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Does University Shape the Young Entrepreneurs

Some days back, I came across one article from INSEAD (2008) named as ‘The Internet Entrepreneur: Made, not Born.’ Since years there has been a debate over subject “Are Entrepreneurs are born or made??” No one has been really able to answer the question in a perfect manner. But as you can see, in today’s world there are so many universities are taking up classes in Entrepreneurship. Now it has been a question, whether entrepreneurship is an innate ability or certain people are born with quality of acting as an entrepreneur. There have been diversified views about this question among all thinkers. There are some people with the thinking that now days this question is obsolete.

“An entrepreneur is a person who has possession of a new enterprise, venture or idea and assumes significant accountability for the inherent risks and the outcome.”

Firstly we will look what is Entrepreneurship, is it just innovation or something more than that. Entrepreneurship is not only about innovation, but it starts with innovation. An entrepreneur has to take efforts to make his innovation transformed into economic good while taking care of finances and business understanding required to carry on the process. It can be either a totally a new company or organization or can a new product development in an existing company which in path breaking. Actually it has to be about starting a new venture with an innovative product which has good economic value. An entrepreneur is the one who has innovation, ability to take financial and organizational risk and being accountable for the same and to face the market competition of its products.

According to Schumpeter, in Entrepreneurship innovation is just not about a new product but the innovation can also be found in new production methods, new markets, or new form of organizations. He further suggest that entrepreneurship can be taken as a function of combining different inputs in an innovative way that creates greater value for product and has an economical sustainability. This discussion suggests us that there are different viewpoints regarding our topic. And even it can be seen that there is a lot of gap between new thinkers and old thinkers regarding perception about Entrepreneurship. Earlier the definition was about innovativeness of the product now even developing a new process is also an entrepreneurial skill. That gives us the idea of changed perceptive of entrepreneurship over the years.

As we discussed that there is a changed perceptive about Entrepreneurship over the years, it can be seen that now a days, there are number of universities which have undertaken the teaching of Entrepreneurship classes. Actually speaking Entrepreneurship is one of the fastest growing subjects at UK colleges and universities as seen over years. In today’s scenario, there are more than 1500 courses at various colleges and universities for entrepreneurship and the number of these courses is increasing every year. Over the years besides the general entrepreneurship, these universities are offering courses such as Social Entrepreneurship, Family Business Entrepreneurship, Technical Entrepreneurship, Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Performing Arts Entrepreneurship. There has been a lot of increase in number of school and colleges offering such courses.

Objective

Research Aim:

This project is aimed at finding out the facts about can universities in Europe are able to train young students in Entrepreneurship through various courses offered by them and find out the how do they do this.

Key Research Objectives:

To find out effect of courses available for entrepreneurship offered at various universities to students and do they get inspired from such education.

To find out if any success stories are associated with such courses.

To establish the relationship between entrepreneurship courses and their effect on students in Europe.

The role played by Universities and Business school in bringing up entrepreneurial skills.

Significance of the Research

Improve general understanding of role played by Europe Universities to enhance entrepreneurial skills

Enhancement on available literature about entrepreneurial education.

Literature Review

Entrepreneur, manager and owner are many a time taken for one other, but they have a very different understanding in business context. But out of all these Entrepreneur stands apart, because he is a 100% leader. OECD employment outlook report (2009) revealed that there will be higher unemployment rate in coming years. Youth unemployment rate is tending to be half of adult rate. This suggests that there is an urgent need of new businesses and in such a situation Entrepreneurs are really what industry and economy wants. Since, new business proposals will promote innovativeness and it will increase employment opportunities. These innovations will lead to new economic formations and trends in industry. Here the question arises, with all these possible benefits from Entrepreneurs, is the today’s young generation is so much interested in being self-employed and that also with some innovativeness in their approach?

There is a debate on the topic about how much do universities contribute to motivate young entrepreneurs. Many of the Universities are claiming that their entrepreneurship courses have been successful and they are providing the economy with new entrepreneurs. Whereas, there is another wave of thinkers who are firm about just going to business school doesn’t create Entrepreneurs. In fact, entrepreneurial spirit cannot be taught at any graduation schools. It is said that either you have that potential in you or you just not of that type. There is a middle way think wave on this subject matter, who suggest that entrepreneurship cannot be taught but the skills of entrepreneurship can be enhanced. This enhancement is possible through the framework needed for the business plan, how to start the business, possible opportunities and hurdles that may have to face, and motivation for being more creative and opportunistic.

Richard Goossen, a lawyer, businessman, professor and academic writer, CEO of M&A Capital Corp says, “Many a times people wonder how can I teach entrepreneurship. In my opinion too it’s hard to teach in a classroom but you can always learn from what other people have done and where they have made mistakes. “

Peter Drucker says, “Entrepreneurial management is not natural, creative, or spontaneous but instead is based on a systematic, thoughtful approach of supportive policies and practices.”

According to Jeffry Timmons, “Entrepreneurial management is not natural, creative, or spontaneous but instead is based on a systematic, thoughtful approach of supportive policies and practices.”

Karl Vesper emphasized, “An individual embarking on an entrepreneurial venture must realize that the experience involves the emotional implications of differing levels of failure, survival, and success throughout the growth process.”

It is expressed by many students that their business education in Entrepreneur Skills have developed them and helped them to build a step of success in their innovation. Entrepreneurial education helps mainly with finding the economic value of their creativity or innovative products.

Still there are so many people, who have a strong and different opinion on this topic. These people express their feelings in a very harsh ways. And, they blame the amount of money involved in the whole process. There are an extreme views about this, one view thinks that entrepreneurship is an innate drive where as there are others who believe educational reforms can change the thinking patterns of youngster to shape them to become an Entrepreneur. Even the EU policy is giving thumbs up to introduction on teaching entrepreneurial skills at Universities and colleges or business schools. It is remarkable to note that, in EYCI (European Year of Creativity and Innovation) 2009 the major part of the discussion was ‘can entrepreneurship be taught and it was debated that how can be innovativeness be studied. Along with this, though universities and business schools are introducing entrepreneurship as a small course or full time course, it becomes necessary to check teachers involvement in the subject which to be taught. Since, teachers are the one who have chosen a simple path of employment over any risk in life, how they can motivate the youth. But this problem can be taken care by having special sessions by role models who can advise them on actual life experiences and gut feelings and finding out the economic value. Over this, even the normal teachers can induce students with experimentation with education of entrepreneurship.

Despite of all these favorable responses to universities initiative to start up with entrepreneurship courses, there are people who think other than innate abilities it is just money game that has motivated universities and business schools to come up with Entrepreneurship courses. In 1970, only 16 courses were offered in entrepreneurship. Whereas the scenario was changed in 1997 when it was found that more than 400 schools were offering such courses and more than 50 schools had come up with four or more major courses in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship course was first introduced by Harvard University in 1947. In the decade of 80’s, these programs popped up with many opportunities from undergraduate to graduate students.

Today, it can be seen that there are too many opportunities in entrepreneurial education at various levels and with array of options. As this discussion is been for many years now, it was thought necessary to find out what the facts associated with this and specially in 21st century. There have been some research on this topic earlier but the relevance of the same in current context is questionable. Since, all those researches were undertaken in 90’s after all these years, no one can rely on those reports and those reports are part of history now. In all these years there have been a lot of changes happened over the business context, economy, employment opportunities and so on. There are so many factors which affects this particular topic. According to my understanding, one needs to find out what this means for today’s generation to become an entrepreneur and what all opportunities they get to become an entrepreneur.

It can be studied that what are the facilities universities are offering to students. Now these facilities include what all courses they provide part time or full time, minor or major, and so on. It will also be interesting know how much value addition these universities are doing to students on this subject as well how do they enhance their entrepreneurial skill and how do they teach this subject and at which level undergrad or post grad. Even it will be interesting to know what all activities and programs or competitions they have to let students understand this topic thorough.

Research Design

The aim of this project report is to find out the role Europe universities play in shaping young entrepreneurs. So the focus of this research is going to be on Universities in UK along with the students studying at those universities. The key to any proper research is to identify appropriate research and data collection techniques which will help to collect all relevant information and considerable information. In this research, one needs to undertake combination of in-depth research along with other literature available from time to time in the prescribed area of research. The research will involve the evaluation on the role of Europe Universities in developing entrepreneurial skills.

Since the focus of the study will remain about the perception of what people understands in entrepreneurial education through Europe Universities, a closer coordination will be required with all the universities for data collection. This Data collection will include the details about the courses offered, level at which they are offered, what are students’ thoughts about these courses and so on.

Then we can also find out what is role played by Europe Universities over the years and hoe entrepreneurship education has come lime light over the years and its emergence and what was the reason behind such a emergence in education sector. This can be analyzed through available secondary data and other literature.

Even the students who are currently undergoing such education can be examined through questionnaire as well students who are passed out of such educational courses and have succeeded in their endeavors.

The detailed process of data collection will be as follows:

A thorough literature review is to be undertaken about on available data which will help us to determine the general idea of subject over the years and this will help us to understand if there are any changes in mindset of the people over the years.

Finding out the information about the courses offered by various universities and business schools at undergrad and postgrad educational levels. This will be essential to find out this information since that will give us the information like how many universities are offering such courses and for how long time, what is the development over the years and what is the percentage increase over the years for these courses. This universities can also help us with what other programs do they have to enhance the skills of their students and have interactions with real life role models in the industry. Even universities will be proud to share their success stories if any with us, which will describe how the course helped students to become a role model himself/herself.

Then interviewing the students, faculties and industry experts will help us to know better context of entrepreneurial education. Students will be able to share with us their experiences about why they have chosen this education and how do they think this education will help them in their life. Faculties will be able to address issues they face while teaching these subject and how do they think the pattern of students go over the years when it comes to entrepreneurial education. Industry experts or the successful entrepreneurs will be able to advise if they were really guided by such educational courses if any they have attended in the past or whether they think how much an educational course can help to build this career and enhance the skills in this industry.

The information collection can be done through telephone and internet. As we can send a document to the sample (chosen university and business school) asking the details in a prescribe format where they have to give information about the courses they are offering and their history. Industry experts can be contacted through any organization formed by entrepreneurs where details of these people will be easily available can be opted.

After all this data collection, a research report will be written down that will combine my understanding of the subject based the available data. This can be then compared with earlier literature available to study and what are the implications does the past years have given to the industry in respect to entrepreneurial education.

This will help me to find out the role played by Europe Universities in shaping young entrepreneurs. It will be helpful to find out what is the contribution of the universities and business school over the years in developing entrepreneurial skills in the youth and overall society.

Planning:

Recourses: Staff to accumulate data and coordinate with universities and interviewers, Laptops or computers to gather data and organize it in disciplined way, access to academic library and other required publications, Telephone or mobile for communication facilities.

Quality of data and Sample: Data requirement and interview questions to be used should be approved by head office. European universities are divided according to their countries, namely UK and Northern Ireland, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and Norway. Now universities from all these countries are to be contacted that will consume a lot of time, instead the study will be restricted only for UK, France and Germany. This will help us to collect usable data in reasonable time and this will be easier to contact maximum sources.

Time Table:

September 2010: Literature Review

October, November 2010: Data collection from Universities and Others as explained.

December 2010: Compile, Pilot and review collected data

January 2011: Data Analysis

February 2011: Final writing of the Project Report.

Limitations

This study is meant to be for entire Europe but since geographical constraint may arise, we have limiting our research to a limited region. We will be focusing on 3 main regions out of 8 regions of Europe. It will not be able to reach all the students, so we will restrict our research up to 1000 students who are currently studying at such universities.

Conclusion

I wish to conclude my proposal by restating my objective of undertaking this research, which is to understand the role of European Universities in influencing the careers of young entrepreneurs and their contribution towards entrepreneurial educational courses. It is a serious note in the benefit of society to understand such a key point which may lead to an enhanced industrial approach. This can be understood by undertaking this study in various ways as explained in this report. I wish to fill the gap in the mindset about the entrepreneurial education through this study.

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