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Opportunities to Improve Entrepreneurship Education: Contributions Considering Brazilian Challenges

Authors

  • Edmilson Lima,

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    • Address correspondence to: Edmilson Lima, Master and Doctoral Program in Administration, Universidade Nove de Julho (UNINOVE), Avenida Francisco Matarazzo, 612, Água Branca, São Paulo 05001-100, Brazil. E-mail: edmilsonolima@uninove.br.

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    • Edmilson Lima is associate professor in the Master's and Doctoral Program in Administration and professor in the Professional Master's Program in Sports Management at Universidade Nove de Julho (UNINOVE).
  • Rose M. Lopes,

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    • Rose Mary Almeida Lopes is associate professor in Entrepreneurship at Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing—College of Advertising and Marketing.
  • Vânia Nassif,

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    • Vânia Maria Jorge Nassif is associate professor in the Professional Master's Program in Sports Management and professor in the Master's and Doctoral Program in Administration at Universidade Nove de Julho (UNINOVE).
  • Dirceu da Silva

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    • Dirceu da Silva is associate professor in the Master's and Doctoral Program in Administration at Universidade Nove de Julho (UNINOVE).

  • We are grateful for the support of the Pró-Administração project in execution at Universidade Nove de Julho (UNINOVE) and of the UNINOVE Research Fund. Many thanks also to Philipp Sieger for the international coordination of the GUESSS project and to the JSBM evaluators and 2012 ICSB World Conference evaluators and participants who gave us a valuable feedback for improving the previous version of this paper.

Abstract

This paper identifies challenges and opportunities for enhancing higher education in entrepreneurship considering student perceptions concerning both their demand for entrepreneurship education and their entrepreneurial intention as well as previous studies that present the points of view of experts. The main focus is Brazilian higher education, but the results address challenges that cross borders, such as the need for a practical approach. The study analyzed the data from the Brazilian version of the 2011 Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students' Survey (GUESSS) obtained with an online questionnaire answered by 25,751 Brazilian students from 37 colleges and universities. To give a reference for a better understanding of Brazilian statistics, data were compared to those of the 2011 international GUESSS involving also 25 other countries and 64,079 responses from them. Three hypotheses were tested. The results show that entrepreneurship education has a significant negative effect on student entrepreneurial intention and also on self-efficacy. The same occurs between entrepreneurial intention and students' demand for entrepreneurship education. Brazilian students present higher levels of entrepreneurial intention and are significantly more motivated to take courses and activities in entrepreneurship than those students in the international sample. Approximately 50 percent of Brazilian students are potential entrepreneurs. One of the opportunities identified is to take advantage of students' positive attitudes and their high demand. The opportunities could play an important role in overcoming the challenges recognized, among which are the need for a more practical approach and the need for larger and diversified educational offerings beyond business planning. The challenges make Neck and Greene's recommendations, presented in a 2011 issue of JSBM, particularly important for Brazil. The last three sections propose different explanations, suggestions for more research, and practical recommendations.

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