How to Train Future Innovative Entrepreneurs
Universities and colleges have increasingly established entrepreneurship education programs in the past few decades. In an effort to more fully understand the outcomes of this education, the SBA’s Office of Advocacy released an initial analysis of the impact of entrepreneurship programs.
The report, “Toward Effective Education of Innovative Entrepreneurs in Small Business: Initial Results from a Survey of College Students and Graduates,” is based on initial results from a pilot survey of students at five universities conducted in April and June 2008. Funded with a Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation challenge grant, the survey was designed and conducted by a team of researchers from New York University. Here are some interesting findings:
- Students who took an entrepreneurship class were more innovative: they are more likely to have engaged in offering new products or services, obtaining patents or copyrights, and using production techniques that differ from those of the industry’s main competitor.
- Graduates who have taken such courses are significantly more likely to select careers in entrepreneurship, which is defined as ever having founded, run, or been employed in a start-up or entrepreneurial team.
- There is no discernable relationship between overall educational achievement (as defined by GPA and SAT scores) and selection of a career in entrepreneurship.
Though preliminary, these are promising results for colleges and universities who have included or are seeking to include entrepreneurship education in their curricula.
Lessons learned in this analysis will be incorporated in future surveys, which will cover additional universities in the U.S. and elsewhere. The researchers hope additional data will help instructors identify educational approaches to train prospective innovative entrepreneurs.