Entrepreneurship Education and Training Programs around the World: Dimensions for Success



Despite the growth of entrepreneurship education and training programs, global awareness about them and their impact is still at a minimum.

Through a review of existing literature and 230 program evaluations, this report sought to address key questions about the global landscape of entrepreneurship education and training (EET) programs:

Who are being targeted?

EET programs can be classified under education and training programs. Both aim to stimulate entrepreneurship but they are distinguished from one another by their objectives and target audiences.

  • Entrepreneurship Education Programs- tend to focus on building knowledge and skills about entrepreneurship and target secondary or higher education students.
  • Entrepreneurship Training Programs- tend to focus on building knowledge and skills to start or operate an enterprise. These target potential entrepreneurs (e.g. vulnerable or unemployed individuals) and those who are already practicing (e.g. owners of small or high-growth potential enterprises).

What outcomes do EET programs achieve?

Programs are not a silver bullet to address unemployment or foster innovation, but they can lead to positive change. Outcomes can be categorized into:

  • Entrepreneurial mindsets- changes in socio-emotional skills;
  • Entrepreneurial capabilities- changes in knowledge and technical skills;
  • Entrepreneurial status- a change in activities, such as opening an enterprise or finding employment; and
  • Entrepreneurial performance- changes in indicators of a venture’s performance.  

What dimensions shape these outcomes?

  • The economic, political and cultural context in which programs are implemented- different perceptions on risk-taking and failure affect entrepreneurial behaviors and practices.
  • Participant profiles - differences in outcomes can be associated with individual characteristics such as gender, personality traits, skills, and experience.
  • Program characteristics – features such as the design, content, related wrap-around services and trainers have an important influence on program outcomes.


Considerations for Policymakers

  • EET programs can achieve specific outcomes but these are just one among a range of inputs to promote entrepreneurship.
  • The objectives for EET programs should be clear and realistic.
  • EET programs can equip individuals with marketable skills, even if they chose not to open an enterprise. Emphasizing those skills at early stages is a good investment.
  • The best designed and implemented programs cannot be successful unless the economic, social and political contexts are in line with the program objectives.
  • Rigorous impact evaluations are needed to determine- with greater precision- what works, how it works, and why it works.

Last Updated: Jul 21, 2015