The role of social informal learning in the student/graduate entrepreneurs’ entrepreneurial process
Paper in proceedings, 2017
This paper aims to analyse the role of social informal learning of student/graduate entrepreneurs during their engagement in entrepreneurial processes while attending university. A qualitative methodological approach involving critical incident technique is used to map the entrepreneurial journeys of 18 students/graduates from Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. NVivo v10 software was used to conduct narrative analysis on collected data, focusing only on those entrepreneurial activities that occurred during university. Main findings suggest that student/graduate entrepreneurs tend to rely on mentors met in informal educational contexts in order to develop their entrepreneurial process; this person is contacted by the student/graduate entrepreneur itself with the idea of seeking their help. At an institutional-level, the study legitimises university inclusion of social networking activities into formal and non-formal entrepreneurship education, and encouragement of informal entrepreneurial learning. Moreover, the findings encourage educators to embed social networking activities within the curriculum in order to facilitate entrepreneurial learning.