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Edited by Friederike Welter and David Smallbone
Chapter 6: University-level Entrepreneurship Education in Poland
6 University-level entrepreneurship education in Poland1 Jerzy Cieślik INTRODUCTION The collapse of the Soviet bloc in the last decade of the twentieth century coincided with the global explosion in information and communication technologies (ICT), which has had a tremendous and widespread impact on virtually all spheres of human life. With respect to entrepreneurship, the ICT revolution has been reflected in the emergence of a dynamic, innovative segment within the traditional small business sector. Strong interrelationships between entrepreneurship, innovation and higher education are fundamental for achieving long-term socio-economic goals, so they have attracted the attention of policy makers. In Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), particularly in Poland, the end of the twentieth century also brought a rapid expansion in the tertiary-level education sector. This chapter addresses the role of educational programmes in transition economies, as exemplified by Poland, in enhancing an entrepreneurial spirit among students and in developing the skills necessary for launching dynamic, knowledge-based businesses. As background, we outline key directions in entrepreneurship education at the university level in Poland after 1989. Next, we review principal lessons derived from teaching entrepreneurship in western (mostly US) academic institutions and then summarize our experiences in launching the ‘Dynamic Entrepreneurship Programme’ in Poland, which is aimed at accelerating entrepreneurship education at Polish universities. The succeeding section identifies barriers and success factors in launching entrepreneurship programmes at the university level in a transition context. Key findings and recommendations that can be particularly relevant for transition economies are summarized in the final section. TRENDS...
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