Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Mário Raposo, David Smallbone, Károly Balaton and Lilla Hortoványi
Chapter 5: A New Approach to Testing the Effects of Entrepreneurship Education Among Secondary School Pupils
Jan Lepoutre, Wouter Van den Berghe, Olivier Tilleuil and Hans Crijns INTRODUCTION Since entrepreneurship may serve as an important vehicle for economic and social prosperity, a plethora of actors in society have taken initiative to stimulate entrepreneurship through education at various stages of human development. In particular, it is argued that entrepreneurship education programmes should start at as early an age as possible (Wilson et al., 2004; World Economic Forum, 2009), because: to a greater or lesser degree in just about every culture there are sceptical or even hostile attitudinal barriers to entrepreneurship. [. . .] And hence the need for entrepreneurship education aimed specifically at young people, who are typically more open to self-exploration and usually more willing to challenge received wisdom and societal prejudice than are most adults. (World Economic Forum, 2009, p. 30). Entrepreneurship education programmes for teenage pupils, however, may also be confronted with many specific challenges. For example, teenage pupils are often not allowed to start up their own companies or may not have full control over their financial situation. Furthermore, career choices may be part of some distant future for teenagers. As a result, educational initiatives aimed at stimulating entrepreneurship may be perceived by teenagers as irrelevant, or may be long forgotten by the time actual career choices have to be made (Peterman and Kennedy, 2003). The question is then what entrepreneurial outcomes can be realized with entrepreneurship programmes among teenage pupils, and how. In line with previous work that has argued in favour of entrepreneurship education...
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