Social Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

Jul 21, 2021 by

Social entrepreneurship provides communities a path to economic and social development by working to solve the issues of unmet social needs, scarce resources, and fewer employment opportunities. The field of social entrepreneurship is not only an emerging discipline of study, but the role in which higher education plays in preparing students in this regard is also being assessed through social entrepreneurial orientation, training, and associated curriculum.  

According to Naveed, Younis, and Shah (2021), social entrepreneurship education curriculum plays a key role in shaping entrepreneurial orientation and intention among individuals. In fact, entrepreneurship education is used to enhance entrepreneurial aptitude and orientation to promote entrepreneurial intent among university students (Naveed, Younis, and Shah, 2021). The authors recommend that academia focuses on social entrepreneurship education to aid in solving the world’s social problems.

However, not everyone is as enthusiastic about social entrepreneurship curriculum in higher education because the curriculum can be manipulated to fulfill desired outcomes. Niska (2021) asserts that there is a clear lack of consensus on what entrepreneurship education is and how it should be presented to students. Using a frame analytic perspective on entrepreneurship education Niska (2021), examines attempts to make sense of entrepreneurship education in a way that aligns with various stakeholder interests, finding conflicting framing of the course curriculum.

The buzzword “changemaker” has been closely tied to social entrepreneurship. It is broadly defined as someone who takes creative action to solve a social problem. García-González and Ramírez-Montoya (2021) sought to investigate pedagogical practices for social entrepreneurial or changemaker training that has emerged in higher education. The authors measured teaching and promoting social entrepreneurship in higher education using pre-and post-test results of three study cases with different training experiences (García-González and Ramírez-Montoya, 2021). The study concludes that providing social entrepreneurship tools to all students, regardless of their discipline, translates into offering them new possibilities to impact their profession’s social problems. Empowered with this information students can play a critical role in their education and its outcomes.

Comment

What role, if any, do you feel social entrepreneurship should play in the higher education curriculum?

Keywords

social entrepreneurship, higher education, changemaker, entrepreneurial orientation

References

García-González, A. and Ramírez-Montoya, M.S. (2021), Social entrepreneurship education: Changemaker training at the university. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning. http://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-01-2021-0009

Naveed, M., Zia, M.Q., Younis, S. and Shah, Z.A. (2021). Relationship of individual social entrepreneurial orientations and intentions: Role of social entrepreneurship education. Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 15(1), pp. 39-50. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJIE-07-2020-0118

Niska, M. (2021). Challenging interest alignment: Frame analytic perspective on entrepreneurship education in higher education context. European Educational Research Journal, 20(2):228-242. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474904120909571

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