No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Training the Entrepreneur


With the proliferation of courses for budding entrepreneurs, Ellie Hamilton, Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development at Lancaster University Management School makes the case that training can help create the Richard Bransons of tomorrow.

People often ask whether entrepreneurs are born or made, and the resulting question of can entrepreneurship then actually be taught?

Undeniably some people who are simply born entrepreneurs with an irrepressible stream of ideas and the motivation to try them.

But can training help to draw out and develop these innate abilities and even help people learn an entrepreneurial approach?

Psychologically speaking, some theorists (such as McClelland, 1971) believe that behaviour is predominantly determined by our genes, that we are born with characteristics that are the major influences on our actions.

At the other extreme some theorists (including Gibb and Ritchie, 1981) believe that behaviour is influenced by situational factors, such as other people’s expectations, rules, culture, institutions etc.

Entrepreneurship education seeks to develop enterprising behaviour by providing the skills and understanding of the relevant processes that are used to create and run successful businesses.

Entrepreneurship Education in the USA
It has been prevalent in the US university system at both graduate and undergraduate levels for some time now where there are more than 400 universities offering entrepreneurship courses, not only in business but related faculties.

US scholars feel that entrepreneurship can be taught. Professor Howard Stevenson of Harvard University said: 'You cannot teach someone to become a Bill Gates, [neither can you] teach someone to compose like Beethoven.

"But you can teach someone the notes and scales, give them the tools they need to become a composer. And you can teach the tools people need to be entrepreneurs.'

Teaching Entrepreneurs in the UK
The UK is catching up fast, partly due to the influence of the Dearing Report where entrepreneurship education was seriously proposed and subsequently endorsed enthusiastically by Government as part of its competitiveness policy.

UK universities often enable participants to experience entrepreneurship, for example, by undertaking consultancy projects with local companies or setting-up and running their own.

If developing entrepreneurship through education is to stimulate people to become entrepreneurs it is equally essential that an infrastructure be in place to support those who start their own businesses.

There is also a growing amount of support for those who want to launch entrepreneurial ideas from within their companies.

At the Henley-Incubator there is access to best practice from both Henley Management College experts and Corporate networks of Blue Chip organisations.

Entrepreneurs can benefit from the experience of those who have successfully launched corporate ventures within large organisations themselves.

Perhaps a better question to ask than are entrepreneurs born or made would be have you an entrepreneurial spirit and do you want to capitalise on it?


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!