Evolving Concepts and Processes
European Research in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Odd Jarl Borch, Alain Fayolle, Paula Kyrö and Elisabet Ljunggren
Chapter 1: Does Education Matter? The Characteristics and Performance of Businesses Started by Recent University Graduates
Colin Mason, Stephen Tagg and Sara Carter INTRODUCTION In England, there are almost no famous entrepreneurs who went to university. Almost all left school at 15 or 16. (Sir Richard Branson, quoted in The Globe and Mail (Canada), 14 September 2006) Encouraging graduate entrepreneurship has emerged as a key element in the UK government’s enterprise agenda throughout the present administration. The Dearing Report (1997) was the first to suggest that Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) should consider the scope to encourage entrepreneurship through their educational programmes. This proposal was reinforced by the Lambert Review (2003) which noted the importance of entrepreneurial skills especially for science and technology students. The Department of Trade and Industry’s Science Enterprise Challenge Fund in 1999 provided universities with funding for entrepreneurship education for science and engineering students (as well as for other knowledge transfer activities). Several business schools offer entrepreneurship courses to their own students. There are growing calls for entrepreneurship education in the disciplines that comprise the creative industries (DCMS, 2006). Within the context of graduate employability, the Higher Education Academy has supported a number of pilot projects introducing enterprise and entrepreneurship into mainstream curricula including subjects such as engineering, languages, religious studies and the performing arts. To promote graduate entrepreneurship across the board, the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE) was established in 2004 with funding from the Small Business Service and Department for Education and Skills. Its mission is, first, to increase the number of graduates giving serious 13 M2622 - BORCH TEXT.indd...
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