Enhancing self-efficacy to enable entrepreneurship: The case of CMIÂ€Ù³ Connections
Enhancing levels of innovation and entrepreneurship to grow a more competitive economy is the focus of much government effort. Attention is paid to changing a culture seen as antagonistic to entrepreneurship through initiatives designed to promote an entrepreneurial spirit. Universities, aware of the importance of developing entrepreneurial potential, are focusing on equipping students with the skills and abilities to contribute to innovation within organisations they join upon graduation, while also providing opportunities for the development of student aspirations. Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI) has developed a one week event designed to influence deep personal values and the underlying motivations of potential entrepreneurs. This paper reports on the Connections course content as it was offered at the University of Strathclyde in 2003, content premised on the belief that students are motivated to start new enterprises through enhancement of self-confidence in their entrepreneurial skills. Measures of entrepreneurial self-efficacy and other outcomes are offered, followed by a report of the results found at the end of the event and then six months later. The programme is found to have created enduring improvements in entrepreneurial self-efficacy, and a related strengthening of pre-entrepreneurial awareness and exploration of ideas for starting companies. Other assessment results are presented suggesting the need to include explicit course content on entrepreneurial career paths. The implications of the Connections findings for entrepreneurship teaching in general are discussed.
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