A lack of entrepreneurial culture can have an impact on the motivation of staff and the entrepreneurial intentions of students.

The problem

Especially for teaching staff, the objectives and values of entrepreneurship education must fit well with their professional values. Sometimes institutional requirements to integrate entrepreneurship training in the teaching are not well accepted by staff, in particular when there is a mismatch between the teachers’ perceptions of what skills should be built and the entrepreneurial skill sets defined in the institutional requirements. This mismatch can result in teachers who only superficially address entrepreneurship.

Students who perceive institutional regulations, values and support negatively often refrain from their entrepreneurial intentions, i.e., they less frequently transform their ideas into a business start-up or do not develop an entrepreneurial attitude.

Solution at institutional level

Communication is key to achieving a shared entrepreneurial culture. Studies point out that defining and communicating the value of entrepreneurship training is fundamental. As for any organisational change, the involvement and support of leadership are crucial to creating commitment among staff and students (Bin Yusoff, Mohd Nor Hakimin et al., 2015). However, as higher education institutions frequently host several disciplinary cultures, institutional leadership needs to address these cultural differences in a sensitive manner. Describing entrepreneurial skills should avoid being dominated by one discipline. Rather institutional definitions should be either general or diversified to accommodate the cultural diversity. The involvement of the staff when defining entrepreneurial values also helps to secure their support (Clements, 2012). Concerning the students and further users of entrepreneurship training, such as business partners in the regions. A few papers report that the design of entrepreneurship curricula must also consider their demands to stimulate their interest (Mets et al., 2017).

Incentives can stimulate the motivation and intentions of teachers and students. Time and financial incentives can be helpful, but also the opportunity of making new experiences turned out to be a strong motivator. Interventions that gave teachers and students who were new to entrepreneurship training the opportunity to learn about it and continue in this area were very effective. Here, it is argued that the newness of the knowledge, experiences and contacts made is the incentive (Ghina et al., 2014; Mkimurto-Koivumaa & Belt, 2016; Thom, 2017).

Finally training teachers for entrepreneurial education can ease their uncertainties and feelings of insufficient preparation. The provision of training can be beneficial when it includes new or innovative teaching practices or the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers (Terzaroli, 2019)

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Other relevant resources
Links to selected HEInnovate case studies
Further reading
  • Bin Yusoff, Mohd Nor Hakimin; Zainol, Fakhrul Anwar; Bin Ibrahim, Mohamed Dahlan (2015): Entrepreneurship Education in Malaysia's Public Institutions of Higher Learning--A Review of the Current Practices. In International Education Studies 8, pp. 17–28
  •  Clements, Mike (2012): Contribution of the SPEED Programme to the Enhancement of an Enterprise Culture in a UK University. In Industry and Higher Education 26, pp. 101–106. DOI: 10.5367/ihe.2012.0088.
  • Ghina, Astri; Simatupang, Togar M.; Gustomo, Aurik (2014): A Systematic Framework for Entrepreneurship Education within a University Context. In International Education Studies 7.
  • Mets, Tnis; Kozlinska, Inna; Raudsaar, Mervi (2017): Patterns in Entrepreneurial Competences as the Perceived Learning Outcomes of Entrepreneurship Education: The Case of Estonian HEIs. In Industry and Higher Education 31, pp. 23–33. DOI: 10.1177/0950422216684061.Mkimurto-Koivumaa, Soili; Belt, Pekka (2016): About, for, in or through Entrepreneurship in Engineering Education. In European Journal of Engineering Education 41, pp. 512–529. DOI: 10.1080/03043797.2015.1095163.
  • Terzaroli, Carlo (2019): Entrepreneurship as a Special Pathway for Employability. In New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education NA, pp. 121–131. DOI: 10.1002/ace.20346.
  • Thom, Marco (2017): The Rough Journey into Arts Entrepreneurship: Why Arts Entrepreneurship Education Is Still in Its Infancy in the UK and Germany. In Education & Training 59, pp. 720–739. DOI: 10.1108/ET-01-2016-0015.