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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/221033
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- Illuminating the black box of an entrepreneurship education program: the case of the Enterprise and You Program
- Brown, Christopher R.
- Entrepreneurship is flourishing and its importance is being recognised by more individuals, businesses, stakeholders and governments than ever before. This increased interest in entrepreneurship creates a greater demand for entrepreneurship education and, as a result, entrepreneurship education programs (EEPs) are growing significantly. However, there are repeated calls in the academic literature for more appropriate evaluations of programs and greater contextualization in future research. Even more specifically, research that uses samples of female nascent entrepreneurs in longitudinal studies is scant. This research contributed to the resolution of these issues in six ways. First, economic theories of the entrepreneur were found to be somewhat opaque and a systematic literature review was employed to investigate major themes of the integration of literature on economics and entrepreneurship. The literature on psychological attributes and traits of entrepreneurs was also reviewed to better understand entrepreneurship. Second, a more comprehensive and parsimonious framework for understanding and evaluating entrepreneurship education programs was created. This framework was built upon the conceptualisations of the entrepreneur and adapted from the efforts of previous research on entrepreneurship education. Third, a case study of the Enterprise & You (E&Y) program, an EEP in England, was chosen as a frame of reference and the components of the program were integrated into the framework developed from the literature review. This demonstrated a way of applying the theoretical framework to a real-world program. Fourth, an older sample of mainly female nascent entrepreneurs in England was chosen. Fifty graduates from the E&Y program were given questionnaires before and after the program to measure entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE). The data were analysed using paired samples t-tests in SPSS 16.0. While ESE scores increased from before to after the program, the increase was significantly more for older participants, female participants, and participants who did not have relatives that owned a business. Fifth, this research added qualitative methods to the more commonly used quantitative methods in the literature to analyse personal development plans of E&Y participants. The texts were coded and interpreted to understand how participants understood entrepreneurship. This knowledge can help future EEPs communicate better (both through content and pedagogy) with program participants. Finally, less common but important evaluation measures were used. For example, the research looked at financial aspects of the program to calculate the accounting costs of the program. The utility of using such measures allows for greater objectivity in comparing programs across local, national, and international levels. Despite the contributions of this research to entrepreneurship education, it is limited to a sample in England and not generalisable to other populations. Nevertheless, this research can aid entrepreneurship researchers, policy makers, program administrators and entrepreneurs in their quest to strengthen entrepreneurship, and to increase both the quantity and quality of entrepreneurs. Future research can build upon this research by looking at cases of EEPs across different countries and cultural barriers.
- Publication type
- Thesis (PhD)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Business and Enterprise
- Publication year
- Entrepreneurial self-efficacy; Entrepreneurship education; Entrepreneurship education program; Enterprise and You Program; Self-efficacy
- Australasian Digital Theses collection
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2012 Christopher Russell Brown.
- Thesis Supervisor
- [Alex Maritz]
- Thesis Note
- [Thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Swinburne University of Technology, 2012.]
- Full text