Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1322: When Less Is More: Why Limited Entrepreneurship Education May Result in Better Entrepreneurial Outcomes

Niklas Elert (), Karolin Sjöö () and Karl Wennberg
Additional contact information
Niklas Elert: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Karolin Sjöö: Technology Management and Economics, Postal: Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg
Karl Wennberg: Institute for Analytical Sociology (IAS), Postal: Linköping University, and Ratio, Stockholm

Abstract: Entrepreneurship research suggests that entrepreneurship education and training can bridge the gender gap in entrepreneurship, but little empirical research exists assessing the validity and impact of such initiatives. We examine a large government-sponsored entrepreneurship education program aimed at university students in Sweden. While a pre-study indicates that longer university courses are associated with short-term outcomes such as increased self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intentions, results from a more comprehensive study using a pre-post design suggest little effect from these extensive courses on long-term outcomes such as new venture creation and entrepreneurial income. In contrast, we do find positive effects on these long-term outcomes from more limited but more specific training interventions, especially for women. Our study suggests that less extensive but more tailored interventions can be more beneficial than longer or more extensive interventions in promoting entrepreneurship in general, and entrepreneurship of underrepresented groups in particular. We discuss implications for theory, education, and policy.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurship education; Performance

JEL-codes: D22; L25; L26

42 pages, March 5, 2020

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