The CReBUS project research was carried out during the period of four months with active participation and contribution of all project partners from Romania, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Latvia: research preparation stage – concept of the needs analysis was developed as well as two online questionnaires for entrepreneurs and students/graduates were designed using Google forms (December 2010 – January 2011); data collection stage – e-survey by using online questionnaires among entrepreneurs and students/graduates was carried out (February 2011); data processing and analysis stage – internal and external versions of the transnational needs analysis report was developed (March 2011).
The theoretical background of the research is based on the
In this paper e ntrepreneurial motivation is defined as a
The most important way of learning both for students/graduates and entrepreneurs was learning by doing (mean=3.64 and mean=3.67, mode=4). The least important motive both for students/graduates and entrepreneurs was networking (mode=3) . Almost all learning ways (excluding networking ) were more important for entrepreneurs than for students/graduates. However, in accordance with the results of the Mann-Whitney Test and Kruskal-Wallis Test there were no statistically significant differences between respondents’ responses depending on respondent code and represented country.
The students/graduates and entrepreneurs were asked to answer the open-ended question “ Which would be the optimum proportion (in %) between theory and practice (theory/practice) in a course of entrepreneurship education? ” About 31% (n=43) of respondents had chosen proportion 30/70, about 24% (n=36) – 50/50, about 20% (n=31) – 40/60. In accordance with the results of the Mann-Whitney Test there were no statistically significant differences between students/graduates and entrepreneurs’ responses. In accordance with the results of the Kruskal-Wallis Test there was statistically significant difference between respondents’ responses depending on the represented country (p=0.033) – Italian respondents preferred more practice in a course of entrepreneurship education than respondents from Austria, Romania, Latvia and Spain.
The students/graduates and entrepreneurs were asked to answer the open-ended question “ If you are interested (for students/graduates – to learn from an experienced entrepreneur; for entrepreneurs – in e-mentoring of a youngster who wants to start a business) , how many hours per week? ” Only 88% (n=96) of students/graduates answered this question. About 19% (n=18) of them had chosen two hours per week, about 15% (n=14) – four hours per week, about 14% (n=13) – ten hours per week. Only 65% (n=32) of entrepreneurs answered this question. About 31% (n=10) of them had chosen two hours per week, about 19% (n=6) – three hours per week, about 13% (n=4) – one hour per week. In accordance with the results of the Mann-Whitney Test there was very significant difference between students/graduates and entrepreneurs’ responses (p=0.002). The students/graduates were interested in more hours of learning from an experienced entrepreneur how to start their business (mean=7.07 hours per week) than entrepreneurs were interested in e-mentoring of a youngster who wanted to start a business (mean=4.44 hours per week).
Surikova maslo presentation
Preferable process of entrepreneurship training and e-mentoring for business start-up:A case study of the CReBUS project Dr.paed. Svetlana Surikova Dr.habil.paed. Irina Maslo University of Latvia The International Conference “Entrepreneurship Education - A Priority for the Higher Education Institutions – CReBUS” October 8-9, 2012, Bucharest, Romania This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Empirical research purposeTo identify students/graduates and youngentrepreneurs’ learning and support needsin order to develop e-mentoring system ofbusiness start-up for CReBUS e-LearningCommunity.
Research stages and sample – research preparation stage(December 2010 January 2011); – data collection stage (February 2011); – data processing and analysis stage – (March 2011).The total research sample size was consisted of 109students/graduates and 49 entrepreneurs from Romania,Italy, Spain, Austria, and Latvia.
Theoretical background• study of important support needs of students for business start-up and factors of negative influence to business start-up (Kailer, 2009);• case studies of mentoring and e-mentoring of young entrepreneurs and students in environment of networking and peer learning (Deakins et al., 1998; Cull, 2006; Zhang, Hamilton, 2009; Colvin, Ashman, 2010; Stewart, McLoughlin, 2007)• studies of experience-based learning by doing, reflecting, networking (Deakins et al., 1998; Neck, Greene, 2011; Zhang, Hamilton, 2009; Oganisjana, 2010)• previous surveys on entrepreneurial issues (EC reports, GEM study, VITA project, INTERACT project, WOMEN@BUSINESS project, etc.)
Proposed definitionEntrepreneurial environment is adynamic system of causally interrelatedentrepreneurial opportunities oflearning/support/mentoring and barriers aschallenges for discovering newopportunities.
Empirical finding 1Importance of the learning ways for students/graduates and entrepreneurs 3,67 learning by doing 3,64 3,65 3,55 experience-based 3,5 learning 3,51 Entrepreneurs Students/graduates 3,24 Total self-directed 3,2 learning 3,22 3,12 networking 3,13 3,13 2,8 3 3,2 3,4 3,6 3,8
Empirical finding 2Understanding of entrepreneurship education and training (by students/graduates)The most frequently mentioned categories ofstudents/graduates’ understanding of entrepreneurshipeducation and training were the following: – entrepreneurial potential (n=93), – practical skills (n=46) – opportunities of practical experience (n=44).
Empirical finding 3.1Optimum proportion (in %) between theory and practice in a course ofentrepreneurship education (students/graduates and entrepreneurs)
Empirical finding 3.2The comments of students/graduates and entrepreneurs regarding the theory and practice in a course of entrepreneurship education • Universities already offer economics courses – we need practice. • Doing the practice you learn the theory. • I think that practice is more important than theory. • It would be useful if the theory is For entrepreneurs always supported by real and concrete examples. • Its almost impossible to learn • It’s essential to know the theory, but if how to be an entrepreneur from is not related with a lot of practice, books. 90% of time you will need theory means nothing. Theory is to learn new things just to keep something general, but practical things your business going. bring the real challenge. • Educational system has to give • Theory is necessary to understand how practice works and what the differences theoretical training and facilitate are between theory and practice (and access to practical experiences practice can be linked with theory). out of the educational system. For students/graduates
Empirical finding 4.1 Opinion about an e-mentoring activity• The e-mentoring activity as value, good idea, good solution had been mentioned the most frequently (n=85) both by the entrepreneurs and students/graduates. However, there were 39 responses throwing doubt upon the effectiveness of e-mentoring.• About 83% (n=91) of students/graduates were interested in attending an e-mentoring activity for those interested in entrepreneurship, but about 17% (n=18) were not interested.• About 90% (n=98) of students/graduates were interested to learn from an experienced entrepreneur, but about 10% (n=18) were not interested.• About 65% (n=32) of entrepreneurs were interested in e- mentoring of a youngster who wanted to start a business, but about 35% (n=17) were not interested.
Empirical finding 4.2 Hours of e-mentoring activity per week For students/graduatesFor entrepreneurs
Conclusion 1According to the empirical findings of theCReBUS project research the most importantway of learning both for students/graduates andentrepreneurs is learning by doing.Entrepreneurial potential, practical skills andopportunities of practical experience are themost frequently mentioned categories ofstudents’ understanding of entrepreneurshipeducation and training. Italian respondentspreferred more practice in a course ofentrepreneurship education than respondentsfrom Austria, Romania, Latvia and Spain.
Conclusion 2The students/graduates were more interested tolearn from an experienced entrepreneur how tostart their business than entrepreneurs wereinterested in e-mentoring of a youngster whowanted to start a business. The e-mentoringactivity as value, good idea, good solution hadbeen mentioned the most frequently both by theentrepreneurs and students/graduates.
Conclusion 3The following characteristics of preferableprocess of entrepreneurship training and e-mentoring for business start-up were identified:optimum proportion between theory and practice(e.g. 30% of theory and 70% of practice),preferable attending hours per week (e.g. twohours per week), efficiency and effectiveness ofthe process, providing of the opportunities ofpractical experience and learning fromsuccessful experienced entrepreneurs.
Conclusion 4Efficient and effective process ofentrepreneurship training and e-mentoringis a necessary component ofentrepreneurial environment. The mainobjective of the entrepreneurship trainingand e-mentoring is providing theopportunities of developingentrepreneurial potential and motivation.