Handbook on the Entrepreneurial University
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Handbook on the Entrepreneurial University

Edited by Alain Fayolle and Dana T. Redford

This insightful Handbook offers a lens through which to view entrepreneurship strategy for higher education institutions, as it becomes increasingly necessary for universities to consider changing their strategies, culture and practices to become more entrepreneurial.
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Chapter 16: The meandering path: the university's contribution toward the entrepreneurial journey

Louise-Jayne Edwards and Elizabeth J. Muir


This chapter uses the metaphor of a ëmeandering pathí to visualize the entrepreneurial journey of graduate entrepreneurs from education to business start-up. In our daily lives we are dependent on signposts and roadmaps to guide us; their clarity and direction enables us to avoid ëdead endsí and most importantly to reach our destinations. The ësignpostí provides a clear and accurate instruction and thus the authors propose that the entrepreneurial university should be envisaged as a signpost/road map for the student/graduate entrepreneur to follow. As per the theme of the meandering path, the authors interweave through extensive literature to uniquely bring together various fields: entrepreneurship, enterprise education, sociology, psychology and economics, to focus upon universitiesí contribution to future entrepreneurs. The authors carried out a three-year qualitative study of graduate entrepreneurs in South Wales analysing their personal, educational and business journeys. The phenomenological research focused upon the subjective learning experiences of 16 graduates and the authors concluded that there is a gap between the academic offerings of universities and the actual requirements of the students as future entrepreneurs. This chapter analyses numerous ways in which universities can contribute to entrepreneurship development and the necessity of a clear strategy for staff and students to follow. The university model of enterprise education is that of a series of core and optional enterprise (or enterprise-related) modules that contribute towards a qualification and a variety of experiential opportunities and support resources that the student may or may not access (Edwards, 2011).

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