Ida Lindh
Ida Lindh sees new opportunities to educate future entrepreneurs View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Challenges education on entrepreneurship

Published: 20 June 2017

What are successful entrepreneurs doing to succeed? Ida Lindh, Luleå University of Technology, challenges, in her doctoral thesis, the way schools work to increase students' opportunities and interest in becoming entrepreneurs.

"My and earlier research shows that successful entrepreneurs often are good at self-regulating, meaning they are very skilled at learning from adversities and using the experience to get back on track after a failure," says Ida Lindh. To find out how entrepreneurs learn, and to train students how to do, is important in achieving the EU and policy goals that are reflected in school curricula.

Today's curriculum for elementary school is largely influenced by the EU's and politicians intentions, which are also reflected in the school's curriculum, where entrepreneurship is emphasized. New reports on how to nurture successful entrepreneurs are constantly presented and influence the way school´s act to achieve set goals. Teaching entrepreneurship is usually based on giving students the opportunity to train doing business “in real life”, in collaboration with local businesses. The focus is on how to be, in the sense of what characteristic is required to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Obstacles to creativity

In her doctoral thesis , Ida Lindh challenges contemporary entrepreneurship education. Previously conducted research focuses on students being best trained to become entrepreneurs by doing things "in real life" in outside school environments and in collaboration with local business community. Ida Lindh's studies show that student collaboration with local businesses can sometimes prevent them from creating new business opportunities, and may lead them into already existing activities indtead. This is more common in small municipalities with limited business.

"My dissertation is about finding the core of how entrepreneurs learn," says Ida Lindh. It is essential to understand what a successful entrepreneur does to succeed and how they learn by being good at reflecting, being aware of what motivates them and to be able to see different perspectives. This is basic for understanding how the goals in the curriculum are to be achieved. My studies show that entrepreneurial learning in school not only has to mean doing things ”in the real world” in collaboration with local businesses. Here virtual worlds can work just as well and digitization can provide young entrepreneurs knowledge and motivation that you need.

Adversities important for learning

The fact that the school takes on the role of training young people in how to get used to learning and taking advantage of adversities, is important for a successful implementation of the political intentions to educate more future entrepreneurs.

"This is knowledge that benefits everyone," says Ida Lindh. And students who become proficient in using such skills also have greater opportunities to become successful entrepreneurs.