Universities, small businesses and entrepreneurship education: towards a holistic approach
The issue of developing the motivation and capability of graduates to pursue careers in entrepreneurship is of concern to many governments world-wide: there are a variety of programme approaches being used, few of which are substantially successful. This is because such programmes fail to embody some of the lessons that can be learned from observation of the development of enterprise culture, the ways that enterprise in individuals can be stimulated by the environment, and implications for the design of educational activities.The paper briefly explores the concepts of enterprise, enterprise culture and their relationship to small business. It proposes guidelines as to how approaches for entrepreneurship education might be developed. It then embodies these guidelines into a 'total' approach, drawing out implications for the student, the teacher, the organizer of the learning institution and the mode of learning adopted. It concludes that unless a comprehensive approach is adopted, then entrepreneurship education in Malaysia, and indeed elsewhere, is certain to have limited results.
Creating small businesses out of large in Central and Eastern Europe
This article explores the potential for creating small enterprises out of large in Central and Eastern Europe (with the accent upon Eastern Europe). It argues that most small enterprises have been 'internalized' within the old command economy structure. Breaking up large units will not therefore just be a function of privatization but, if undertaken carefully, can lead to the creation of a small-medium-sized business sector. It firstly surveys the small business scene in Central and Eastern Europe and then explores the view that large organizations can be characterized as an agglomeration of small businesses, looking at the arguments, strategic, production and management, for and against externalization. It then applies this model to the Russian situation with the help of a case from the Chuvash republic. The case is a result of monitoring the Prompribor company since 1989 and reviewing the various problems confronted and the attempted solutions. Finally the paper draws out the implications for Western management development assistance.
Creating an entrepreneurial culture in support of SMEs
This article focuses upon the importance of creating the 'cultural' climate for support of small enterprise development. It might well be a waste of time and resource to concentrate SME development efforts on entrepreneurs and their immediate 'support' agencies unless equal consideration is given to investing in the development of an 'enterprise culture' in the broader SME stakeholder environment. It is this environment that shapes the 'level (or skewed) playing field' for small enterprise development. In recognition of the fact that the words 'entrepreneurship' and 'enterprise culture' are frequently confused in the rhetoric that surrounds development, they are first defined. The enterprise culture derives from the 'life world' of the entrepreneur. Sensitivity to this world and its underpinning values lies at the root of creating conditions for 'effective'(as opposed to socially deviant) entrepreneurial behaviour. Entrepreneurial values and beliefs contrast sharply with those of government and corporate bureaucracy. Therein lies the root of the problem. Key SME stakeholders, and in particular donors, are likely to embrace bureaucratic cultures. Yet they are dominant 'supply side' customers for local development agencies, and as such they are capable of exercising a pervasive bureaucratic influence on the behaviours and values of such agencies, threatening their culture and more important their potential for long-term sustainability. The threat to the enterprise culture may paradoxically come from those who seek to support it. There is therefore an imperative to develop strategies for creating an enterprise culture among key stakeholders. This can only be achieved by a process of strategic partnership learning. How this might be achieved is discussed.