The importance of entrepreneurship for achieving economic growth in contemporary economies is widely recognized both by the policy makers and economists. Entrepreneurship education contributes to the building of knowledge and skills in preparation for starting a business or business career. In contrast to other courses taught at tertiary level aiming at transferring practical knowledge, entrepreneurship education deals with students career attitudes and intentions. Thus, tertiary level education also helps students to develop stronger career intentions, minimizing the risk of taking the wrong career decision (Hoskinson &Kurato 2014).
According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (2009) (GEM) promoting entrepreneurship and enterprise creation is high on the policy agenda of almost all countries in the world as it has the potential to generate and stimulate economic growth. (Schumpeter, 1934). However, few, if any, countries have created clear and comprehensive education policies to promote entrepreneurship and self-employment. Instead, what we find are elements of education and training policy at different levels as they relate to the world of work and the world of business (Neave, 2008). Entrepreneurship education involves creating an entrepreneurial mindset and the role of business entrepreneurs in economic and social development. Educators and researchers have celebrated the benefits of entrepreneurship education, but there has been little rigorous research on its real effect (Peterman & Kennedy, 2003). This research project aims to determine the effectiveness of entrepreneurship educational courses at tertiary level institutions with specific reference to the School of Accounting and Management.
1.2 Research Problem
Setting up and operating a business enterprise and operating it requires a whole range of knowledge and expertise in many areas such as knowledge of requisite methods and technical expertise. This might be supplied by the experience a business owner gains from the market industry, while other forms of knowledge and skills are provided through formal education system. Thus in any given contest, knowledge, skills and expertise acquired through the educational sector plays an important role in entrepreneurship development. Throughout the 1980s universities were encouraged to participate in programs that would raise students of enterprise and assist them to start their own business but during the 1990s engagement declined. (Kirby, 2006). The lack of entrepreneurial skills remains a serious challenge for Trinidad and Tobago Economy, and must be addressed immediately if Trinidad and Tobago is to retain its competitive edge. Such skills can open up a much wider horizon of job opportunities to graduates. Entrepreneurship education in addition to the personality characteristic of the entrepreneur is a prerequisite in every successful entrepreneurial venture. While many of the personality characteristics are generally thought to be inborn, researchers have also attempted to identify the skills and abilities that are necessary for successful entrepreneurship. In entrepreneurship, many attributes such as skills in products and service design, business skills, knowledge of the industry, leadership skills, administrative, financial management, and ability to acquire operating resources are acquired through education in tertiary level.
1.3 Rationale of the Study
Teaching entrepreneurial skills not only improves young people's ability to start their own businesses, it also helps them better understand their prospective employers' behaviour and needs. Kuratko (2013) argues that it is becoming clear, that entrepreneurship or certain facets of it can be taught. Business educators and professionals have evolved beyond the myth that entrepreneurs are born, not made. This discourse has prompted Peter Drucker (1985) to ask, The entrepreneurial mystique? Its not magic, its, not mysterious, and it has nothing to do with genes. Its a discipline. And, like any discipline it can be learned. The researcher is personally motivated to pursue this research since he is a student of business management, has delved into the entrepreneurship arena, and hopes that he can gain the entrepreneurial skills and behaviours that would drive the establishment to be a successful enterprise.
1.4 Research Question and Hypotheses
Entrepreneurial education has been challenged for not being able to produce entrepreneurs since it has been the established understanding among business professionals that some people are born entrepreneurs and will succeed with or without education, while no amount of education can provide business success for someone who lacks the entrepreneurial spirit. Marsick and Watkins, (199)0 argue the entrepreneurial spirit is tacit skills and hence it is difficult to transmit from facilitator to the students. The purpose of conducting this research is to investigate the role played by Tertiary level institutions in Trinidad and Tobago in preparation of entrepreneurs. The research is guided by the following question and hypotheses.
Q: What is the relationship between the tertiary level institutions in Trinidad and Tobago and the preparation of entrepreneurs?
H0: There is a significant relationship between the tertiary level institutions in Trinidad and Tobago and the preparation of entrepreneurs.
H1: There is no significant relationship between the tertiary level institutions in Trinidad and Tobago and the preparation of entrepreneurs.
1.5 Research AimThe aim of carrying out this exposition is to conduct a Critical Examination of the extent to which tertiary level institutions create an entrepreneurial mindset. Entrepreneurship education and training has been growing rapidly yet the debate on whether the entrepreneurial spirit comes from nature or through nurture. Most entrepreneurs come from families who were entrepreneurs themselves leaving the question unanswered. Still, if it emanates from the families of entrepreneurs themselves that it is not necessarily genetic but it can also be learned behavior.
1.6 Research Objectives1.To conduct a critical analysis of the link between the teaching of entrepreneurship and the creation of entrepreneurs
2.To critically explore the current methods used by universities in Trinidad and Tobago towards the creation of entrepreneur
3.To identify best practices that can guide the creation of a curriculum for creating entrepreneurs
1.7 Research Structure
Chapter 1 Provided an introduction to the research topic through the exploration of the genesis of entrepreneurism. It explored the research issue to be addressed, the research problem, the aim of the research and the rationale for undertaking the research at this time.
Chapter 2 Initiated a review of the literature, highlighting the various areas for discussion under the headings of definitions and concept. It develops the argument on whether entrepreneurs are born or whether entrepreneurship behaviour could be taught, it looks at the adequacy of the entrepreneurship curriculum and looks at the issues and challenges of entrepreneurship education initiatives in Trinidad and Tobago.
Chapter 3 Reviews the research design and methodology taking into consideration the research philosophy, approach, choice and horizon and also looks at data collection methods and analysis. It also looks at the ethical issues and the limitation of the study.
Chapter 4 Introduces the case study of the School of Accounting and Management, Analyses the data collected from the Fast Track MBA cohort and how entrepreneurship education impacts the entrepreneurship mindset.
Chapter 5 Reviews the case study findings and discusses evidence from the literature and from the data collected. It includes recommendation on how entrepreneurship education can be enhanced to support the entrepreneurial mindset. Finally it draws the conclusion that were arrived at in this dissertation.
Chapter 2 - Literature ReviewIntroductionThe government of Trinidad and Tobago has undertaken strategic action towards developing the entrepreneurial sector through commencing the spirit of entrepreneur from the tertiary education level. Entrepreneurship has been seen to be the instrument for generating employment and necessitating economic growth and development, especially to the regions that have been hit by recession, economic crisis, and structural adjustment. Although the aim of education is to equip the students with vast knowledge and expertise regarding the new measures to be undertaken in the sector, the government has highlighted the need for entrepreneurship as the engine for radical transformation and diversity in the economy. In understanding the role of tertiary level education towards creating an entrepreneurial mindset, the research provides analysis of the theories and models related to this issue.
Entrepreneurship is a set of activities that are taken by a person to draw together numerous resources and ideas and syndicate them into a commercially conventional product. Kuratko & Hodgets (2004) argue that entrepreneurship is a dynamic procession of vision, change and creation and implementation of new ideas and creative solutions. Essential ingredients include the willingness to take calculated risks-in terms of time, equity, or career; the ability to formulate an effective venture team; the creative skill to marshal needed resources; and fundamental skill of building solid business plan; and finally, the vision to recognize opportunity where others see chaos, contradiction and confusion. From this perspective entrepreneurship seems to be associated with both skill and knowledge which can be garnered from an entrepreneurship education.
2.1.2 Entrepreneurial Mindset
The essence of entrepreneurship education and training was emphasized in report by the Global Education Initiative (GEI) of the World Economic Forum (WEF)(2009) and stated, while education is one of the most important foundations for economic development, entrepreneurship is a major driver of innovation and economic growth. Entrepreneurship education plays an essential role in shaping attitudes, skills and culturefrom the primary level up. ...We believe entrepreneurial skills, attitudes and behaviors can be learned, and that exposure to entrepreneurship education throughout an individuals lifelong learning path, starting from youth and continuing through adulthood into higher educationas well as reaching out to those economically or socially excludedis imperative.
http://distinctivemanagement.biz/webPages/MBAKnowledgeBytes/thesisStructure.html2.2 Tertiary Level Education and Entrepreneurial Mindset2.2.1. Tertiary Level Education
Tertiary Level Institutions aim at producing a well-rounded entrepreneur based on the methods u...
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