2018) The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Educ Pedagogy 1(1):8–41 Ozgen E, Baron RA (2007) Social sources of information in opportunity recognition: effects of mentors, industry networks, and professional forums. J Bus Ventur 22(2):174–192 Parks L, Guay R (2009) Personality, Values and Motivation. Personality Individ Differ 47:675–684 Parrish B (2010) Sustainability-driven entrepreneurship: principles of organization design. J Bus Ventur 25(5):510–523


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Patterson I, Sie L, Balderas-Cejudo A, Rivera-Hernaez O (2017) Changing trends in the baby boomer travel market: importance of memorable experiences. J Hospitality Mark Manag 26(4):347–360 Rae D (2005) Mid-career entrepreneurial learning. Educ Train 47(8/9): 562–574 Rehák J, Pilková A, Jancovicová Z, Holienka M (2017) Do senior entrepreneurs differ from youth entrepreneurs? Evidence from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Innovation management, entrepreneurship and sustainability 2017, University of Economics, Prague Robbins T (2018) Travel in retirement: the rise of the older adventurer, financial times, UK. https:// www.ft.com/content/fd666878-083c-11e8-9e12-af73e8db3c71. Accessed 13 Jan 2020 Schøtt T, Rogoff E, Herrington M, Kew P (2017) GEM: special topic report 2016–2017: senior entrepreneurship: 54, global entrepreneurship monitor Shane S, Venkataraman S (2000) The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Acad Manag Rev 25(1):217–226 St-Jean E (2011) Mentor functions for novice entrepreneurs. Acad Entrepreneurship J 17(1):65–84 St-Jean E, Audet J (2013) The effect of mentor intervention style in novice entrepreneur mentoring relationships. Mentoring Tutoring: Partnership Learn 21(1):96–119 St-Jean E, Radu-Lefebvre M, Mathieu C (2018) Can less be more? Mentoring functions, learning goal orientation, and novice entrepreneurs’ self-efficacy. Int J Entrepreneurial Behav Res 24(1):2– 21 St-Jean E, Tremblay M (2011) Opportunity recognition for novice entrepreneurs: the benefits of learning with a mentor. Acad Entrepreneurship J 17(2):37–48 St-Jean E, Tremblay M, Jansen F, Baronet J, Loué C, Nafa A (2017) May business mentors act as opportunity brokers and enablers among university students? Int Entrepreneurship Manage J 13:97–111 St. Pierre R (2017) How older entrepreneurs can turn age to their advantage, entrepreneur. https:// www.entrepreneur.com/article/294799. Accessed 28 Jan 2020 Stinchcombe A L (1965) Social structure and organizations. In: March JG (Ed) Handbook of organizations. Rand McNally, Chicago, IL, pp 142–193 Stypinska J (2018) The enterprising self: a panacea for all or new fictitious social role for older adults? The analysis of european polices for senior entrepreneurship. J Popul Ageing 11(1):43–65 Super D (1953) A theory of vocational development. Am Psychol 8(5):185–190 Super D (1957) The psychology of careers. Harper, New York Super D (1984) Career and life development. In: Brown D, Brooks L (eds) Career choice and development, 1st edn. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco Super D, Starishevsky R, Matlin N, Jordaan JP (1963) Career development: self-concept theory. College Entrance Examination Board, New York Ucbasaran D, Westhead P, Wright M (2011) Why serial entrepreneurs don’t learn from failure. Harvard Bus Rev 89(4):26 Wanberg C, Kammeyer-Mueller J, Marchese M (2006) Mentor and protégé predictors and outcomes of mentoring in a formal mentoring program. J Vocat Behav 69(3):410–423 Wilbanks J (2013) Invited applied commentary: mentoring and entrepreneurship: examining the potential for entrepreneurship education and for aspiring new entrepreneurs. J Small Bus Strategy 23(1):93–101

Entrepreneurship Education for “Mature Preneurs”: The Role of Positive Psychology in Active Aging Roxanne Zolin

Abstract In most developed nations entrepreneurs over 50 represent 26–34% of new business start-ups and they are most the successful and fastest growing entrepreneurship segment. They are more successful because they have more human, social and financial capital than younger entrepreneurs, but they may also have less formal entrepreneurship training. These Mature Preneurs are more likely to learn through heutagogy and andragogy principles than traditional pedagogic delivery methods. Entrepreneurship curriculum needs to explicitly address the issue of successful identity transformation from worker into Business Owner. Positive psychology needs to be part of the curriculum to provide entrepreneurs with valuable entrepreneurial personality characteristics such as goal orientation, resilience, and perseverance. Relevant educational strategies, such as the accessing the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem and Project Based Learning should be employed. Finally, entrepreneurship education for Mature Preneurs should be delivered by experienced and successful mature entrepreneurs, who exhibit positive psychology and entrepreneurial personality characteristics.

1 Why Are We Interested in Mature Preneurs? We define senior entrepreneurship as the process in which people aged over 50 participate in new business start-ups (Hart et al. 2004). This group of senior entrepreneurs are often called “Mature Preneurs” (Martiz et al. 2015). In many developed countries Mature Preneurs are the fastest growing entrepreneurship segment (Mayhew 2014; Farrell 2019a, b). According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the 55- to 64-year-old age group accounted for 26% of new USA entrepreneurs in 2017. Mature Preneurs largely represent the Baby Boomer generation, who are the demographic cohort following the Silent Generation and preceding Generation X. The Baby Boom generation is most often defined as those individuals born between R. Zolin (B) Noble International Business School, Accra, Ghana e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 S. Sawang (ed.), Entrepreneurship Education, Contributions to Management Science, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48802-4_7



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1946 (74 in 2020) and 1964 (56 in 2020). The exorbitant size of the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation, born post World War II and society’s success in increasing the healthy life expectancy of individuals (Bloom et al. 2010), results in a highly capable, trained and experienced 50 plus labour force, which seems to remain under-utilised (Samorodov 1999). These dynamics increase policy interest and research directed towards older workers in developed economies (Kautonen and Down 2012). Policy responses include the promotion of business start-ups and self-employment (jointly referred to as entrepreneurship in this research) as a late-career alternative. This line of thinking has led to a recent surge of interest in senior entrepreneurship (Kautonen et al. 2014). As you will note in the earlier chapters of this book, there is a growth in entrepreneurship education across the board from Primary School through University and now also including online courses and information. But, unlike younger entrepreneurs, Mature Preneurs were unlikely to have access to such materials during their formal education or working years. Consequently, although Mature Preneurs have greater resources for entrepreneurship, including more human, social and financial capital (Perenyi et al. 2018), they are also likely to have different and sometimes greater and/or lesser needs for Entrepreneurship education. Therefore we ask what are the entrepreneurship education needs of Mature Preneurs? To answer this question we ask how and why Mature Preneurs start new businesses after the age of 50 to determine what entrepreneurship education seems most appropriate.

2 What Do We Know About Mature Preneurs Start-up Behavior? It is difficult to study the success of Mature Preneurs (or any) business start-ups because it is difficult to track and account for those businesses that have failed. In research terms this is called a ‘success bias’. One study in Australia, the Comprehensive Australian Study of Entrepreneurial Emergence (CAUSEE), has managed to overcome this limitation by tracking a cohort of new business start-ups over a number of years to include those businesses that were not successful in the final analysis. CAUSEE was (and probably still is) Australia’s largest research project in business start-ups and the development of young firms (Davidsson et al. 2008). “The CAUSEE data consist of a random sample of approximately 600 emerging business startups and another approximately 600 newly established young firms”. In addition, a sample of approximately 100 ‘high-potential’ high-growth firms complement the longitudinal data collection between 2007 and 2013 (Perenyi et al. 2018, p. 7). This research data allows us to more accurately compare Mature Preneurs to younger entrepreneurs.

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The total Australian entrepreneurship activity rate of 8% for the age group 55–64 is approximately 3% above the average of innovation-driven economies, representing 590,000 SME business owners over the age of fifty (GEM 2012). This represents the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurship (Mayhew 2014). To put Mature Preneurs in context here is an example from Australia. In 2018 the average age in Australia was 41.1 years. In their population of 24,190,907 there were 5,970,378 people over the age of 50, which is 25% of the total population, but in the CAUSEE study we found that 34% of young firms in Australia are led by entrepreneurs over 50. Mature Preneurs make up over one third of all new business start-ups. CAUSEE also found that “younger entrepreneurs work 23 hours per week compared to 18.5 for seniors. Younger entrepreneurs contributed on average $272,000 in assets to start their business compared to $1,487,000 contributed by seniors. Younger entrepreneurs had 7.5 years industry experience compared to 13.25 years for seniors.” (Perenyi et al. 2018, p. 7). Since Mature Preneurs have greater human, social and financial capital compared to younger entrepreneurs (Perenyi et al. 2018) they should also be more successful. CAUSEE found that younger entrepreneurs earned $115,000 in their young business compared to $264,000 earned by seniors. Although Mature Preneurs are over represented in new business startups and have to potential to be more successful, they often overlooked in policy and program development, and even entrepreneurship advertising, which seems to suggest that entrepreneurship is only for the younger generation.

3 Why Do “Mature Preneurs” Start Businesses After 50? Mature preneurs can be grouped into two categories, based on why seniors make their choices of becoming entrepreneurs, namely: push and pull factors (Dawson and Henley 2012). The mature worker could be pushed into self-employment by being pushed out of employment or through lack of job opportunities, as result of the broad societal trends (Biehl et al. 2014). Older people may also be pulled into self-employment by the attraction of a business opportunity (Dawson and Henley 2012), based on their superior experience, capabilities or the change of societal norms about the appropriateness of activities for aged people (Kautonen et al. 2011). For example an individual may start a lifestyle business to pursue an interest, hobby or personal dream (Perenyi et al. 2018). The propensity of seniors to engage in entrepreneurial activity can be also increased by promotion of entrepreneurship to older age segments as a prospective policy option (Kautonen et al. 2014). The policy objective is to increase entrepreneurial intentions, i.e. one’s desire to own one’s own business or to start a business (Bae et al. 2014). Findings of self-employment by seniors in the USA suggest that their entrepreneurial decisions are impacted by the macroeconomic environment (Biehl et al. 2014). In the UK however, findings suggest that the institutional framework


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discourages older people from participating (Kautonen 2008). Findings on start-up motivations of seniors in Finland indicate that senior entrepreneurs are constrained by their lack of pull factors (Kautonen 2008). In the Australian context, limited effective government programmes are in place to encourage senior entrepreneurs (Kautonen 2013) addressing an anticipated average participation rate of seniors in the labour market, and a large dependency ratio (OECD 2006). Employment rate of Australians after the age of 59 declines sharply as age progresses, and the proportion of self-employment amongst the pre-retirees has been decreasing over the past decade, while post-retirement employment has been on the rise (OECD 2017). It is known that underutilisation of the workforce (Trewin 2002) and underemployment (ABS 2013) remains a continuing issue, although employment in general is on the rise (ABS 2017). An example of a push entrepreneurship statement from a recent study is: I’m only doing [entrepreneurship] because I don’t have another choice. I thought I could easily land a job… Only to discover that you’re considered, you’re over the hill, feeble and stupid and I had no idea. So hence I had to then find another option… I don’t have that option of employment, that’s what I’m saying. SE506 (Martiz et al. 2015)

In contrast an example of a pull statement states: I think you can take personal satisfaction out of continuing your contribution to humanity, mentoring younger people, contributing to the economy, staying healthy and keeping away dementia. The satisfying part of running a business is that it keeps you curious and ambitious. In the best sense it keeps you proactive and it keeps you engaged with the community. SE302 (Martiz et al. 2015)

Recent Australian research shows that senior entrepreneurs are more driven by opportunity than necessity and are primarily internally motivated (Perenyi et al. 2018). Another recent study of Mature Preneurs in Australia found that key predictors of Entrepreneurial activity are Opportunity and Intrinsic motivations, when controlling for university education and respondents’ marital status. The more positive the respondents’ perceptions were of Opportunity and Intrinsic motivations, the more likely they were to become senior entrepreneurs. Furthermore, seniors with university education who are not alone are more likely to engage in entrepreneurial activity. Results also demonstrated the lack of a direct relationship between perceptions of Necessity and Entrepreneurial activity. It is also interesting that Necessity had a significant indirect effect on Entrepreneurial activity through Opportunity and Intrinsic motivation. Similar to Necessity, Social Influences also has only indirect effects on Entrepreneurial activity through Opportunity and Intrinsic motivation. This indicates that Necessity and Social Influences change the prospective entrepreneur’s perceptions of Opportunity and Intrinsic motivation, but do not directly affect Entrepreneurial activity. The model results confirmed that Opportunity and Intrinsic motivations are the primary drivers of Entrepreneurial activity for senior entrepreneurs, while Necessity is not. It has also been demonstrated that a strong underlying factor is Social Influences

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indirectly affecting Entrepreneurial activity through the primary drivers of Opportunity and Intrinsic motivation. Necessity only has an indirect effect on Entrepreneurial activity through Intrinsic motivation, whose significance is weak. This can be claimed a marginal driver for senior entrepreneurs. The two significant demographic control variables further augment the picture drawn by the model regarding influencing factors of Entrepreneurial activity of senior entrepreneurs. More educated seniors are more likely to start up a business, and having an established relationship also significantly increases propensity to start up a business. Research has shown that senior entrepreneurs recognise that they are better prepared to start a business than younger entrepreneurs, and they feel that this option is less risky for them compared to staying employed or unemployed (Martiz et al. 2015). But many countries have a significant lack of entrepreneurship policy and initiatives aimed at Mature Preneurs. This indicates opportunities to educate and facilitate senior entrepreneurship even further (Martiz et al. 2015). Higher rates of senior entrepreneurship in the UK, for example, may well be as a result of sustained entrepreneurship initiatives aimed at this market (The International Journal of Organizational Innovation Special Issue September 2015, p. 5). Examples of UK programs include: (1) Best Agers, (2) the Female Scheme, and (3) PRIME (Halabisky et al. 2012). Of significance is PRIME, an initiative aimed at unemployed people over the age of 50 who want to find a way back to work through self-employment (www.primeinitiative.org.uk). A USA social entrepreneurship endeavour designed to engage, empower, connect and celebrate seniors who choose to become entrepreneurs was developed by Senior Entrepreneurship Works at the Lawrence N. Field for Entrepreneurship, NY (Martiz et al. 2015). The similar scheme in Australia is NEIS, the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (Dockery 2002), which offers training, mentoring and an allowance to individuals not in employment, education or training who are interested in running their own business. Despite a 30 year history of success, the number of NEIS positions offered each year is very low compared to the number of unemployed. For example in 2015 6,300 opportunities were offered to the 726,000 Australians unemployed. In 2019 8,600 NEIS places were offered to the 720,600 unemployed. Less than 1% of Australian unemployed will have access to a NEIS opportunity, compared to over 25% of the workforce engaged in small business. Although the Australian Government is always looking for lower cost ways to address these issues (Dockery 2002), none have been effective enough to replace the NEIS program in Australia.

4 What Knowledge and Skills Do Mature Preneurs Need? Prospective Mature Preneurs will fall into three education categories: 1. Mature individuals who have not worked in a business before and may need a full range of business and start-up education.


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2. Mature workers with years of business experience who may only need the knowledge and skills required to start and operate a business. 3. Serial entrepreneurs who have started and run their own business before may only need to know about their new business opportunity and the latest business practices, such as new online tools. Because the majority of mature individuals will likely have some business work experience but have not yet started or run a business, we will focus on the second group who mainly need the knowledge and skills required to start and operate a business. Because starting a business could involve any industry, any product, any service, or any customer group, including ones that have never been identified before, the knowledge and skills required to start and operate any kind of new and unique business are enormous, but a useful summary is made in most entrepreneurship courses and texts.

5 Required Knowledge for Mature Preneurs In a case study of a business start-up one of the founders suggested the following as the areas of knowledge required for starting a new venture (Scott-Kemmis 2017, p. 15): • • • • • • • • • • • •

knowledge of the law and legal processes associated with starting a company knowledge of the law around shares and market valuation of a company financial skills, including tax and incentive, shares knowledge of investment networks such as the angels network knowledge of the business accelerators able to coach start-ups finding mentors who have already successfully established start-ups business planning and marketing marketing for start-ups media skills pitching to angels, and potential mentors and investors investment—valuations, shares and negotiation with investors shareholder engagement.

Although some of these items are probably more accurately placed in the area of skills, this does give a fairly comprehensive list of the skills and knowledge needed to start an entrepreneurial venture. A Mature Preneur may have a better knowledge of some of these areas than a younger entrepreneur depending upon their work experience, but that cannot be guaranteed. Jones and colleagues (Jones et al. 2019) highlight the importance of six specific knowledge bases required in the development of a scholarship of teaching and learning for entrepreneurship education (EE):

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.


knowledge of self, knowledge of entrepreneurship theories, knowledge of transformational learning approaches, knowledge of authentic assessment processes, knowledge of student engagement, knowledge of how to scholarly lead.

Let’s consider the existing level of knowledge a Mature Preneur as a self-learner, is likely to have in each of these areas. Mature Preneurs are likely to have a high level of knowledge of self, having had more than 50 years of life experience. This may be lower if they did not have a wide range of work experience, for example a person who worked for only one organisation, such as the military, or in only one role, for example a landscaper, for most of their previous work history. It is also likely that most novice Mature Preneurs do not have much knowledge of entrepreneurship theories. Even experienced entrepreneurs, who have not had formal entrepreneurship education, may have limited exposure to entrepreneurship theories. Mature Preneurs, who have not worked in education are unlikely to have knowledge of transformational learning approaches (not incremental learning, but how to transform existing understandings into something completely new), authentic assessment processes (how to determine if one “gets” the learning), student engagement techniques (how to keep interested in learning even when content is not preferred, for example sometimes finance or accounting) or how to self-lead scholarly learning. Consequently, self learning of entrepreneurial knowledge may be difficult for Mature Preneurs. In addition to addressing the Mature Preneur’s knowledge bases, we also need to address the Mature Preneur’s capabilities for EE skill development.

6 Required Skills for Mature Preneurs Enterprise skills are those that facilitate opportunity identification, problem-solving, self-reliance, initiative, risk taking, flexibility, creativity and include those often referred to as transversal or ‘soft skills’ (Scott-Kemmis 2017, p. 15). Types of entrepreneurial skills include (Scott-Kemmis 2017, p. 15). 1. Competencies to recognise and analyse market opportunities, e.g. handling risk, managing technical dimensions and understanding the market. 2. Competencies to communicate and persuade e.g. the ability to relate to, communicate with, and persuade customers, clients, suppliers, competitors, service providers and other stakeholders in the business environment in order to understand their needs, expectations, apprehensions and requirements. 3. Networking e.g. the ability to build linkages with businesses and other organisations for collaboration to achieve shared objectives and mutual learning—developing a ‘community of practice’.


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4. Personal management skills/personal entrepreneurial behaviour e.g. the ability to ‘live with daily insecurity’, learning effectively from business interactions, developing an effective learning organisation that remains entrepreneurial, maintaining a flexible strategic orientation and appropriate delegation. Transversal skills, also termed ‘soft skills’, or ‘cross-cutting skills’, include specific skills such as language skills, communication skills etc., and a number of non-occupation specific skills such as personal and organisational skills (European Commission, Education and Culture 2014), including: – – – –

application of knowledge, attitudes and values at work language and communication, social skills and competences, thinking skills and competences, such as critical thinking.

Some skills more likely to be gained by Mature Preneurs in their previous work experience, including: • • • •

Transversal skills, Communication and persuasion, Networking, Personal management skills. Those skills that are less likely to be gained by Mature Preneurs include:

• Competencies to recognise and analyse market opportunities, • Personal entrepreneurial behaviour, in particular the ability to ‘live with daily insecurity’. Some individuals who transition from employment to self-employment report sometimes extreme reactions to the loss of a regular income. Mautre Preneurs, who have had regular full time employment most of their working life are likely to feel this insecurity. (See the discussion of the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) program for ways to address this issue.) Another required soft skill is critical thinking. Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skilfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action (Scriven and Paul 1987). The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training, which incorporates the qualifications from each education and training sector into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework puts critical thinking in Level 8 or higher, the level typically reserved to Graduate education or higher. The following excerpt indicates the skills involved with critical thinking in the AQF: “Graduates at this level will have advanced cognitive, technical and communication skills to select and apply methods and technologies to: • analyse critically,

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evaluate and transform information to complete a range of activities • analyse, generate and transmit solutions to complex problems • transmit knowledge, skills and ideas to others” (Australian Qualifications Framework 2013). Although Mature Preneurs are more likely to have graduate education and work experience, they may need to focus these skills upon new areas, such as the management of employees and interactions with customers, partners and/or investors.

7 How Can Entrepreneurship Education Be Delivered to Mature Preneurs? With such a broad range of knowledge and skills required by Mature Preneurs, a full range of education opportunities will be of benefit and suit individual’s personal learning styles and preferences. Such a range can include: • • • • •

Long and short courses from education and other service providers. Online websites from Governments and private service providers. Libraries and access to other reference materials. Consultants, friends and family members. The local entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The following discussion considers educational requirements for EE from the learner driven context. The scholarship of teaching and learning for EE draws on the three learning processes to address situational requirements, which involves combining pedagogy, andragogy and heutagogy in a process they call academagogy (Jones et al. 2019). Pedagogy describes “the methods of teaching or imparting knowledge or instruction generally on the one hand—all those processes by which information is given– and on the other, education or development from within outward” (Hall 1905, p. 375). Andragogy is commonly associated with student behavior that is self-directed in nature, although still anchored to the direction of the educator (Knowles 1968, 1980). Andragogy is often associated with adult learning. Heutagogy refers to self-determined learning where the individual student’s interests and motivations create a focus area for new learning that is independent of the educator (Hase and Kenyon 2007). Heutagogy is often associated with EE because it involves independent self-learning. Jones proposes that pedagogy, andragogy and heutagogy progress in a continuum from instructor driven to learner driven education (Jones et al. 2019). Depending upon where they seek EE, Mature Preneurs can use any combination of pedagogy, andragogy or heutagogy but due to being out of education for many years, andragogy and heutagogy are the most likely forms to be selected. The four design elements of a heutagogical approach (Andrews 2014) include:


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1. A flexible approach to the curriculum that is guided by learner-generated pathways. Learning can occur anywhere/anytime. 2. Agile approaches to assessment where the learner and educator co-construct assessment processes. For example, success criteria can be negotiated and also include self-reflection alongside goal-setting behaviours. 3. Authentic enquiry in which learners seek creative solutions to real problems and opportunities that are found in their lives. 4. Contracts, through which accountability and awareness exist side-by-side. Mature Preneurs, who are unlikely to have gained entrepreneurial skills through traditional education, are likely to benefit as much or more than younger entrepreneurs from the entrepreneurial ecosystem. An entrepreneurial ecosystem is defined as the formal and informal institutions and relationships that facilitate access to entrepreneurship-relevant resources such as information, finance, reputation and specific knowledge, including education (Scott-Kemmis 2017, p. 11).

Other entrepreneurs appear to be the best source of support and influence for Mature Preneurs starting their own business creation (Martiz et al. 2015). You tend to feed off the other entrepreneurs in your groups and it’s self-sustaining. Entrepreneurs are all ambitious, willing to take chances, willing to spend money, willing to go without so when you hang around with those sorts of people it’s self-supporting. SE102 creation (Martiz et al. 2015)

This implies that initiatives enhancing the ability of senior entrepreneurs to recognise opportunities more effectively can strongly contribute to start-up creation (Martiz et al. 2015).

8 Heutagogical Principles Heutagogical principles include (Hase and Kenyon 2007): • • • • • • • •

learning when the learner is ready; learning requires more than knowledge and skills, it requires new connections; learning does not depend upon the teacher; it can be triggered by experience; learning is focused upon the student, not the curriculum; self-sufficiency in learning, personal exploration and risk taking; the ability to change one’s way of thinking and acting from learning; application of learning, making connections beyond theory; positive learning values, so that learning is fun.

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9 Heidiggerian Existential Philosophy For many Mature Preneurs starting their first successful business is the hardest thing they have ever tried to do up to that point in their life. This experience touches a person’s sense of self, to some extent changes ones personality. Drawing on Heideggerian philosophy, this impacts one’s being in an existential manner. The Mature Preneur will not be the same person after successfully starting their first business. If they are successful they will transform their identity to include being a business owner. Hence, starting a new business can have a large impact on one’s identity and perceived existence as a Mature Preneur. The longest and most successful personal development training based upon Heideggerian existential philosophy is the Landmark Forum, previously called est (Kopp and Hyde 2019). For more information see “Speaking Being” by Kopp and Hyde (2019).

10 Positive Psychology Approach for Entrepreneurship Education The goal of psychology has recently changed from “relieving misery and uprooting the disabling conditions of life” (Seligman 2012) to as recent as 1998 “supplement its venerable goal with a new goal: exploring what makes life worth living and building the enabling conditions of a life worth living” (Seligman 2012). This new perspective in the research and practice of psychology is called positive psychology. The content of positive psychology, which adds up to human flourishing, includes the five elements of well-being theory (Seligman 2012): • • • • •

Positive emotion Engagement Relationships Meaning Achievement.

Underpinning these five elements are the 24 strengths and virtues, such as kindness, social intelligence, humor, courage, and integrity. Although positive psychology is central to successful entrepreneurship, it is not often discussed in entrepreneurship education and training. In the next sections, we will look at how the application of Positive Psychology can contribute to the education and training of Mature Preneurs, who, as mentioned in the previous section, could be risking everything to start a new business with high levels of risk and responsibility. And, while starting a new business can be very stressful, it will more likely be successful with the benefits of positive psychology’s focus on flourishing.


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11 Introducing Positive Psychology and Critical Thinking into the EE curriculum In addition to the traditional content typically presented in EE courses, some entrepreneurship programs informally present some elements of positive psychology largely due to existing instructor values and experience rather than formal curriculum design. Step one of formally introducing positive psychology and critical thinking into an EE curriculum could be to have the participants and instructors do a self check on where they stand with respect to the five major elements of positive psychology (Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Achievement) and identify the participants’ major strengths and virtues. This could provide an indication of areas needing personal attention. Because some aspects of positive psychology are existential, relating to the way the Mature Preneurs are being, it is first and foremost very important for trainers to have also internalised the values of positive psychology, particularly as they apply to entrepreneurship, such as positive attitudes, risk taking, perseverance, resilience, kindness, generosity, critical thinking and intellectual honesty. For this reason, there are benefits to having entrepreneurship training delivered by individuals and organisations who have been and are currently active entrepreneurs. This avoids the trap of presenting an image that seems to say “Do as I say, not as I do”, which could apply if entrepreneurship trainers are public servants or employees on guaranteed salaries. It is also imperative that Entrepreneurship Trainers for Mature Preneurs do not hold the negative stereotypes of older segments of the workforce, which pushed them out of employment in the first place. Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method which gives students access to develop knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge (PBLWorks 2019). Many entrepreneurship education programs, such as Australia’s NEIS program, use the Mature Preneur’s own new business idea as a project based learning opportunity. This is good from positive psychology, critical thinking, existential and heutagogical perspectives, but can create challenges covering a diverse range of businesses in the curriculum, for example trying to cover social entrepreneurship as well as for-profit entrepreneurship content. One way of simplifying the project based learning method is to adopt preselected business opportunities. While this will reduce the range of variation it will also reduce the reality and relevance of the PBL.

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12 Mature Preneurs Talk Positive! An Application of Positive Psychology in Entrepreneurship Education You may be asking, what positive psychology has to do with entrepreneurship in general and Mature Preneurs in particular. First I will describe what makes entrepreneurs special and then expand on what we mean by Positive Ageing, and finally explain how this relates to Mature Preneurs, while introducing you to some of the awesome Mature Preneurs who were interviewed by Diana Todd-Banks on the podcast Mature Preneurs Talk.1 Research shows that entrepreneurs, like many other professions, tend to share particular personality characteristics. Of course we face the challenge of “which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” In other words, are entrepreneurs born entrepreneurial or does engaging in entrepreneurial activities make a person more entrepreneurial? It is likely to be a bit of both. Assuming that some people have more entrepreneurial qualities that might lead them into entrepreneurship, so what are those entrepreneurial personality characteristics? A study of personality characteristics of self-employed small business owners found that the top four personality predictors of success were Goal Setting, Social Networking, Emotional Resilience, and Work Drive (Owens et al. 2013). While all entrepreneurs may not have these characteristics to start out, if they don’t have them they may not be entrepreneurs for long. In addition, studies found that the top three personality predictors of entrepreneurs’ satisfaction were Optimism, Work-based “Locus of Control” (taking responsibility for what happens in your work, even if you were not directly involved), and Work Drive. After all, if you are not happy being an entrepreneur, how long will you stick with it? So, how does this Positive Psychology, which underpins Positive Aging, relate to Mature Preneurs? The following are some examples of Positive Psychology by our Mature Entrepreneurs in the podcast and book Mature Preneurs Talk created by Diana Todd-Banks (2019a, b). Diana has been an entrepreneur all of her life with an awesome career, some of the highlights include introducing Australian wine to the USA, founding Director of the International Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles, writing many books, journalism, PR and last, but not least pioneering, hostess of the Mature Preneurs Talk podcast. Kelly Williams, of Lexington, Virginia says ‘positive aging is about the realization that we are never too old to switch gears, step out of our current lives or focus on a long forgotten passion’. Ross Keating also comments ‘don’t let your age determine or confine where you want to go or want to achieve. After all…age is only a number!’ Mature Preneurs take a Strengths Based Approach, similar to the way that Great leaders put 80% of their attention on their army’s strengths rather than on their weaknesses. One of our Mature Preneurs, Ann Jagger, says, ‘There are two schools of thought when it comes to starting a business. One urges you to start a business doing something you are good at and the other says follow your dream. Here is my 1 https://maturepreneurstalk.libsyn.com/.


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take on that, along with possible solutions. Be creative. What are your gifts, talents, and strengths? How can you take those gifts and create a business that will thrive? Be honest with yourself. Determine where your weaknesses lie. Look into learning new skills. Realize you may need someone else’s talents to get your business off the ground.’ Many people talk about following your passion when starting a business but John Orian has turned helping people follow their passion into his own business! He says, ‘After extensive reading and contemplation, I believe that we come to Earth simply to Play and to Create. Our highest calling is to make the most of the experiences Life offers us, to relish those experiences.’ … ‘Passionate engagement in relationships, community, experiences, and impact is vital. This is what keeps people feeling younger, happier and healthier. This is what brings us joy. These are the kinds of things we need to be pursuing to conclude at the end, that our lives were well lived.’ Thus, following your passion can also make you happier and healthier. Indeed Mature Preneurs are also good at learning something new. “From Corporate to Cowgirl - Learning to be a Rancher” is an amazing story of Kelly Williams and her husband Mike, who was a general contractor in 2007. Their business was disappearing in front of their eyes so at the ages of 51 and 55 they went into a different industry, ranching! ‘The only experience I ever had with the word “Barb” was Barbie Doll certainly not barbwire.’ Kelly said, ‘Starting our business taught me how to deal with risk, to be resilient, how to ride a working cow horse, herd cattle on horseback, doctor cattle and all the other facets of running a cattle operation.’ Finally, Diana’s advice is a summation of everyone in this book ‘Reinvention whether it is large or small is about sticking it out, working hard and not giving up. We can do whatever we set our minds to if we want it badly enough. Nothing worth having comes easy. Find people who support you, who encourage your dreams and your goals, this is important because change is hard. It asks a lot of us and it is uncomfortable but the rewards are incredible. An exciting, energized life leads to a happy, longer life. It is never too late to learn something new and the benefits far outweigh the difficulties. Nothing great ever happens in our comfort zone. Be brave, grab your dreams because age is only a state of mind’. A positive psychology characteristic of resilience is seen in entrepreneurs through their persistence. Some entrepreneurs just don’t give up. I would like to tell you the story of persistence that really touched my heart. One of the entrepreneurs on Mature Preneurs Talk, Damien Lee, is a single parent of two young boys, who has been an entrepreneur all his life. In 2016 at the age of 50 he moved to Bournemouth, on the southeast coast of the UK, to pursue a long-time ambition to establish an Internet start-up, the proverbial ‘Dot Com’, which came to be called Designed Gadgets. Things were going great until one day the Doctors dropped a bombshell diagnosis on him of late stage-4 cancer. He had to give up his business to look after his health and his boys. “As someone who has always been time-poor, I sometimes took eating “shortcuts.” I saved time by eating huge quantities of instant noodles while growing up. I didn’t particularly care what they contained because they were convenient and tasted good. Contracting cancer meant that I could no longer, in good conscience,

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enjoy my favourite snack.” Today Damien has a very successful healthy gourmet noodle company on three continents and has survived cancer three times! Another part of positive psychology is a positive view of the future. Research shows that how you view time is important. Positive time perceptions include having an expanded view of the future, in other words goals that are important to you, something to look forward to. Chris and Susan Beesley say, ‘Retirement is a continuation of life…not a destination marked by a stop sign…the start of a new adventure with the bucket list getting longer and longer.’ It is also helpful to have a positive view of the past. In other words, we all have had unfavourable events in the past, but can we remember them in a positive way? For example, did we learn something from them? Favourable time-related evaluations are associated with higher well-being and better physical health, while negative time perceptions in general were linked to lower levels of health and well-being. Mature Preneurs take responsibility for their past and their future and view them in the most positive light. Was their first investment in the wrong type of business? They will focus on what they learned about business and themselves and move on. Has something happened to block their path to fame and fortune? No worries, their attitude is “Where there is a will, there is a way!”. “Babies and Business after 55?” is an amazing story of a couple, Pat and her husband Mike, who were all set for retirement with a diversified portfolio of stocks, real estate and a business. In 2009 they were wiped out by the Global Financial Crisis. After Denial came Anger, Depression, Bargaining or Negotiation, to finally Acceptance. When they had finally given up and asked God for help an opportunity came from Pat’s sister Pam to start a Baby Nurse company, providing new Mothers with a newborn care expert who provides postpartum education and support. Five years later they had their first million-dollar year and the rest is history. Now she has written a book with all the proceeds going to the ‘Friends of Conor’, a non-profit foundation for children’s cancer research. Helping other people is another theme that runs through Positive Psychology and so many of the Mature Preneur stories in this book—the list is too long to include here. If you are having difficulty connecting this to entrepreneurs, you may not know that most entrepreneurs, especially mature entrepreneurs see their entrepreneurship as a service to Society. Let’s face it, there are already many businesses out there offering people just about everything they need. To break into a market you need to offer something that people need and want, something that delights people. This is why so many new entrepreneurial ideas border on Social Entrepreneurship by offering goods or services that not only satisfy a basic need but also make the world a better place. Take Dr. Clete Bulach for example. He describes his long and challenging life in many careers leading to being involved in reforming schools! He says ‘The Dearborn County paper in my hometown decided to do a feature on my book. I stated in the feature that I would donate my services to Sunman Dearborn Community Schools because they were my alma mater.’ … ‘Four schools in that district implemented the concept of putting students in control of each other’s behaviour. Teachers did not give up control but asked students to help with discipline. This resulted in a


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reduction in the number of times student behaviour had to be redirected. There were approximately 2200 students in the four schools and they averaged 2400 redirects (discipline) per day before implementing the redirect process. After implementing the process and just before the Christmas break, the average number of redirects were down to 600, a reduction of 76%. Faculty had 1800 more opportunities to interact with students in a positive way.’ What an achievement and contribution! At the end of his topic Dr. Clete says, ‘The last chapter in my life is what I do to help others’ and he also offers his surveys to any of our readers who want them. I would like to end with an example from Mark Lyons, who is totally unique but his story illustrates many of these points of Positive Psychology and Positive Aging. Like many of our Mature Preneurs, Mark’s first few career choices looked good from society’s perspective. Mark got a good education in agriculture and had good jobs in agriculture and strategic management consulting, but he wasn’t happy. When Mark lost his last job he seemed unable to get back into consulting again or anything. Mark finally realised he had to start crafting a unique business for himself out of things he is interested in, from workshops on growing organic food and mushrooms to making cheese and music, all of which he blends together into a delicious tasty offering his customers love.

13 Entrepreneurial Challenge and Positive Psychology The advice for people facing something new and extremely challenging seems to be very similar, no matter what the challenge happens to be. This advice goes way beyond providing information through education or providing skills through training. As we will see illustrated in this section, extreme challenges transform the identity and perceived being of the individuals involved, who often say that they will never be the same again as they were before they started on their journey. In fact, the transformation experienced through attempting such life-changing achievements, like starting a new business can be compared to taking a long and arduous journey, like running one’s first marathon or climbing a high mountain.

14 Eight Life Lessons I Learned from Climbing Mount Shasta (Karen Skelton 2019) In this section we will use the “8 Life Lessons I Learned From Climbing Mount Shasta” by Karen Skelton (2019) to illustrate the challenges faced by Mature Preneurs when starting a new business and the potential benefits of positive psychology. After illustrating these eight points we will discuss how positive psychology can be integrated into entrepreneurship education and training.

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14.1 The Longest Distance Between Point A and B Is Between Your Two Ears Like climbing a mountain, starting a new business is both a mental and physical challenge. Mature Preneurs have to ensure they are physically and mentally up to the challenge in terms of time and energy available for the business as well as other necessities in life. The mental challenges may apply less to Mature Preneurs than to novice entrepreneurs but the physical challenges may apply more. Mature Prenurs also need to overcome negative self-talk, which says “I’m too old”, or anything similar. This highlights the central role of positive psychology in entrepreneurship education and training, especially for Mature Preneurs, who may also get these types of comments from well-meaning friends and family.

14.2 When You Fall, Get up It is obvious when climbing a mountain that when you fall you need to get up or get help. In business when you fall you need to get up and probably change direction. Starting a business begins with identifying a business opportunity, which requires observation, analysis and creativity. The first business idea is probably not going to work and so the Mature Preneur has to test the idea and if it doesn’t work pivot i.e. modify the idea. Many novice entrepreneurs are in love with their first business idea, but if at first their idea doesn’t succeed the Mature Preneur has to be willing to give up their beloved business idea and have another try at designing a successful new business. This highlights the importance of critical thinking and aspects of Positive Psychology, such as perseverance, resilience and a positive perspective. The Mature Preneur has to know when to accept advice, and when to not listen to people who say “It will never work!” This requires a balance of perseverance as discussed earlier and openness to outside influence. Decisions such as when to accept advice, who to accept advice from, and how to decide require judgement.

14.3 Don’t Drop Your Ice Axe When climbing a mountain covered in ice your ice axe is critical. Similarly, there are some aspects to starting a new business that are critical and the Mature Preneur has to identify what they are, by consulting others in the Industry or entrepreneurship ecosystem. This use of critical thinking is also an aspect of Positive Psychology.


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14.4 Be Prepared You would not set out to climb a major mountain without being prepared because you would not get far. Mature Preneurs need to be prepared otherwise, like climbing a mountain, they could sabotage themselves and put their team in jeopardy. They need preparation, not only with knowledge, and skills, but also in terms of their expectations of the investments of time, energy and money required and ability to adopt a new identity as a Business Owner. Developing a positive self image is also an existential aspect of Positive Psychology.

14.5 Minimize Your Stuff On a mountain trek you don’t want to carry more than you need. While there is a focus on the resources required when starting a new business, little is said about what is not required. Many entrepreneurs learn that certain parts of their life, which they see as essential may need to alter or be dropped to achieve their goal of a successful business. For example, someone may find that they cannot continue their favourite sport or pastime and still run the business. If the choice is made in favour of the sport their business may suffer or die, unless a creative solution can be found. This is part of focusing attention on the goals of the business, and being creative, both of which are aspects of Positive Psychology.

14.6 There’s No Reason to Be Self-conscious Like being on a mountain trek with others, as an entrepreneur your life and business are exposed to the people around you in a way that can be very threatening to the average person, The Bank Manager and suppliers want to know the minute details of your assets, liabilities and income. Employees see you early in the morning, late at night and in some of the most stressful situations. Your family sees you through the highest highs and lowest lows. There is no room for self-consciousness beyond the practical realities of protecting your business, not protecting your ego. This, too, requires Positive Psychology to focus on others more than self.

14.7 Bring an Offering “Bring an offering to the mountain gods and your companions to lift your spirits” (Skelton 2019, p. 1). Skelton suggests you sing a song, recite poetry, tell jokes, or dissect political chaos. The basic idea is to lighten up and share with the people with

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you on your business journey. This is also found in Positive Psychology’s focus on relationships.

14.8 Respect the Mountain Skelton says “The mountain can take you down” (2019, p. 1). Most entrepreneurship educators and advisors try to balance imbuing novice entrepreneurs with motivation and drive with a healthy respect for the risks they are taking. Like any entrepreneur, Mature Preneurs could be risking their savings, home, future finances, relationships with family and friends, health and even life. Mature Preneurs are more likely than younger entrepreneurs to “respect the mountain”, having probably been through or witnessed some devastating life experiences already. Mature Preneurs are also likely to take financial losses more seriously than younger entrepreneurs due to having less life time left to recoup losses. These issues can be addressed through Positive Psychology’s focus on risk-taking, courage, perseverance and wisdom.

15 Conclusion In conclusion, Mature Preneurs are likely to have more human, social and financial capital than younger entrepreneurs, but they may have less formal entrepreneurship. Mature Preneurs are more likely to learn through heutagogy and andragogy principles and relevant tools such as the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem and Project Based Learning should be used. Entrepreneurship curriculum needs to explicitly address the existential issues of successful identity transformation from workers into Business Owners. Positive psychology also needs to be used to provide entrepreneurs with valuable entrepreneurial personality characteristics such as goal orientation, resilience, and perseverance. Finally, entrepreneurship education for Mature Preneurs should be delivered by mature entrepreneurs, who exhibit positive psychology and personality characteristics.

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2A421EDD5043FAADCA257C8A000EC0C6/$File/62650_september%202013.pdf. Accessed 20 April 2017 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2017) Labour force, Australia, Table 23b volume measures of underutilisation by age and sex, time series spreadsheet, cat no 6291.0.55.003. https://www.abs. gov.au/AUSSTATS/[email protected]/log?openagent&6291023b.xls&6291.0.55.003&Time% 20Series%20Spreadsheet&66EF90C9A885E060CA2580EB00793F5F&0&Feb%202017&23. 03.2017&Latest. Accessed 20 April 2017 Australian Qualifications Framework Second Edition 2013 https://www.aqf.edu.au Bae TJ, Qian S, Miao C, Fiet JO (2014) The relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions: a meta-analytic review. Entrepreneurship Theory Pract 38(2):217–254 Biehl AM, Gurley-Calvez T, Hill B (2014) Self-employment of older Americans: do recessions matter? Small Bus Econ 42(2):297–309 Bloom DE, Canning D, Fink G (2010) Implications of population ageing for economic growth. Oxford Rev Econ Policy 26(4):583–612 Davidsson P, Steffens PR, Gordon SR, Reynolds P (2008) Anatomy of new business activity in Australia: some early observations from the CAUSEE project. School of Management Technical Report. Faculty of Business. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Dawson C, Henley A (2012) Push versus pull entrepreneurship: an ambiguous distinction? Int J Entrepreneurial Behav Res 18(6):697–719 Dockery AM (2002) The new enterprise incentive scheme: an evaluation and a test of the Job Network. Aust J Labour Econ 5(3):351 European Commission, Education and Culture (2014) European business forum for vocational training: final report. Danish Technological Institute, Brussels Farrell C (2019) Older Americans are starting more businesses than ever. Retire, reboot, become an entrepreneur. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-20/retirees-are-becomingnew-entrepreneurs Farrell C (2019) Older Americans are starting more businesses than ever Halabisky D, Potter J, Kautonen T (2012) Policy brief on senior entrepreneurship. OECD, Luxenbourg Hall SG (1905) What is pedagogy? Pedagogical Seminary 12(4):375–383 Hart M, Anyadike-Danes M, Blackburn RA (2004) Entrepreneurship and age in the UK: comparing third age and prime age new venture creation across the regions. Paper presented to the RENT XVIII Copenhagen, November Hase S, Kenyon C (2007) Heutagogy: a child of complexity theory. Complicity 4(1): 111–118 Jones C, Penaluna K, Penaluna A (2019) The promise of andragogy, heutagogy and academagogy to enterprise and entrepreneurship education pedagogy. Education + Training Kautonen T (2008) Understanding the older entrepreneur: comparing third age and prime age entrepreneurs in Finland. Int J Bus Sci Appl Manage 3(3):3–13 Kautonen T (2013) Senior entrepreneurship. A background paper for the OECD centre for entrepreneurship. SMEs and Local Development, OECD and LEED, Turku, Finland Kautonen T, Down S (2012) Age and entrepreneurial behaviour: the effect of different entrepreneurial preferences. In: Proceedings of the 2012 academy of management annual meeting Boston, MA 3–7 August Kautonen T, Tornikoski ET, Kibler E (2011) Entrepreneurial intentions in the third age: the impact of perceived age norms. Small Bus Econ 37(2):219–234 Kautonen T, Down S, Minniti M (2014) Ageing and entrepreneurial preferences. Small Bus Econ 42(3):579–594 Knowles M (1968) Androgogy, not pedagogy. Adult Leadership 16(10):350–352 Knowles M (1980) The modern practice of adult education. Follett Publishing, Chicago IL Kopp D, Hyde B (2019) Speaking being. Wiley, Hoboken NJ Martiz A, Zolin R, De Waal A, Fisher R, Perenyi A, Eager B (2015) Senior entrepreneurship in Australia: active ageing and extending working lives. Int J Org Innov (Special Issue) 1–39

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Understanding the Barriers Faced by Older Entrepreneurs: A Case Study of a “Silver Workers” Project Hazel Squire

Abstract The United Kingdom (UK) along with many other countries has been witnessing the growth of an aging population, resulting from declining birth rates and increased life expectancy (DWP 2014c) that, coupled with a shrinking workforce (EU 2014), have led to the need to keep older people working for longer. Moreover, it is believed that where economies meet the challenges of this older workforce there can be benefits by way of increased employment levels in all age groups as a result of older and retired consumers having more disposable income to purchase goods and services (OECD 2015). One way of keeping older people working in later life is through entrepreneurship. By drawing on the existing literature around older workers (those age 50 to state pension age (50-SPA)), and by adding a case study reporting new findings, the contribution of this chapter is twofold: (i) identifying specific barriers that this group of interest face when considering, or setting up, a new business venture; (ii) identifying policy interventions that may help to reduce at least some of these barriers. In particular, we recommend bespoke training with an emphasis on mentoring, developing technical and soft skills, and group discussion.

1 Contextual Background One major challenge for the G20 countries and the European Union (EU) is the affordability of healthcare and pensions for its increasing older population, a culmination of people living longer due to improved health, and a shrinking workforce attributed to declining fertility rates (EU 2014; OECD 2015). There is concern that, as the ratio of those working to those in retirement grows, many advanced economies will be unable to cope with the rising health care, state pensions and social care costs. However, the OECD argues that if economies address these issues, benefits can be achieved for all age groups as older and retired consumers possess more disposable income (OECD 2015). In the following paragraphs, we outline the demographic, economic, social and health dimensions of the case for extending workforce inclusivity to the H. Squire (B) Staffordshire University, Staffordshire, UK e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 S. Sawang (ed.), Entrepreneurship Education, Contributions to Management Science, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48802-4_8



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older workforce. Then, in the next section, we explore the potential for business formation—entrepreneurship—as a pathway towards achieving this objective. In the UK, the demographic structure of the work force is changing. The Office for National Statistics or ONS (2015) has predicted that by 2030 fifty percent of the working age population will be over 50 years of age. With the prediction that one in three children born today will reach an age of 100 years, life expectancy is a growing trend. It is predicted that the percentage of the population aged 60 years and older will increase from 15% in 2014 to 16.9% in 2038–39 whilst the percentage of younger people is falling. The associated cost to the government of older people not working is huge. It is estimated the Government pays out around £7bn in benefits for those between 50 and state pension age (SPA), mainly in incapacity related benefits (89%). The National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has pointed out that keeping more over 50 s in employment could increase revenue from taxation and national insurance (DWP 2014a). Moreover, people are living longer once they have retired, thereby putting more pressure on government costs of state pensions: for men the expected increase is from 15–21 years for males in 1980 to 27 years in 2060; and for women from 18–24 years to 29 years respectively (DWP 2014a). Around a quarter of those aged between 50 and state pension age are unemployed through redundancy and, whilst not more likely than younger people to be made redundant, there is evidence that shows they are more likely to be in long-term unemployment, with 47% being out of work for more than one year compared with 40% of 25–49 year olds and just 33 % of 18–24 year olds. In addition 27% of them are likely to become inactive after one year compared to only 19% of those aged 25–49 (TAEN 2014). Furthermore, older workers that have been long-term unemployed are more likely to end up in poverty later in life due to lack of pension contributions and savings. Research identifies that retiring early makes it difficult for living standards to be maintained, with a third of individuals retiring at 50 seeing their income reduced by 50% coupled with potential loss of workplace pension income, hence they have a higher risk of low income in later retirement. Predictions indicate that approximately 12 million people below SPA are likely to have an inadequate income in retirement (DWP 2014b). According to the Ready for Aging Alliance, whilst overall pensioner poverty has been reduced, there are still 1 in 6 pensioners (1.8 million or 16% of pensioners in the UK) living in poverty in addition to being the biggest group on the brink of poverty (OECD 2015). Glaser (2009) argues that those suffering involuntary early exit from the labour market are more likely to be on low incomes or rely on means tested benefits as pensioners. This reduction can be attributed to different factors; the first is that individuals require 35 years of National insurance contributions to claim the full state pension and early withdrawal from the labour market can reduce this. Secondly, those out of work are not able to participate in company pension schemes, thereby reducing the potential size of their overall pension. Finally, as private pensions can be accessed from the age of 55, those exiting earlier may need to draw some income thus further reducing pensions available in later life (DWP 2014a).

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Evidence on the impact of employment on health is mixed. However, there is considerable evidence of a causal link between appropriate employment and good health (DWP 2014a). Furthermore, the literature suggest that there are health benefits associated with working longer (Ionescu 2012) and those that have had good health throughout their life are more likely to choose to stay working as they get older (DWP 2014a). Moreover non-employment at all ages has been associated with higher levels of mental illness; for older people in 2007, 12% of men and 13% of women aged 55–65 years who were unemployed had a higher chance of having a common mental disorder than those in work (Government Office for Science 2016). Whilst early retirement does have some benefits to those in good health and who remain socially active, it can have a negative impact for those who leave due to ill health of either themselves or a partner (DWP 2014a). Furthermore, unemployment rates are linked to higher mortality rates, particularly from: heart disease; lung cancer; mental health; poor physical wellbeing. There is an agreement in the literature that returning to work after a long period of sickness promotes rehabilitation and recovery for sick and disabled people, whilst giving them a sense of identity and social support in addition to maintaining cognitive and physical activities (DWP 2014a). From this, we conclude that there are associated health benefits from enabling people over the age of 50 to stay economically active.

2 Literature Review For the older individual, the suggested benefits of starting a business are associated with the opportunity to flexibly manage their work-life balance (Kautonen et al. 2014) and to subvert age discrimination within organisations (Platman 2003; WEBER and SCHAPER 2004) where older workers are often judged as being more expensive and less able to manage rapid technological change, when compared to younger workers (Loretto et al. 2006). In this section, we draw upon the literature to consider the nature of the older entrepreneur, the barriers confronting older entrepreneurs, and how public policy may promote entrepreneurship amongst older people.

2.1 Older Entrepreneurs There has been a significant interest in research around the aging workforce. This accompanies an effort to ensure people remain in work for longer. There have been corresponding changes to British policies, in particular to social and welfare benefits, increases in the state pension age and the removal of age discrimination through legislation. These changes may also be numbered among “push factors” towards business start-up and entrepreneurship. Other reasons behind business start-up come from serious life challenges. Many entrepreneurs are necessity entrepreneurs, in particular those who cannot get a job (Wagner 2006; Block and Wagner 2011) including:


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immigrants (Hart and ACS 2011); those with learning disabilities such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) (Logan 2009; Dimic and Orlov 2014); people with physical disabilities (Pagán 2009); and older people (TAEN 2014). Regarding entrepreneurship as a choice for older people, the research suggests that, people pushed into entrepreneurship are less likely to be successful than those who enter through “pull factors” such as a favourable context and personal advantages, although this area has been neglected by much of the literature (Kibler et al. 2015). Buyens et al. (2009) have identified two reasons why people between 50 and SPA leave the labour market: (i) those who do so voluntarily by choice due to financial stability; and (ii) those who leave involuntarily for reasons such as ill-health, caring responsibilities or redundancy. Some of the latter is due to the fact that older workers are often undervalued by being perceived to be less healthy, less mentally alert, more resistant to change and less productive and, therefore, fall victim to selection of discharge methods like redundancy (Buyens et al. 2009). Consequently, there are nearly one million people aged 50 to SPA who have stated they are willing and able to work (Department for Work and Pensions 2017). When reviewing the literature around entrepreneurship there is a plethora of definitions depending on the author’s domain. Economists for example take a simplistic view and distinguish the entrepreneur as a business owner and innovator (Parker 2009) while, in contrast, business literature identifies the entrepreneur with new enterprise creation and opportunity recognition (Shane and Venkataraman 2000). Moreover, among the various types of entrepreneur identified in the entrepreneurship literature, of particular relevance to the present chapter, are (i) the concept of the “nascent” entrepreneur as well as distinctions between (ii) “necessity” and “opportunity” entrepreneurs and (iii) “novice” and “habitual” entrepreneurs. We discuss each in turn and then consider them for our group of interest, older entrepreneurs. Nascent entrepreneurs can be differentiated into “necessity” entrepreneurs, who have no preferable alternative to work than entrepreneurship, and “opportunity” entrepreneurs who, despite alternative attractive work options, seek an entrepreneurship option (Parker 2009). Interestingly, the Global Entrepreneurship Measure (GEM) argues that it is economic growth that drives opportunity entrepreneurship whilst necessity entrepreneurship is influenced by social welfare programmes (Reynolds et al. 2002). Wagner (2006) using the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) (see also Reynolds et al. 2002, p. 170f; Shaver et al. 2001; Gartner and Carter 2003, p. 203; Gartner et al. 2004a) and GEM (Reynolds et al. 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004a,b; Acs et al. 2005) describe the nascent entrepreneur as someone who during the last twelve months has been actively attempting to start their new business venture with the expectation of being the owner or shared owner of the business, and who has not covered the monthly cash costs associated with its expenses and manager salaries during the first three months (Wagner and Sternberg 2004). This concept of entrepreneurship is criticised by Parker (2009, p. 7) who argues that many of these ventures are “mundane, hobby businesses which generate little private or social value”. However, in this chapter, we argue that for older workers, lifestyle businesses and hobby businesses may often be practical forms of entrepreneurship providing an

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alternative to paid work and, potentially, a feasible path to improving their work-life balance or securing a more flexible working environment. Nascent entrepreneurs have a number of personal and demographic characteristics (Wagner and Sternberg, 2004). Among the personal characteristics are: (i) creativity in identifying and maximising market opportunities, and a focus on individual decision making; (ii) creativity and imagination, determination and resilience, which presumably intersect with psychological concepts such as “self-efficacy”; and (iii) do not fear failure (Wagner and Sternberg 2004). To these general characteristics, it is sometimes claimed that (iv) women are more risk averse than their male counterparts (Wagner and Sternberg 2004; Lückgen 2006). Among the demographic characteristics, the literature has identified the following: (i) the prevalence of becoming an entrepreneur diminishes with age, although this may be changing (Hart et al. 2015); (ii) the likelihood of becoming a nascent entrepreneur is much higher for men than for women (Wagner and Sternberg 2004) with the reasons including that men are more likely than women to be in paid employment (whether full- or part-time) and those in employment are more likely to become a nascent entrepreneur (Wagner and Sternberg 2004). To these causes we may add that women are more likely to be carers (DWP 2014c). (iii) Those who know another entrepreneur, or a young entrepreneur are more likely to become a nascent entrepreneur than those that do not (Wagner and Sternberg 2004). Similarly, so do those who have self-employed parents or relatives (Wagner and Sternberg 2004; Kim and Aldrich 2005). This indicates the importance of social and cultural capital. Consistent with this inference, (iv) those earning a higher income, having a background of working in a variety of roles (Lazear 2004), living in a growing or more densely populated area (Wagner and Sternberg 2004), or being from an area with a large proportion of small businesses are more likely to be successful in setting up and running a business (Lazear 2004; Wagner and Sternberg 2004). So far, this list of personal and demographic characteristics presents no obvious opportunity for policy intervention capable of making a difference within a politically relevant timescale. However, the literature also identifies that nascent entrepreneurship is also positively influenced by individual experiences (such as education, employment and learning) informing skills such as the ability to assess situations and to form and act on judgements (Wagner 2006). Moreover, the ability to see an opportunity increases the likelihood of becoming a nascent entrepreneur by threefold, but by six-fold if they also have business skills (Wagner and Sternberg 2004). The importance of education and business skills makes it possible to design public policies to enable older workers to more easily enter into entrepreneurship. Another distinction from the literature is the difference between a novice entrepreneur and a habitual entrepreneur. Wright et al. (1998, 1999) defines novice entrepreneurs as those who set up and run their own single business for the first time in contrast to habitual entrepreneurs, a group that includes “serial” and “portfolio” entrepreneurs who run several businesses sequentially or concurrently (Ucbasaran 2003). In this chapter, we are concerned with the novice entrepreneur.


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Furthermore, the literature around the older entrepreneur identifies the “reluctant entrepreneur” who, unable to find work, sees it as the only alternative to unemployment, in contrast to the “rational entrepreneur” who has weighed up the costs and benefits and decides to enter into business creation by choice (Singh and DeNoble 2003). Alternatively, the older entrepreneur may have always aspired to set up their own business but have previously been constrained, for example by family dependents. This is a particularly useful concept when considering changes to public policy designed to support older workers into business formation. Also useful is the concept of the “hybrid entrepreneur” (Solesvik 2017) defined as either those remaining in work and keeping an existing job and wage whilst setting up and entering into running their own business or those who have retired from work but work part time as an entrepreneur. This allows individuals to work post retirement and gives an additional way for these people to cope with societal changes by substituting among sources of income (Singh and DeNoble 2003). Building on Singh and DeNoble (2003), Kibler et al. (2015) analysed the motivations behind older people entering into entrepreneurship to identify three further definitions of older entrepreneurs which is more in keeping with the OECD definition of older workers between the age of 50 and SPA. The first being those aged 50-SPA who plan on eventually retiring but wanting to work beyond SPA, who are referred to “as entrepreneurs of an older age”. Next, they identify “lifestyle entrepreneurs” aged 50-SPA who have developed a business, often around a hobby or interest in order to supplement their pension for an improved retirement. Finally, they identify the “necessity entrepreneur” who are 50-SPA but without adequate income from savings or investments or who may have experienced domestic changes that have affected their planned income. These definitions are useful for readers, particularly because the authors argue that each type of entrepreneur will require differing level of mentoring support. In terms of the existing literature on entrepreneurship, the subject of this chapter is people over the age of 50 who turn to entrepreneurship mainly out of necessity, and who are thus most likely to be novice and/or reluctant entrepreneurs. Moreover, such older entrepreneurs may set up businesses that are less likely to be motivated by innovation and more likely to be motivated by lifestyle considerations or hobby interests. Finally, this group is of interest to public policy, because their inclusion in business activity may be promoted by policy interventions, in particular lifelong learning including training in business skills.

2.2 Barriers to Entrepreneurship Amongst Older People Kautonen, T. et al. (2015) have made an important contribution to the literature around older entrepreneurs. They identify three types of business creation and argue that two out of the three types are in fact not entrepreneurial and that the level of support needed differs. An example of the latter is that “rational entrepreneurs” of an older age require less support from a mentoring prospective, as these people are more likely

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to have social capital and savings to enable them to create a business through choice. Similarly, lifestyle ventures may be created by choice. However, whilst creators of such businesses want to succeed, for these people it is more about a change in lifestyle rather than profit. As such, they are more likely to be highly motivated and less likely to need mentoring support. In contrast, the necessity ventures—the focus of this chapter—need greater support, as these people (i) often are the most pressured as they are dependent on the income generated in place of a wage or pension and (ii) are particularly likely to set up businesses in response to “push” rather than “pull” factors. Furthermore, whilst needing specialist advice they may struggle to find specific advice as what is available may be generic to all business start-ups (Wainwright et al. 2015). The literature on “older entrepreneurs” demonstrates both negative and positive factors for business start-up. The nascent, novice entrepreneur setting up in business through necessity not opportunity is responding to the pressure of “push factors” and will have to overcome the negative influence of many barriers. However, before considering these barriers in detail, we should acknowledge that the, albeit limited, literature provides evidence that the business survival rates for “older entrepreneurs” are higher than for younger people (Storey 1994) due to a number of potentially positive factors: (i) developed networks that assist with creating legitimacy, organising of resources and support during the creation and growth of the business venture (Chell and Baines 2000); (ii) technical and managerial skills (Lechner and Dowling 2003); and (iii) knowledge of industry (Hinz and Jungbauer-Gans 1999). Similarly, Singh and DeNoble (2003) and Kautonen et al. (2008) argue that older entrepreneurs are more likely to have human, financial and social capital than younger people. Conversely, these enablers may be offset by (i) a preference of older people to use their wealth to fund retirement, which can act as a disincentive to start a business (Singh and DeNoble 2003) or/and (ii) retirement income and state benefits that may negatively impact older people’s willingness to consider a new business venture for fear of losing or reducing the income they already have (Wainwright et al. 2011). Positive enablers may enhance the range of choices by (i) allowing postponement of full retirement and (ii) allowing a wider range of options. In assessing the balance of negative factors (barriers to entrepreneurship) and positive factors (promoting entrepreneurship), positive factors are more readily associated with “rational” or “lifestyle” business start-ups, because of a better starting point with respect to resources of all kinds. Conversely, negative factors are more readily associated with the “necessity” “novice” entrepreneurs under consideration in this chapter, because these typically have less skills, may have suffered from longterm unemployment, and lack financial resources. All entrepreneurs face generic barriers, but it is argued that these barriers have a specific impact on older “necessity” entrepreneurs. For the purposes of this chapter, these may be considered under the headings of human capital, social capital, finance, age discrimination, and other barriers.



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Human Capital

Originally used to value the importance of education (Psacharopoulos and Schultz 1972; Tan 2014), more recent literature in the field of entrepreneurship has demonstrated a distinct link between human capital and successful business start-up (Unger et al. 2011) as well as between human capital and capability to identify and create business opportunities (Ucbasaran et al. 2008). Furthermore, human capital helps individuals to exploit opportunities by being more able to acquire the financial resources required to turn an idea into a business venture as it is the most used assessment criteria of venture capitalists (Marvel et al. 2016). Thus, it is argued human capital is essential when considering aspects of entrepreneurship. Those older people who leave employment to set up a business venture and choose to stay in their area of previous employment, whilst very knowledgeable, often do not have the entrepreneurial skills required to be successful and, in particular, lack the digital skills required (Kadefors and Hanse 2012).1 Furthermore, whilst in the workplace, these older people have often been denied training, or where training has existed it was limited (O’Reilly and Caro 1995). Research from the Fuller Working Lives Evidence Based Report (DWP 2014c) identifies that those in employment between the ages of 50 and 64 are less likely to participate in training (10%) compared to 18–49 year olds (18%) (Greene and Patel 2013). Moreover, even when older workers received training it was for fewer hours than typically provided for younger employees. It is acknowledged that larger organisations provide more training than do small and medium enterprises (SMEs); but even then, the training is narrow, focusing on the employee’s current role rather than expanding their development (Anon 2011). When looking at spending per head in both private and public sector organisations, Buckle (2015) shows that learning per head falls with age (estimated to be £85 per head for those over the ages of 50 compared to £280 per head for those aged 25–49 years). This is despite some SMEs reporting good returns on the investment of training for older workers (DWP 2014a). Moreover, the training provided often fails to take account of the learning styles and experiences of older workers and thus there is also a need to train managers on how best to utilise their older workers (Armstrong-Stassen and Templer 2012). For many older people who have always worked as an employee, Kibler et al. (2015) argue that the knowledge and understanding around how to go about setting up a business is very complex and difficult to access. Moreover, available support is targeted at the younger and more educated and digitally aware.

1 Researchers

have identified digital technology as having large positive impact on the process of business creation (Nambisan, 2016) yet much of the literature around entrepreneurship had failed to look at digital technology.

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Social Capital

Social networks are important for entrepreneurs: (i) they help individuals to make the decision to enter into entrepreneurship; (ii) networks will support with raising funds and recruitment, if required, from partners and employees; and (iii) networks influence how an entrepreneur chooses to spend their leisure time (Sorenson 2018a). The research around “social capital” shows a clear causation between high levels of “social capital” and business start-up. It shows: (i) those who know of other entrepreneurs not dissimilar to themselves support a self-belief that they too can set up a business (Bosma and Kelley 2019); (ii) seeing others enter into business allows one to perceive opportunities and increases expectations (Sørensen and Sorenson 2003); and (iii) where family and friends are entrepreneurs this legitimises the choice to enter into a business venture (Stuart and Ding 2006). Moreover, where the network of family and friends are entrepreneurs the chance of starting up a business increases, and for children of entrepreneurs, the chances of business start-up are even higher (Sorenson 2018b). However, where an individual does not possess the social capital of other entrepreneurs it will act as a deterrent (DWP 2014c) and is a common barrier faced by those older people who have been out of work for some time due to unemployment or retirement and those entering self-employment in a different industry to the one in which they have previously worked (Wainwright et al. 2011).


Access to Finance

This barrier differs between the types of older entrepreneurs. As many older people have been in a position to accumulate wealth for some time many do not need to borrow additional finance compared to those who have been unemployed (Kibler et al. 2015). However, for the type of older entrepreneurs under consideration, access to finance may be heavily conditioned on social capital. This point is made in the following extract from Kibler et al. (2012). Social connections, for example, influence the amount of financial capital that entrepreneurs can raise. Those studying entrepreneurship have long understood that family and friends (and fools) provide much of the earliest funding for start-ups (Bygrave et al. 2003; Ruef 2010). Some may believe that crowdfunding will reduce the importance of these close connections in the future. But even in crowdfunding campaigns, family and friends appear crucial to getting the process going, providing the first donations and investments that precipitate cascades of interest from strangers (Mollick 2014; Agrawal et al. 2015). The reasons underlying the importance of family and friends to the early financing of start-ups are at least threefold. First, any new venture involves a great deal of uncertainty, not just about the enterprise but also about the entrepreneur as a manager. Those who know the entrepreneur best have the most information about whether they can pull it off, whether they will succeed. If those best able to evaluate the entrepreneurs are reluctant to put their own money into a venture, that also signals to others that the start-up has below average odds of success.

Older necessity entrepreneurs tend to lack the human capital needed to gain funding from banks and other institutions (Marvel et al. 2016). Consequently, further


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disadvantage with respect to social capital is likely to spill over into disadvantage with respect to finance for starting and developing a business. Finally, “supply-side” barriers to finance may be compounded by “demand-side” reluctance on the part of older entrepreneurs to risk a wage or other sources of current financial security for the potential future benefits that a business start-up may yield, compared to younger people who have a longer time to benefit financially (Minniti and Lévesque 2008).


Age Discrimination

The prevalent culture around entrepreneurship sees it very much as something for young people (Ainsworth and Hardy 2008; Kautonen et al. 2011). In contrast, there is a paucity of research into the social exclusion of older entrepreneurs (Kibler et al. 2015) and a corresponding lack of policy focus on older entrepreneurs in comparison with other marginalised groups. The research conducted by Kibler et al. (2015) identifies the impact that both negative and positive signals from close social reference groups (family, friends and clients) can have on the older entrepreneur. Positive attitudes can support older entrepreneurs with access to knowledge, information and resources, whilst negativity can damage any confidence the older person has in starting a business venture. They further argue there are different types of older entrepreneurs that need differing levels of support. For the purpose of our older novice nascent entrepreneur they are likely to need more support, for example, than the habitual or serial entrepreneur. Moreover, if the chosen business venture was similar to the entrepreneur’s previous work sector then discrimination is less likely due to similar established norms. When looking at discrimination by clients, the views between older and younger entrepreneurs were mixed. More trust was placed in the “younger” older entrepreneur while the skills of the “senior” older entrepreneur were questioned, often as a result of the perception of older people being less flexible, committed and lacking digital literacy (Curran and Blackburn 2001) thus making it more difficult to grow the business (Kautonen et al. 2011, 2017). Furthermore, there is less chance of the older entrepreneur being able to respond to discrimination. Interestingly they identify four coping strategies to deal with this discrimination: (i) active negotiation in order to change people’s perceptions through the behaviour of the older entrepreneur; (ii) passive negotiation through research and observation of the older entrepreneur; (iii) modification through movement to more positive social networks; and (iv) avoidance, where older entrepreneurs are able to hide or disguise issues that can lead to negative judgements (Kautonen et al. 2017). Furthermore, where individuals consider it normal for people to remain in employment until the official age of retirement, deviating from the norm by setting up a business can influence this age group in a negative way and persuade older potential entrepreneurs against business start-up (Kautonen et al. 2011). Moreover, where close social networks apply sanctions, this effects how this target group responds to business opportunities, potentially prohibiting them from successful entrepreneurship (Meek et al. 2010) because, as people get older, they tend to become more

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reliant on positive emotional support from their close social networks (Scheibe and Carstensen 2010). Stereotyping and unconscious bias is one of the barriers faced by older people. Research suggest that when older people retire it is often not through choice (Gough and Sozou 2005) but in many cases is the result of them being undervalued (OECD 2015). Furthermore, much of the literature suggests this group have physical and mental health problems in addition to being less productive and unwilling to embark on training (Taylor and Walker 1998). In contrast Loretto et al. (2006) agree to physical ability diminishing but argue that mental and social skills along with conscientiousness and responsibility actually increases and it is in fact down to the older workers being more expensive salary wise that often leads to them not remaining in the organisation (Buyens et al. 2009). Using the social-psychology concept of “stereotype threat” defined by Kenrick et al. (2002; p. 383) as “the fear of confirming other’s negative stereotypes about one’s group that make it difficult for people to fulfil their potential and thus can lead to a self-fulfilling prophesy” (Buyens et al. 2009). This is supported by the research of Buyens et al. (2009) who found that the perceptions of older workers lead them to question their own capabilities, thus people’s perceptions of older workers need to change (Duval 2003; Taylor and Walker 1998).


Other Barriers

Older people may face both mental and physical health issues as they get older and will pursue more leisure time, which impacts on their interest in entering selfemployment (OECD 2015). In addition, potential older entrepreneurship can be the result of horrible, often life changing experiences such as redundancy or long-term unemployment that lead to over-representation of “necessity entrepreneurs” (Block and Wagner 2011). As a result, these entrepreneurs come with the additional barriers of language, cognitive, physical and emotional needs in addition to often facing prejudice (Miller and Le Breton-Miller 2017). Conversely, learning to adapt to these environmental factors in many cases may develop creativity and a hard-working ethic.

2.3 Policy Implications Gray (2007) argues that whilst there has been some work by government at getting older people back into work there has been very little support for retirees wishing to become economically active nor has there been a transference of understanding from training. Furthermore, he argues that whilst older people may want to work for themselves many lack the experience or knowledge to do so (Gray 2007). Gray (2007) advances a number of policy proposals to promote economic activity among older people, yet these are not supported by either evidence or citations and thus remain mere opinion. However, in some cases, his proposals are consistent with


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the current state of knowledge. In our review of age discrimination as a barrier to business start-up and entrepreneurship among older people, we cite literature advancing the idea that older workers may suffer from stereotyping and unconscious bias, which via lack of awareness of their potential, may become internalized, thereby resulting in a ‘self-fulfilling prophesy’ (Buyens et al. 2009). The following could contribute to countering lack of self-awareness of potential as a barrier to entrepreneurship among older people. It would make a sensible policy on the part of government to facilitate career reviews by everyone around the age of 50 and 60 when they can begin to think strategically about their future. A couple of days of mentored review … should be seen as an integral part of employee welfare. Given the increasing length of retired life for almost everyone, the importance of taking a careful and considered view of one’s future would appear to be a practical necessity (Gray 2007, p. 13).

More generally, Gray (2007, p. 14) concludes that: “There would appear to be a universal need for a new kind of support service that helps retired people to be economically active …” We can build on Gray (2007) to suggest priorities for such a support service. The literature establishes both (i) the importance of business skills for entrepreneurship and business development and (ii) that these may be relatively lacking among older necessity entrepreneurs. The first policy corollary is more bespoke training programmes (Denis 2011) and entrepreneurship support (Lyons and Lichtenstein 2010; Lichtenstein and Lyons 2001). Such programmes would address directly the lack of business skills in a manner appropriate to the different backgrounds and skills of the diverse range of older entrepreneurs. Moreover, indirectly, such programmes could help to address the wider range of barriers. By bringing older people interested in starting a business together, in regularly organised activities over an extended period, entrepreneurial training could also help to address different levels of ability in managing social barriers (Lichtenstein and Lyons 2001; Lyons and Lichtenstein 2010). This possibility is supported by Botham and Groves (2009) who argue there is a need for new policies specific to mature individuals to enhance their human and social capital, especially for older, novice entrepreneurs in order to minimise negative influences from their close networks (Kutzhanova et al. 2009). Similarly, Kang and Snell (2009) identify the importance that networks and alliances play in the accumulation of knowledge that may be developed through ties with universities and other organisations supporting human capital. Finally bespoke training may help to transform “negative” or “avoidance” into “positive” “active negotiation” strategies supported by the new social network of fellow trainees. We will further develop our policy discussion in the light of some qualitative research.

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3 Case Studies: ERASMUS “Silver Worker” Project This pilot project was a response to an ERASMUS call in 2015 to identify possible solutions to the problem of an aging population, compounded by the financial crisis of 2008 leading to an increasing number of people over the age of 50 years finding themselves out of work. Furthermore, this age group once unemployed were more likely to become long-term unemployed, resulting in their skills becoming obsolete. The impact of this is deprivation and financial difficulties for the individuals and their families along with the unsustainability of pension systems that has led to increases in retirement ages across the European Union (EU) countries. As a result, “Active Aging” and “Solidarity between generations” were chosen by the EU as its theme in 2012. Accordingly, the purpose of this project was to design training and networking opportunities to improve the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of those over the age of 50 years (so called Silver Workers) to enhance their opportunities to transfer their skills, creativity, interests and hobbies into business ideas. The training was to focus on transferable entrepreneurship and digital skills together with soft skills such as communication, time management and so forth using innovative pedagogical approaches to meet the needs of the learners. In this section, we do not report on this project as a whole, but draw upon case studies conducted in Stoke-on-Trent (UK) to develop the themes revealed by the literature review in the previous section. The training programme was structured according to the European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) guidelines, thereby ensuring mutual recognition across the EU. When considering the content of the training, it was clear that the needs of the over 50 s required a different training approach compared to the approach for younger people. Research undertaken as part of the project found that, in comparison with younger people, silver workers tend to have limited digital skills, technical knowledge and soft skills. Hence, a module very specific to older people was developed, “Assessing the Suitability of Enterprise”. This module allowed the learners to identify their suitability for entrepreneurship, helped them to develop a business idea and assess its viability before giving them the understanding of the process of setting up a business complying with local laws and regulations. This module was designed to address the lack of confidence that many of this target group identified as a barrier. The training programme took account of different learning styles identified by Honey and Mumford (1986) and Fleming (1987) and therefore compiled a variety of different activities, case studies, videos, webinars, podcasts, presentations and additional reading and was delivered via a blended approach.2 This included face to face delivery and mentoring and on-line learning. The face to face delivery was designed to address the lack of digital skills and confidence many of this group had together with building a support network. Additional modules addressed the financial needs for an enterprise together with sources of finance, the marketing and promotion of a business idea, and how to develop and present a business plan.

2 Individuals

were able to register online for free access to the training: www.silverworkers.net.


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3.1 Recruitment on to the Programme In total 18 people were recruited in the UK. Of these 5 completed the training through distance learning with 13 attending face to face sessions. Recruitment was through a public call in each individual country. In the UK presentations were given at a Global Entrepreneurial Week, discussions were had with Housing Associations and the DWP and high usage of social media was made to communicate the programme. However, despite this it still proved difficult to recruit. Even when “buy in” was secured at high level, this did not reach people “on the ground”. Anecdotal evidence suggests that too many competing priorities, attenuation of understanding as the message was cascaded downwards, and fear of competing projects among some existing groups involved in training, all meant that information about the project was not systematically disseminated from supportive institutions to potential participants. From the perspective of this chapter, this is our first finding. As well as designing and providing training and networking opportunities, there is major work to be done in attracting the target group.

3.2 Some Findings and Lessons From those undertaking the training it became evident that most needed support with their digital skills in order to navigate through the online training materials. Once provided with initial training, all participants were able to work through the on-line learning at their own pace. What, however, also become important was the mentoring support together with the network of support created by participation in the group. As a result of participant demand, it was decided to add more group sessions in which the participants and the mentor could discuss and develop each other’s ideas. The participants also asked for more support in using social media. Participants felt they specifically benefitted from this, especially two participants who were going through the process of setting up their own business. We now consider case studies of five of the participants: Participant 1, a lady not working, with significant caring responsibilities for her elderly parents, who had been persuaded to come on to the programme by her son-in-law who was a student at Staffordshire University; Participant 2, a gentleman who had taken voluntary retirement from a managerial position in the public sector who, despite not wanting to carry on working full time, wanted to turn a hobby into a lifestyle business; Participant 3, a lady who had been forced into unemployment by an illness for 12 months and needed to return to work, a necessity entrepreneur; and participants 4 and 5 who were in employment. Participant 1 lacked confidence, having not studied since leaving school, and had worked as a receptionist for many years before giving up work to take on caring responsibilities. Her son-in-law had urged her onto the programme partly to get her out of the house to meet more people. In this respect, the training programme had

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a therapeutic dimension, providing an interest and social connectedness. This lady said, “I am really enjoying the programme”, and whilst not in a position to currently set up a business she enjoyed the social aspect of the group. Nevertheless, during the course of the programme, although struggling due to lack of work experience, she began seriously to look at business ideas. She had recently helped to pack up and clean a property of a bereaved family member and enjoyed how she was able to offer support. As a result, she started to examine the potential for offering a cleaning business with the additional service of supporting bereaved families to pack up their loved one’s home. Through the mentoring support as well as network support from the others she pursued further ideas on how such a business could be diversified into other related services (e.g. offering not only to clean, clear and pack up but also the logistics of disposing of items via charity shops). Unfortunately, due to her caring responsibilities, she was unable to carry on with the programme and withdrew. Participant 2 was a keen rambler living close to an area of outstanding beauty that is very popular with walkers. After attending the course, he set up his company combining walks with talks on local history. His company proved to be a success. In particular, the social media training enabled him to gain more clients. After initial start-up, the range of activities undertaken by his company diversified and led to growth. This further development is described in his own words. Initially I was looking to offer walks primarily in the south-west Peak District. Demand for my time/service led me to freelancing for other businesses helping with on-ground safety aspects of large charity walks and walks in the Peak District and some bespoke guiding in Scotland. In my second year this was complemented by becoming an associate with Peak Navigation teaching people how to read maps, use compasses as well as running and assessing National Navigation Awards. Peak Navigation had seen Social Media output from me which led to them approaching me to work for them. The freelance work expanded, and I helped with a National 3 Peaks event and more charity walking events. I’m coming into year 3 and this has seen an expansion of the number of days I’m being paid to work. My work calendar tends to be quite full, particularly at weekends from April through to October—by October 2019 I was booked through to October 2020. Between year 2 and the coming year three over the quieter winter months I’ve run some bespoke navigation and confidence building/mentoring sessions for people gearing up to attend their Mountain Leader and Hill and Moorland Leader award assessments. In addition to the above I help pull together the Staffordshire Moorlands Healthy Walks for the District Council and the company that run their leisure centres (Lex Leisure) as well as volunteering as a Hillwalking Representative (Peak District) for the British Mountaineering Council. The latter role is taking me more to issues at a national level. Oh, and I’ve also become involved with the Staffordshire and Wolverhampton Local Access Forum, and liaise on their behalf with their Peak District equivalent.

Participant 3 said the programme made her think about where she was ‘after over 60 years on life’s highway’ and where she wanted the next part of her journey to take her. She said part-way through the training: The Silver Workers project has been catalytic and came at just the right time to help me to look at what transferable skills and talents I have. It started my development of ideas that could become a new business and build on my previous work and experience. I have been to three sessions so far and I have started to answer my own question, “who am I?”, by listening to other people in the group, speaking about my ideas and using the Silver Workers platform.


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Participant 3 had a background in counselling but also did upcycling of clothes as a hobby. The training helped her to realise that the hobby would not be able to support her financially as a full-time business and so she set up her own counselling business. Through the training she was supported in setting up a social media account. She also explored additional revenue streams such as setting up as a charity and applying for funding to support disadvanted groups. This lady ran her own business but due to her daughter developing a life-threatening illness was forced to intermit from the counselling but has since gone back to her business activities. The final case study might be seen as “hybrid entrepreneurship”. Participants 4 and 5 were two ladies in paid employment, the first as an NHS Occupational Therapist with children with disabilities, the second as a Personal Assistant and Human Resource Manager at a local secondary school. Together, following their concern over how the effect of the Ebola crisis had shattered the lives of villagers in Lungi Village in West Africa in May 2017, they set up the “Catch the Dream” community Interest company.3 Since then they have been working in partnership with a rural community in Bo, Sierra Leone to help people to recover from the loss of their agricultural livelihood by kickstarting their farms following the Ebola outbreak. Having never run a business before, they embarked on the “Silver Workers” training in order to develop their enterprise skills not just for the running of this community interest group but also so they were able to train the women in Lungi Village with the skills they developed. They said ‘they have been on a steep learning curve ever since, as they work with the villagers to help them regain their livelihoods and dignity’. Whilst the programme was not designed for people currently in work, this case study reveals the unanticipated potential of this training to help people to set up social enterprise and charitable activities. These four case studies help to extend the lessons derived from the previous literature review. 1. Difficulties in recruitment, despite top-level support from local public-sector institutions, suggest that many of the barriers to business formation by the over 50 s—such as lack of knowledge, experience and networks and, especially for women, caring responsibilities (as demonstrated by participants 1 and 2)—may be barriers also to participation in the very training that could reduce these barriers to business formation. 2. The experience of participants to the training was very positive, making an acknowledged contribution to successful start-ups by participants 2 and 3. 3. As well as contributing to business start-up, case study 4 indicates the potential for such training to contribute to developing established enterprises. 4. This training has shown that it can contribute to supporting social enterprise and charities in addition to business enterprise. 5. Examples of participants discussing and contributing to each other’s ideas in group discussions suggests that these are an especially important part of entrepreneurship training. Indeed, such activities may even function to provide 3 www.catch-the-dream.co.uk.

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participants with an initial—or, at least, additional—endowment of social capital in which, typically, they are otherwise lacking. For example, participants 4 and 5 admitted that they had difficulty with the tax return for their social enterprise business. Participant 2, however, had an accountant friend who specialised in the relevant tax law and who proved able to resolve the issue. This is practically a textbook illustration of “weak ties”—or “bridging”—social capital in action. 6. The mentoring aspect of the training was much appreciated by participants, providing a “critical friend” to help them develop their ideas. Looking beyond the pilot nature of this project, the intention is to develop the mentoring and social capital outcomes of the project by creating a “qualified network” to support the creation and development of relations between “silver workers” and various expert figures, including previous participants. 7. Participant 1 demonstrates that closely associated with the social dimension of entrepreneurship training for the over 50 s is a therapeutic function. It may prove reasonable to connect this with mental health agendas.

4 Conclusion From the point of view encouraging enterprise there are many known barriers. Older entrepreneurs not only face these generic barriers but also additional obstacles. We analysed these according to the following categories: human capital; social capital; discrimination and unconscious bias; access to finance; and health problems. The purpose of this chapter is to identify policy changes to reduce or remove the particular barriers to business and social enterprise by older people. Many older people will be forced to continue working due to necessity. For those who find it difficult to gain employment setting up in business is one solution. In addition, it can help to create a more balanced lifestyle for those with caring responsibilities, ill health or disabilities. Firstly, in order to provide older people with a better platform for business or social enterprise, we need to address the problem of older people in employment being overlooked for training and development. Unfortunately, employers have less incentive to train older workers in comparison to younger employees, because there is less time to gain a return on the investment. This lack of training may be counteracted by a publicly supported system of “career review” for employees in their fifties and sixties that may uncover and help to encourage potential business or social enterprise. The career review needs to be part of a wider policy effort to reduce negativity around older entrepreneurship. This could highlight, for example, promotional material showing older people setting up business ventures. This could help to redress the issues of discrimination and unconscious bias. The literature identifies many barriers to entrepreneurship by older people. Unfortunately, not all of these can be addressed by public policy, at least in the short to medium term. However, the major barrier arising from lack of necessary skills can be addressed by public policy. This is demonstrated by short case studies of


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participants in a pilot training programme designed to encourage older people into setting up businesses. This bespoke training programme brought people together, included mentoring and was aimed at older people and retirees by taking into account their learning styles and experience. Two ways, for example, in which the training was bespoke not generic is that all training materials visually portrayed older men and women engaged in enterprise activity, and one module specifically aimed at generating and looking at the viability of different business ideas whilst developing participants’ confidence. Building on the existing literature, the case study evidence suggests two main benefits from the training: (i) technical knowledge and soft skills helped to develop the human capital needed for business and social enterprise; and (ii) by bringing the participants together it developed a network of support, thereby enhancing individuals’ social capital. Acknowledgements I would like to thank Professor Geoffrey Pugh for help and support in writing this chapter. Also, Professor Jon Fairburn for allowing me the privilege of leading the Silver Workers project. And, above all, the wonderful people who participated in the training and who allowed me to share their experiences.

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