What Is The Goal Of Entrepreneurship?

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What Is The Goal Of Entrepreneurship?

What Is The Goal Of Entrepreneurship?

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Entrepreneurship Education and the Sustainable Development Goals: A Literature Review and Further Exploration of Fragile States and Tech-Based Approaches

Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, Faculty of Economics and Management, Technical University of Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany

Entrepreneurial Mindset: 20 Ways To Think Like An Entrepreneur

Received: Aug 2, 2019 / Reviewed: Sep 20, 2019 / Accepted: Sep 23, 2019 / Posted: Sep 27, 2019

Entrepreneurship has the potential to reduce poverty, stimulate economic growth and innovation, and improve social and environmental sustainability. In line with human capital theory and previous empirical research, entrepreneurship education and training (EET) is assumed to be directly correlated with positive entrepreneurial outcomes and thus with sustainable development. While several researchers have attempted to review and analyze the literature on EET over the past decade, none of these reviews directly link EET to sustainability or focus on the role and status of EET (research) in less stable parts of the world. This systematic review therefore attempts to analyze recent literature to determine the extent to which EET research meets the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The review identified several gaps in research and practice that could prevent EET from making adequate progress on sustainable development, including a lack of research on fragile states and demographic diversity, limited access to EET for non-university students, and a general lack of interest in educational technologies, educational approaches and innovations in unstable and stable countries. The review also identified the challenges of EET resource constraints in unstable contexts. The paper concludes with an overview of how educational technology can mitigate the challenges of EET in volatile environments to ultimately remove some of the barriers to the development of the SDGs, and makes recommendations for future research directions.

Two billion people currently live in countries affected by instability, conflict and violence, and the share of people living in extreme poverty in conflict-affected areas is expected to reach over 60% by 2030 [1 ]. High levels of (youth) unemployment in fragile contexts not only inhibit economic development but also contribute to violence and conflict [2]. For example, evidence from the Sahel region shows that the social stigma associated with poverty and unemployment drives young people to join armed groups in search of social recognition [3], while the lack of economic opportunities and promises of regular income have led many Syrians to join extremist groups [4 ]. Without the involvement of young people in the labor market, the vicious circle of poverty and violence cannot be broken.

What Is The Goal Of Entrepreneurship?

Recognizing the importance of economic empowerment in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations (UN) is increasingly focusing on entrepreneurial interventions to help ambitious young people set up their own businesses and create employment opportunities for themselves and others [ 5]. Entrepreneurship has also been shown to help develop areas of social and environmental sustainability, with positive impacts in the areas of financial inclusion, women’s empowerment, sustainable agriculture and agriculture, and minority integration, among others [6]. Entrepreneurship therefore has a direct positive impact, especially on reducing poverty (SDG 1), economic development and reducing unemployment (SDG 8), improving infrastructure and innovation (SDG 9), l equality and social inclusion (SDGs 5 and 10) and sustainable production and consumption. (Sustainable Development Goal 12).

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Empowering individuals with sufficient academic background creates the human capital needed to improve product and process innovation [7], while specialized entrepreneurial education and training (EET) improves human capital, entrepreneurial skills and behavior [8, 9]. Particularly in contexts of fragility and poverty where unskilled entrepreneurs predominate and where small business activities are mostly low-growth and survivable [10, 11, 12], EET is crucial to enable entrepreneurship to reach its full potential. However, the suboptimal access, quality and regulation of formal education systems in several less developed countries [13] requires innovative ways to deliver entrepreneurial capacity-building interventions outside the walls of traditional formal education institutions.

Adaptive learning technologies can provide significant value in less developed countries by supporting and complementing their educational needs [14], while enabling personalization of learning, connecting students, increasing student engagement and providing access to a variety of educational materials [15]. Although even the least developed countries of the world are currently showing a rapid increase in technology adoption [16], there is no reason why digitization could not become a friend, rather than a threat, to advancing global sustainable development.

Despite recent advances in EET research and the publication of several literature reviews and meta-analyses in the field [8, 9, 17, 18], few studies link the EET literature to sustainability and, as far as I know, none have been found that directly analyzed the relationship between EET and the Sustainable Development Goals. Recognizing the key role of EET in enhancing entrepreneurship in the development of (at least) the six Sustainable Development Goals, it is important to understand the target beneficiaries, approaches, results and tools used by EET initiatives, current events and their representation in renowned entrepreneurship journals.

This article therefore presents a systematic literature review inspired by Eichler and Schwartz [19], which analyzes recent EET entrepreneurship publications for their contribution to SDGs 1, 5, 8, 9, 10 and 12. While the review found that adequately focused on SDG 8 results, identified several gaps in research and practice that could prevent EET from progressing towards other SDGs, including lack of research on fragile states and demographic diversity, limited access to EET for non-university students and a general lack of focus on educational technology, progressive educational approaches, and innovation in fragile countries compared to stable countries.

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Below is an analysis of the main barriers preventing EET from achieving its sustainable potential in unstable contexts. The spread of traditional education, lack of qualified teachers, lack of funding and limited access to EET seem to be a challenge for several less stable countries. Educational technologies, in particular ITS, are offered as a mitigation to these challenges based on examples of successful implementations in various fields of education in several contexts of developing countries.

Indeed, repeat and innovative entrepreneurs [20] have been shown to play a key role in sustainable development. Replicating firms that create new firms, whether or not similar firms already exist in the market, are important for reducing poverty [21], strengthening competition and increasing the supply of products [22]. Therefore, it can be expected that replicating entrepreneurs will contribute to reducing poverty and fighting unemployment by directly implementing Sustainable Development Goals No. 1 and 8. However, it is innovative entrepreneurs who provide new services and goods that the recipients need, create a learning environment for future entrepreneurs, they commercialize knowledge and new ideas, generate (long-term) profitability and initiate endogenous changes that may disrupt the status quo [10, 23, 24, 25, 26]. They therefore have the added benefit of contributing to SDG 9 by strengthening local infrastructure, stimulating the development of local technologies and enhancing sustainable industrialisation. Certainly, many innovations from low-resource environments and poor entrepreneurs have proven their contribution to sustainable development, as evidenced by examples from the green energy and medical technology sectors in Kenya and India [27, 28].

Entrepreneurship can contribute to increasing social and environmental sustainability in addition to economic sustainability. For example, supporting female entrepreneurship contributes to women’s empowerment, quality of life, economic growth and entrepreneurial diversity [29, 30, 31], thus contributing directly to SDG 5. Migrant and refugee entrepreneurship improves also social inclusion, empowerment and psychological well-being, reduces dependence on social assistance and foreign aid, creates jobs for other migrants and stimulates national entrepreneurship [32, 33, 34, 35, 36], providing evidence of the ability of entrepreneurship to reduce inequalities and strengthen coherence (support for SDG 10). In addition, recent green entrepreneurial innovations in agriculture, packaging, energy and manufacturing can directly improve sustainable production and consumption (supporting SDG 12) [37, 38].

What Is The Goal Of Entrepreneurship?

According to the human capital theory, having a higher level of relevant knowledge, skills and competences is positively correlated with labor market productivity, emphasizing the importance of investing in human capital for improving economic development [39]. Particularly with regard to entrepreneurship, it is argued that a good education in

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