Obstacles to Establishing Venture Creation Based Entrepreneurship Education Programs
Paper in proceedings, 2011
While many scholars argue for the value of action-based entrepreneurship education programs compared
to traditional theory and lecture based teaching (Mwasalwiba, 2010), seemingly few such programs exist.
We hypothesized that this could be explained by the existence of obstacles to establishing action-based
entrepreneurship education programs, and that these obstacles may be categorized into three main areas –
financial obstacles (Mwasalwiba, 2010), educational paradigm obstacles (Taatila, 2010, Hager, 2005,
Kyrö, 2005) and incentive obstacles (Wright et al., 2009). The purpose of the paper is to explore a
segment of action-based entrepreneurship educations identified as venture creation programs (VCPs),
where real-ventures are created within the educational framework, and empirically investigate obstacles
experienced by the facilitators of these programs. Thus, the research question is: What obstacles are
experienced when establishing (facilitating) a VCP at a Higher Education Institution?
This paper is part of a larger research study investigating VCPs. We build from an initial investigation of
six VCPs from Europe (Gothenburg, Louvain, Lund and Tromsö) and North America (Eugene and
Boston), identified through literature and other written documentation, internet resources, peer reference
and snowball sampling. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with program directors in order to
explore obstacles experienced in establishing the particular VCP.
Among the investigated six VCPs the main hypothesis regarding obstacles in establishing these programs,
was not supported – few serious obstacles were identified among the studied VCPs. The main conclusion
of this article thus has to be that a rare occurrence of VCPs requires other explanations.