Entrepreneurial talent combines creativity, flexibility with risk-taking and perseverance, which is necessary to succeed in a constantly changing world. Welcome to the world of the entrepreneur. The 21st century skills, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), are vital. Entrepreneurial thinking and acting are also part of this. But not just limited to entrepreneurship. An entrepreneurial mindset also plays an essential role in larger organizations – public and private. Not surprisingly, entrepreneurship education plays an important role in any entrepreneurship ecosystem . Entrepreneurship education is gaining attention and is gaining an even stronger place in education. From primary school to higher education. But is it enough? This blog explains the difference between entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial behavior. This blog then discusses learning and testing entrepreneurial skills.

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Every year, The Global Entrepreneurship Week (usually held in November of each year) is organized worldwide. This event takes place simultaneously in approximately 170+ countries. Does it offer the opportunity to stimulate the development of entrepreneurship among young people, or is it about teaching entrepreneurial behaviour? The difference between entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial behavior is explained below.

The entrepreneurs of tomorrow?

Is becoming an entrepreneur still popular among students? Not so popular anymore, according to research by the Amsterdam Center of Entrepreneurship into the popularity of starting your own business. Although the popularity of entrepreneurship education is increasing, professions such as software engineering and working – as an employee – in the health sector score higher among young people than being their own boss.

The preference of a profession over registering yourself with the Chamber of Commerce is largely determined by the status of the profession. However, a positive relationship was found between the desire to be an entrepreneur and the familiarity with and experience with entrepreneurship. This is an important condition – not a necessary one, by the way – for strengthening entrepreneurial behaviour.

Entrepreneurial Education

Other research by the Amsterdam Center of Entrepreneurship shows that the entrepreneur’s success is related to the entrepreneur’s management education. The researchers have mapped out the income of entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized enterprises. They looked at the pay structure in nearly 400 companies with fewer than 100 employees. Success has been measured by income, survivability, growth and profit. Entrepreneurs in higher education earn more; their companies survive longer, grow faster and have higher profits. No conclusive explanation is given for this difference. All the more reason to include entrepreneurship in all curricula. Especially in MBA. It is important to start early.

Entrepreneurial education or education in entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurial education focuses on setting up, starting and running a business, while entrepreneurship education deals with developing the attitudes, competencies and attitudes for entrepreneurial behavior in a business and non-business context (Henry, 2013; Jones and Iredale, 2010). Entrepreneurial behavior can therefore also take place in a non-business environment. Think of the sports or hobby association. This immediately makes it clear that entrepreneurship is about behaviour. The definition of entrepreneurship consists of three core concepts:

  • see opportunities,
  • seize opportunities and
  • create value.

However, these core concepts do not stand alone. Rather, it indicates a process, which requires entrepreneurial skills to successfully combine these three aspects. The E-Scan has been developed to measure entrepreneurial skills. This instrument, for reliably portraying the entrepreneurial mindset , is applied throughout the entire learning line, from primary to university education. Not only to instill entrepreneurial behavior in the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, but also to prepare employees for being an entrepreneur in paid employment. Would you like to experience for yourself how the entrepreneurial potential of students is measured? Do the E-Scan .

Learning and testing entrepreneurship

Seeing and exploiting opportunities is what makes someone enterprising. This entrepreneurial attitude can be widely apply in many situations. So not just when starting a business. The third concept in the definition of entrepreneurship, creating value, refers to running one’s own business or creating value within an organization (so-called intrapreneurship ). With your own company you create value for yourself in the form of income, freedom, etc. But you also create value for your environment. You make customers happy with your product or service, the neighborhood or suppliers with employment or activity.

Value creation is quickly translate into money. But value is much more than just money or income. It is often about satisfaction and recognition. Creating value requires an entrepreneurial attitude. That means being able to spot and seize opportunities. Again and again. Being enterprising, or enterprising, is an umbrella term for entrepreneurial behavior. It is an important condition for entrepreneurship. Many schools or study programs profile themselves as entrepreneurial, but teachers and students hardly experience this in practice. This is especially a problem for learning entrepreneurial behaviour.

Testing entrepreneurship education

For a student, an enterprising attitude means that he or she actively seeks new initiatives and sees opportunities. And learns to seize these opportunities by converting them into concrete actions. These three aspects should be part of the entrepreneurship curriculum. It is about what a student has done and tried, and not (only) about the result. It is a learning process and the effort show can be test. This means formative testing instead of summative. Such an entrepreneurial attitude will help every student in school, work and personal life, even if the student does not become an entrepreneur. Discover how E-Scan can help you as a teacher to teach students entrepreneurial behavior

Can teachers also be enterprising?

What about teachers, the educators of entrepreneurship? Are they the supervisors who play an important role in the development of the student? Yes, but what is expect of teachers? Do they also have to be enterprising in order to provide entrepreneurial education? The short answer is no, not necessarily.

Of course it helps if a lecturer is entrepreneurial, or has (ever) had a business. It will increase the credibility of the teacher. Still, the teaching and coaching skills of the teacher will make much more of a difference. If students learn to see their entrepreneurial potential and learn to develop it further, that will stay with them.

Entrepreneurial education is gradually gaining a permanent place in education. It is also no longer reserve for economic directions. For the future, it is important to join forces, to coordinate education policy and activities. A continuous learning line, in which entrepreneurial behavior is give time to form in the student.

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