Academic journal article Journal of Entrepreneurship Education

Entrepreneurship Education: The Case of the Aba Master at the University of Studies of Parma

Academic journal article Journal of Entrepreneurship Education

Entrepreneurship Education: The Case of the Aba Master at the University of Studies of Parma

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In 2007, the outbreak of the global economic crisis, still persistent in its effects, had a great impact on the employment sector. International reports show its consequences on the economic and labour market on a yearly basis. The 2016 International Labour Organization report on employment trends (ILO, 2015:2016) confirms the decline of the global economy and the increase of the unemployment rates, although less steeply then what was predicted. Another ILO study focuses on the condition of youth employment: the Global Employment Trends for Youth 2015 records an unemployment rate of around 13% among the young population (against a pre-crisis rate of 11.7%), estimating a total of unemployed people aged below 25 years of around 73.3 million (ILO, 2015). The report also points out how young women and men who are now more educated than in the past, face more difficulties in the labour market.

Main Italian, European and global institutions managing and coordinating the development of the educational processes have been working through these years to understand which variables are more related to the entrepreneurship education (Caggiano, 2015; Caggiano, 2016). In particular, the European Union establishes entrepreneurship as one of its 8 key competences, considering it as one of the fundamental elements to tackle unemployment and to face the economic challenges due to the worldwide crisis. The Global Entrepreneurship Education (GEE) of the World Economic Forum (WEF) also recognizes entrepreneurship education as a crucial element needed in order to achieve a sustainable social and economic development. In its document EntreComp (Bacigalupo et al., 2016): The Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (European Commission, 2016) the EU declares its commitment to elaborate a common theoretical and epistemological approach to promote entrepreneurship and to open a real dialogue of exchange between the education and the labour sectors.

National and international literature also looks at the entrepreneurship education issue as one of the key answers to the global crisis (Volkmann, 2009). Over the past twenty years, the number of courses and programmes dedicated to entrepreneurship education has significantly increased (Katz, 2003; Kuratko, 2005; Nabi et al., 2016). Meanwhile, entrepreneurship education has become a subject of the scientific research (Fayolle, 2007; Fayolle et al., 2006; Fayolle & Kyrö, 2008; Neck & Greene, 2011; Pittaway & Cope, 2007a). The studies primarily addressed the different pedagogical and psychological theories investigating the phenomenon of entrepreneurship education (Pittaway & Cope, 2007a), and how these approaches influence the students' propensity to undertake a business activity (Bae et al., 2014). However, many authors sustain the necessity to deeper analyze the existing research corpus, particularly with regards to the different methodologies adopted (Fayolle et al., 2016; Pittaway & Cope, 2007a), the mainstream approaches (Pittaway & Cope, 2007b), the students' motivation (Kassean et al., 2015), the individual differences (Corbett, 2007; Politis & Gabrielsson, 2015) and the strategies used to teach the specific competences of an entrepreneur (Lackeus, 2015). With respect to the teaching strategies, in terms of different competences, numerous authors affirm the importance and the necessity of the experiential education approach-known as learning by doing (Gorman et al., 1997; Laukkanen, 2000; Gibb, 2002; Sogunro, 2004; Heinonen & Poikkijoki, 2006; Rasmussen & Sørheim, 2006). Any author approaching the study of entrepreneurship education needs to recognize the normative local framework (Welter, 2011; Welter et al., 2016) and the role played by national institutions in facilitating the business start-up phase (Walter & Block, 2016), because that becomes a key predictor of the "entrepreneurship education " success (Refai & Klapper, 2016; Urban & Kujinga, 2017). …

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