Entrepreneurship Education in Bangladesh: A Study Based on Program Inputs

Article excerpt

The study attempts to conduct an input-based evaluation of the Entrepreneurship Development courses offered at BBA and MBA level in different public and private universities in Bangladesh. It has used primary data collected through a survey by using a structured questionnaire prepared based on an Entrepreneurship Education Model proposed by Azim (2007). It is observed that the entrepreneurship courses in different universities in Bangladesh as a whole operates with medium level of effectiveness.

INTRODUCTION

Thus, 'entrepreneurship' is widely recognized as a critical factor in economic development. Schumpeter viewed entrepreneurship as the major conducive factor to economic growth (Schumpeter, 1934). McClelland treated entrepreneurship as the causal factor of development (McClelland, 1961). Cole and Cochran also emphasized the critical role of entrepreneurship in economic growth (Kilby, 1971). In describing the significance of entrepreneurs in the process of development of a country, Maslow (1968), a Psychologist known for his epochrmaking theory of human needs, points out, "The most valuable 100 people to bring advancement into a deteriorating society would not be economists, or politicians, or engineers, but rather 100 entrepreneurs." Entrepreneurs are recognized as central to the process of mobilizing capital, adding value to natural resources, producing necessary goods and services, creating employment and developing the means by which trade is carried on.

Over the years, the concept of entrepreneur has undergone transformation and broadened to traverse the traditional connotation of 'creating a new and innovative venture.' Entrepreneurship is more than the mere creation of business. Although that is certainly an important facet, it's not the complete picture. It may also be viewed from skill perspective. The entrepreneurial skills, such as seeking opportunities, taking risks beyond security, and having the tenacity to push an idea through to reality can be exhibited by an individual working for someone else in profit or not-for-profit enterprises, and in business or non-business activities. Hytti and O'Gorman (2004) argue that these entrepreneurial skills of the general people are now considered as a competitive advantage of a nation over others. National competitive advantage is increasingly dependent on the skill base of the workforce, and more specifically, on the ability of both firms and individuals to engage in innovative activity and in new economic activity (Hytti and O'Gorman, 2004). Kuratko and Hodgetts (2004) postulate that it is this perspective that has revolutionized the way business is conducted at every level and in every country.

Therefore, it is imperative that the economic progress of a country largely depends upon the availability or development of the pool of entrepreneurs or people with entrepreneurial skills. For this, depending solely on natural supply of entrepreneurial talents will leave the destiny of a nation to the vagary of the nature. So, it is important to adopt means to develop such scarce human resources through intervention and many scholars have genuine conviction that entrepreneurship can be taught through education and training (Kuratko and Hodgetts, 2004). Consequently, in many countries entrepreneurship education has become an important part of both industrial policy and of educational policy. Emphasizing the potential benefits of entrepreneurship education, in 1997, the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education of UK (1997, p. 201) recommended universities to: ". . . consider the scope for encouraging entrepreneurship through innovative approaches to program design ..." and by 2000 business and entrepreneurial development had been listed as one of four strategic goals for British universities (Universities UK, 2000). In the same line of reasoning it is believed that, in developing countries where unemployment and international competitiveness are the major concerns, the need for entrepreneurial development should be emphasized more. …