Measuring the Impact of Entrepreneurship Education
Entrepreneurship education and training programs have rapidly proliferated in recent years. However, impact evaluation to determine what really works versus what doesn't in preparing the next wave of entrepreneurs has not kept pace. A couple of organizations have set out to address such challenge of increased investment in educational entrepreneurship programs without corresponding research or evidence to support decisions, including the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN), a collaboration of research organizations around the world.
For example, the Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship – Young Entreprise, a Danish GERN member organization focused on education, has been carrying out since 2010 a study to investigate the immediate and longer-term effects of the education by means of questionnaire surveys and quantitative analyses. This research project covers all three levels of the education system. Last week, the organization released its latest report covering 2013, highlighting that entrepreneurship education at the primary educational level leads to increased interest and entrepreneurial behavior -- as well as the pursuit of similar education at subsequent levels. The survey also showed that entrepreneurship education leads to a higher income level later in life – for the self-employed as well as for employees. Such insights are possible because of the longitudinal nature of the research project. The study continues to follow, for instance, a group of young Danish students who were in the ninth grade in 2010/2011. [all reports are available in English]
The World Bank is active on the subject as well. Last June it released its first systematic review of Entrepreneurship Education and Training (EET) programs worldwide. Next month, it plans to release a report “Entrepreneurship Education and Training Programs around the World: Dimensions for Success”, which will offer implications for policy and program implementation, such as emphasizing the importance of clarity about target groups and desired outcomes when making program choices.