Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the benefits of enriching higher education of entrepreneurship through mentoring potential entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach – Students in entrepreneurship classes were offered being mentors along with being mentored by professional senior staff in either one of two programmes designed to defined age groups: first, adolescent entrepreneurs in a high school and second, retired nascent entrepreneurs. This exploratory study was undertaken in the mode of action research. Findings – Most students who participated in either one of these programmes for at least one semester reported “substantial” improvement in their personal entrepreneurial abilities and higher self-efficacy. The rate of students who reported this reflection is more than double higher in relative to their classmates who did not elect to undertake mentoring in these programmes. Research limitations/implications – Due to the limitation of a case study, further research with additional data is needed to validate the benefits to students being mentors in entrepreneurship programmes. Practical implications – Additional tools for active learning are needed since previous research indicates it may not be sufficient to teach entrepreneurial talent in the classroom setting. Providers of higher education in entrepreneurship could consider incorporating students as mentors in different practical programmes in order to enhance their capabilities and self-efficacy. Originality/value – Practical training and active learning have long been exercised in many fields, including engineering and business studies. This reflective study brings together pedagogy and theories of high education in entrepreneurship. A novel approach is suggested in which students are mentors rather than mentees in practicing entrepreneurship.
Education + Training – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 4, 2014