Untitled Document

Entrepreneurship Education: Exploring the Missing Piece in Ethiopian Primary and Secondary Education Pogrammes

Adane Tessera Biruaa, Reda Darge Negassib
a Department of Educational Planning and Management, College of Education & Behavioral Sciences, Bahir Dar University.
b Department of Psychology, College of Education & Behavioral Sciences, Bahir Dar University

Abstract: For decades unemployment in developing countries particularly in sub-Saharan Africa has been mounting. Recent world financial crisis has also resulted in unemployment at vast levels. To employ these unemployed persons is a big challenge for authorities. In hard times when educated persons can’t get jobs, it becomes a challenge for states. It is rather harder for developing countries, like Ethiopia, where governments do not have sufficient resources to support the unemployed workforce. Self-employment and entrepreneurship is referred not only as the best solution but also strategically recognized as a competitive advantage for national development and a global future. Entrepreneurship, job creation and enterprise development are currently at the front in the Ethiopian policy agenda. Job creation and enterprise development skills have become more crucial concerns of policy makers, the public and individual citizens more than ever. Graduates from different educational institutions at different levels should not be job seekers in no way. Government policies and programs confirm that graduates should be the movers and shakers of the enterprise. However, this review is critical of the efficacy of Ethiopian government’s agenda of entrepreneurship, arguing that students should not wait for TVET or university education to develop attitudes toward entrepreneurship as a career alternative. The review challenges why primary and secondary school students are waiting for graduation for developing entrepreneurial intent as a policy concern and a career development agenda among young citizens.

Keywords: entrepreneurship education, Ethiopia

1. Introduction

For decades unemployment in developing countries particularly in sub-Saharan Africa has been mounting. Recent world financial crisis has also resulted in unemployment at vast levels. To employ these unemployed persons, has been a big challenge for government authorities. Unemployment rate has increased drastically in the world, which in turn is creating lots of problems both for public and government, worsening situation of law and order, increased crimes and many social problems. One of the most effective alternatives

1 Corresponding author
Email address: reda_darge@yahoo.com (Reda, D.N.)

suggested by the economists is self- employment. Self-employment or entrepreneurship can contribute to a new sustainable economic growth and social development throughout the world and Ethiopia is no exception. It is well said that a career that is influenced by the entrepreneurship surely offers the individuals ample opportunities to enjoy independence, harvests greater financial payback and gain towards overall economy through a contribution to innovation, job enhancement, and economic development.

Presently, entrepreneurship, job creation and enterprise development are at the front in Ethiopian policy agenda. Job creation and enterprise development skills have become more crucial concerns of citizens than ever before. To enhance job creation and enterprise development among citizens, the government provides all kinds of supports among others include working premises, credit faculties, training programs etc. Income, psychological and motivational factors, levels and employment status, educational background and experience institutional factors all affect entrepreneurial intention.

When it comes to education, the Ethiopian Education and Training Policy document reveals the role of TVET curriculum in influencing students and trainees to acquire the necessary entrepreneurial and productive attitudes and skills (Transitional Government of Ethiopia, 2000/1). Similarly, the proclamation for higher education (Ministry of Education, 2008/9) emphasizes entrepreneurship and enterprise development as one of the prime objective of the education system in Ethiopia. According to the proclamation for higher education (Ministry of Education, 2008/9) graduates from different educational institutions at different levels should not be job seekers in no way. The proclamation for higher education (Ministry of Education, 2008/9) further confirms that graduates should be the movers and shakers of the enterprise. To achieve this objective and to create entrepreneurial spirit in the students, many educational programs particularly in the TVET colleges and universities have included at least one course on entrepreneurship in their curriculum. Entrepreneurship education has become one of the approaches through which government policy intervention can support entrepreneurship by influencing the determinants of entrepreneurial behavior.

The New Education and Training Policy is also considering providing technical assistance to secondary, post-secondary, vocational, and technical schools to develop and implement curricula designed to promote vocational and technical entrepreneurship. Developing entrepreneurial talent is important to sustaining a competitive advantage in a global economy catalyzed by innovation. The New Education and Training Policy gives special attention to TVET by providing broad and multiple-level foundations. Presently TVET is divided into training for agriculture, health, and teacher training as well as training manpower for the development program that the country needs. Trainees are also encouraged through entrepreneur education to create jobs for themselves. The Education and Training Policy document (Transitional Government of Ethiopia, 2000/1) presented specific objectives and strategic measures on TVET as:

  • Parallel to general education, diversified technical and vocational training will be provided for those who leave school at any level of education.
  • Apprenticeship training will be provided in agriculture, crafts, construction, and basic bookkeeping for those at the appropriate age and leaving primary education.
  • Technical and vocational training in agriculture, industrial arts, construction, commerce and home science will be provided after primary education for those who may not continue in general education.
  • Technical training will be provided for those who complete Grade 10 to develop middle-level manpower.
  • Students participating in technical and higher education programmes will be helped to gain the necessary field experience before graduation.
  • Teachers and researchers will be helped to gain the necessary field experience of various development and service institutions; while professionals working in such institutions will be helped to gain similar field experience of teaching.
  • Coordinated curriculum development will be ensured so that students and trainees will acquire the necessary entrepreneurial and productive attitudes and skills.
  • Research of practical societal impacts will be given priority and the necessary steps will also be taken to facilitate the coordinated effort of all those concerned.

The need to reform and overhaul the education system was recognized quite early in the education strategy document. As of 1994 the educational system has been restructured into an 8-2-2-3 pattern, that is eight years primary, two years general secondary education (grades 9-10), two years preparatory education (grades 11-12), and 3-5 years university education (MoE, 2008/9). The Primary School Leaving Certificate Examination (PSLCE) comes at the end of the primary school.

The structure of the formal education system of Ethiopia (MoE, 2008/9) further revealed that Level 1 TVET is provided for dropouts from the lower primary cycle (end of grade 4) and Level 2 TVET for dropouts of upper primary cycle (end of grade 8). At the end of the general secondary education, students are required to sit for the Ethiopia General Secondary Education Certificate Examination (EGSECE). Accordingly; students are streamlined into either academic (higher education programs in grades 11 and 12) or vocational (TVET) programs (Level 3 to Level 5) based on their merits and preferences. Similarly, those going to university education from the preparatory programs are expected to sit for University Entrance Exam (UEE) developed and administered at central level.

Thus, the educational reform has been set within this context. It is a total departure from the old approach to educational development that has lingered for over 50 years. This may essentially give some insights regarding the achievements seen in developing and nurturing entrepreneurial motivation and skills in the part of the trainees (Transitional Government of Ethiopia, 2000/1).

Of course, entrepreneurship education and training is not a panacea. In this regard the literature on the role of education in general and the role of entrepreneurial education in particular and its effect on entrepreneurial intention is inconclusive. At one end the emerging themes in entrepreneurship literature relate entrepreneurial education to developing and nurturing entrepreneurial motivation and skills (Brockhaus, 1980; Montago, Kuratko, &Scarella, 1986; Begley & Boyd, 1987; Boyd & Vozikis, 1994; Krueger & Brazeal, 1994; Hatten & Ruhland, 1995; Ede, Panigrahi, & Calcich, 1998; Hansemark, 1998; Kourilsky & Walstad, 1998; Leitch & Harrison, 1999; Walstad & Kourilsky; 1998; Littunen, 2000). In contrast prior research works do not address whether entrepreneurial education affects characteristics in youth attributable to entrepreneurial behavior (Owoseni & Akanabi, 2010).

From the above explanation one can think of core research problems to be addressed in this critical review: Does entrepreneurial training of youth affect attributes commonly associated with entrepreneurial potential? Do psycho- educational constructs influence entrepreneurial characteristics in youth? Based on the proposed psycho- educational issues needed for the success of entrepreneurship, the review will challenge why Ethiopian primary and secondary school students are waiting for graduation for developing entrepreneurial intent as a policy concern and a career development agenda among young citizens. Specifically, the question here is’ where should entrepreneurship education start in Ethiopian context?’

2. Psycho educational Issues needed for the Success of Entrepreneurship

In hard times when educated persons can’t get jobs, it becomes challenge for states. It is rather harder for developing countries, like Ethiopia, where governments do not have sufficient resources to support the unemployed workforce. Self employment and entrepreneurship is referred as the best solution in such situations. But entrepreneurship is not the function that might be taken as an outcome of simple efforts. It requires a regular and permanent attitude as part of personality. Attitude can be based on psychological constructs; it can also be reshaped with education. Thus, the explanation of entrepreneurship undertakes the analysis of entrepreneurship at the level of individuals. In other words, individuals are the units of analysis. At this point there are several factors involving the individual dimensions that this review is set out to bring to light. These factors include psychological constructs and entrepreneurial education. While entrepreneurship is embedded into a broad range of socio- economic characteristics, ultimately it is individuals who make a choice whether or not to engage in entrepreneurial activities. Individuals weigh up the perceived risks and rewards from engaging in entrepreneurship. As a result, they may choose to enter into entrepreneurship or not to, or even to exit from entrepreneurship (Audretsch, 2003).

The individual dimensional framework of Gartner (1988) provides a way of analyzing past research studies, at the same time of being useful drawing researcher’s attention to considerations inherent in the individual dimensions. The individual dimension attempts to analyze and understand the individual in the light of multiple levels of interactions between individuals and their environments. That is, all individuals characteristics, (psychological as well as biological) interact with the environments.

Understanding individuals’ entrepreneurial intent demands researchers to explore more about their lives directly related to the individuals psychological characteristics and beyond the individuals (their parents, their peers, their socioeconomic characteristics, and cultural setting). The intricate relationship of the context, ranging from family to peers and to the wider social sphere, simultaneously weaves its networks of influence in individuals’ entrepreneurial intent. Seen from this angle, this review employs Gartner’s (1988) conceptual framework to examine the psycho-educational issues needed for the success of entrepreneurship in the Ethiopian education system.

In the field of entrepreneurship, the earliest studies had focused on the entrepreneur, concentrating on the family and psychological characterization at an individual level. Empirical studies tried to identify the personal characteristics that could define and differentiate entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs (Low & MacMillan, 1988; Fagenson, 1993). In this approach there is the belief that entrepreneurs have values, needs and attitude that are unique to them. It is held that a combination of these stands to distinguish entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs. Those with characteristics identifiable with entrepreneurs will have a higher propensity to function in entrepreneurial realms (Lachman, 1980). Personality characteristic have featured prominently in entrepreneurship literature such as risk-taking propensity; personal values (responsibility, duty etc.); and the need for achievement. This approach contends that entrepreneurship is a trend that develops over time in an individual through the process of entrepreneurial education. However, some authors suggest that it would be more fruitful to investigate the different types of entrepreneurs, instead of differentiating them from non-entrepreneurs, due to the enormous diversity of entrepreneur profiles (Amit & Muller, 1994). It was believed that research from these perspectives could offer significant explanatory and predictive potential about the entrepreneur. This conceptual framework recognizes the complexity and variation that thrives in entrepreneurial intent. Then, this conceptual framework will allow us to make a classification of studies according to the dimensions involved in entrepreneurial intent. Indeed, this conceptual framework has been used by other authors within the entrepreneurship field because of its adaptability and practicality to it. This provides a review of research relevant to understanding the relationship between entrepreneurial education, psychological constructs, and entrepreneurial intent, summarized within the context of the individual dimensions.

Entrepreneurship is a concept that has been defined in various ways (Bruyat & Julien, 2001), ranging from narrow meanings such as starting one’s own business, to broad conceptualizations such as a work attitude that emphasizes self-reliance, initiative, innovativeness, and risk-taking. The success of a business is due to many factors, but the greatest determinant of a business's success is the entrepreneur him/herself. People who start up and run businesses need to know their own strengths and weaknesses because entrepreneurship involves the ability to build a 'founding team' with complementary skills and talents (Timmons, 1994). Banks and venture capitalists, as well as consultants, who assist entrepreneurs, stress the importance of the entrepreneur's personality for the success of a business.

A deeper understanding of the personality of the entrepreneur is needed for a sound judgment of whether the entrepreneur will carry through the business plan successfully. The success of entrepreneurship is largely dependent on individual and/ or situational variables (Owoseni & Akanbi, 2010) namely psychological characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship intentions, and entrepreneurial education. Yosuf et al. (2007) reported positive relationship between entrepreneurship intentions and personality traits.

Similarly, Gartner (1988) says that entrepreneurs are individuals with distinctive and specific personality traits. Personality traits have direct impact on many entrepreneurial activities including the intention to launch a new business, success in business, and enhance entrepreneurial set up (Shaver & Scott, 1991). Basu and Virick (2008) found that education can affect students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship and their entrepreneurial self-efficacy. Lack of entrepreneurial education leads to low level of entrepreneurial intentions of students (Franke & Luthje, 2004). Entrepreneur with entrepreneurial education and experience can create higher profits from entrepreneurial businesses (Jo & Lee, 1996). Dyer (1994) has suggested that entrepreneurship courses, or training regarding start of new business, contributes towards starting a new business and it gives confidence and courage to them. Krueger and Brazeal (1994) recommended that education in entrepreneurship can improve the perceived feasibility for entrepreneurial business through increased knowledge base of students, confidence building and promoting self-efficacy.

Recent research proves the relationship between entrepreneurial knowledge and identification of entrepreneurial opportunities (Shepherd & DeTienne, 2005). Some of the earlier studies refer to an individual's distinct information regarding a particular area of study (Venkataraman, 1997) or the result of work experience as well (Gimeno et al., 1997). Entrepreneurial education programs are source of entrepreneurial attitude and overall intentions to become future entrepreneur (Souitaris et al., 2007).

Entrepreneurship education can develop entrepreneurs by increasing business knowledge, and promoting characteristics associated with entrepreneurs (Krueger & Brazeal, 1994; Kourilsky & Walstad, 1998; Walstad & Kourilsky, 1998). Learning styles that include active experimentation, balanced with concrete experience and abstract conceptualization, enhance entrepreneurial propensity (Gorman et al., 1997). Stumpf, Dunbar, and Mullen (1991) also argued for the benefits of behavioral simulations in teaching entrepreneurship.

Vesper and McMullan (1988) recommended that entrepreneurship programs should also teach skills in detecting and exploiting business opportunities, in addition to incorporating detailed and long-term business planning. Plaschka and Welsch (1990) introduced the concept of transition stages of entrepreneurship education suggesting programs should be geared toward creativity, multi-disciplinary and process-oriented approaches, and theory based practical applications. A typical intervention should focus on enabling participants to generate and screen ideas, as well as assess whether they have entrepreneurial characteristics (Ladzani & VanVuuren, 2002).

The belief that entrepreneurs have distinctive psychological characteristics has a long tradition in entrepreneurship research (Gartner, 1988). This perspective is emblematic of Knight (cited In Ripsas, 1998) who described entrepreneurs as being inherently confident and venturesome in the face of an uncertain future. In his review, Ripsas (1998) emphasized that the entrepreneur assumes the risk of creating a new venture and insures others by guaranteeing a specified return.

Kent (1990) establishes a conceptual framework for entrepreneurial characteristics and entrepreneurship pedagogy, particularly related to primary school students. Kent (1990) suggested entrepreneurial training as one way by which the primary school environment can be changed for the better. He proposed five goals associated with these programs: (1) encourage the concept that alternative lifestyles are possible; (2) develop attitudes of inner control, self-confidence, goal setting, and decision making; (3) inspire students to take school more seriously; (4) provide basic entrepreneurial skills; and (5) provide a working knowledge of economic principles.

Kent reported that achieving these goals will assure success of entrepreneurship education as an intervention strategy. The training material meets the pedagogical criteria dictated in the literature for entrepreneurship education (McMullan, Long, & Graham, 1986; Vesper & McMullan, 1988; Plaschka & Welsch, 1990; Stumpf et al., 1991; Gorman et al., 1997). The learning methodology includes active experimentation, concrete experience, and behavioral simulations. The skill-building component includes negotiation, leadership, creative thinking, exposure to technological innovation, and new product development. Students will also learn how to detect and exploit business opportunities and long-term business planning. In line with this, Hammer (2000) suggests that successful entrepreneurship education programs are those that are student-based and non-traditional in their approach.

Kent (1990), for example, emphasized that simulations, gaming, and role-playing allow students to formulate responses that are truly entrepreneurial. Experience-based programs that provide real experiences, where students are active rather than passive learners, and actually make decisions tend to be pedagogically successful. Consistent with these pedagogical criteria, teachers in Hammer’s study used KidsWay, a popular youth entrepreneurship curriculum. This curriculum uses active learning techniques, which encourage students to absorb course materials by completing tasks that demonstrate reflection and elaboration on course contents (Hammer, 2000). This learning style is distinguishable from traditional and experiential methods because it includes mini-lectures integrated with group activities and games, which reinforce learning objectives. In contrast, semi-structured experiential techniques involve completing a group task or project that uses real business situations as the context for learning (Hammer, 2000).

The most important point that emerged in the literature revealed that the entrepreneurial psycho-educational traits are possible antecedent of entrepreneurial intent among students in primary and secondary schools. The review, therefore, depicts the relationship between entrepreneurial education, personality traits, and entrepreneurial intent in the broad range of primary and secondary education program in general.

3. Discussion

The purpose of this critical review was to critically comment on the position regarding why primary and secondary school students are waiting for college or university education to develop attitudes toward entrepreneurship as a career alternative. The discussion therefore follows along the following lines.

The Ethiopian Education and Training Policy document which reveals about the role of coordinated curriculum in influencing students’ and trainees’ entrepreneurial and productive attitudes and skills (Transitional Government of Ethiopia, 2000/1) supports the influence of entrepreneurial education on the higher education institutions’ environment. However, this review is critical of the efficacy of the Ethiopian government’s policy of entrepreneurship, arguing that students are waiting for college or university education to develop attitudes toward entrepreneurship as a career alternative. The value of formal entrepreneurial education at the university level is designed to create awareness among college and university students regarding entrepreneurship as a career alternative. However, these entrepreneurial characteristics of students in most cases can be widely recognized in primary school level rather than waiting until students reach TVET colleges and universities.

As experienced in the current practice, the position regarding the development of entrepreneurial career intent through the inclusion of the course entrepreneurship in TVET and universities curriculum alone may not be able to promote the kind of development Ethiopia so urgently needs to achieve. This kind of practice may prevent Ethiopian students from developing entrepreneurial career intent until they become college/university graduates. If it is to promote the kind of development Ethiopia so urgently needs to achieve, we have to stimulate entrepreneurial mindsets among young people, encourage innovative business start- ups, and foster a culture that is friend-liner to entrepreneurship and to the growth of small and medium-sized businesses. The important role of education in promoting more entrepreneurial attitudes and behaviors, starting even at primary school, must be widely recognized. Schools must underline the need for a positive entrepreneurial climate and for conditions that facilitate and encourage entrepreneurship. Otherwise, as it would be wrong to send the infantry into battle with weapons that they had not been taught to entrepreneurship as a career alternative without spending a required time and training on the skills necessary to job creation.

Education for entrepreneurship can be particularly effective in initial vocational training; as students are close to entering working life and self-employment, this may be a valuable option for them. It must offer students the tools to think creatively, to be effective problem solvers, to analyze a business idea objectively, and to communicate, network, lead, and evaluate any given project.

Students feel more confident about setting up their own businesses if they can test their ideas in an earlier educational, supportive environment. However, a real focus on entrepreneurship is missing in most cases, since the main task is seen as being to produce skilled workers and is limited to boosting start-ups, innovative ventures and new jobs. From Erikson’s psychosocial standpoint, in the Ethiopian education system, the intent to be entrepreneur begins after college or university education, when graduates’ initial sense of freedom subsides and anxiety begins to arise because of the psychosocial crisis (intimacy versus isolation). As a result, they cannot easily arrange themselves for suitable job creation (Erikson cited in Dembo, 1994). Although numerous efforts on entrepreneurship education are under way at college and university levels across the country, most of them are not integrated into the primary and secondary school curriculum and as a result dropouts from the primary and secondary schools are not yet taking part in job creation. Moreover, those leaving universities and colleges (after some exposure to entrepreneurship lessons) seem to lack the required confidence in creating jobs since they were given the chance only at tertiary levels.

Entrepreneurship is a competence for everyone, helping young people to be more creative and self-confident in whatever they undertake. As a result, the key competences for school learning should identify the ‘sense of initiative and entrepreneurship’ as one of the key competencies to be instilled at primary and secondary stages of education and training. In line with this, Erikson (cited in Dembo, 1994) believes that many individuals’ later attitudes toward work and work habits can be traced back to the degree of a successful sense of industry during school- age. Students’ entrepreneurial characteristics and potential could be identified and nurtured at school-age. As a result, teachers should not have to wait for students to become college graduates as the government’s policy supposed. As a teacher, they have the ability to influence the type of potential displayed in the classroom through a variety of pedagogical decisions and entrepreneurship training as an intervention strategy for students.

Research has theorized that the supply of entrepreneurs can be increased by developing a positive perception about the feasibility and desirability of entrepreneurship through educational preparation at an early age (Kourilsky, 1990). When rooted in learning theory, entrepreneurial education develops entrepreneurs, by increasing business knowledge and promoting psychological attributes associated with entrepreneurs (Kruegar & Brazeal, 1994; Kourilsky & Walstad, 1998; Walstad & Kourilsky, 1998). Although prior research has debated whether entrepreneurial characteristics are innate, recent findings rooted in learning theory support the idea that psychological attributes associated with entrepreneurship can be culturally and experientially acquired (Gorman et al., 1997). There are universal and ageless characteristics that can be nurtured and developed at earlier stages of the education process (Kourilsky, 1990; Kourilsky & Walstad, 1998; Walstad & Kourilsky, 1998).

Emerging themes in entrepreneurship literature relate entrepreneurial education to developing and nurturing entrepreneurial motivation and skills. There would be an increase in the number of people who would be successful entrepreneurs if they were identified, recruited, and nurtured throughout the educational process (Hatten & Ruhland, 1995; Ede, Pnigrahi, & Calcich, 1998). Other researchers presume that entrepreneurial education develops entrepreneurs, by increasing their business knowledge and promoting the development of psychological attributes associated with entrepreneurs (Kruegar & Brazeal, 1994; Kourilsky & Walstad, 1998; Walstad & Kourilsky, 1998).

Empirical evidence supports entrepreneurial education as an intervention tool, which impacts adult attitudes toward entrepreneurship (Hatten & Ruhland, 1995; Ede, Panigrahi, & Calcich, 1998; Hansemark, 1998). Youth awareness and attitudes related to social and economic desirability of entrepreneurship as a career option has been the subject of other studies (Kourilsky & Walstad, 1998; Walstad & Kourilsky, 1998). This suggests that a focus on introducing entrepreneurship at an earlier age may have an impact on reducing the disparity in business ownership among students.

Prior research suggests identifying and nurturing potential entrepreneurs throughout the education process could produce many long-term economic benefits (Hatten & Ruhland,
1995; Hansemark, 1998). A venture support system based on entrepreneurship education and designed to stimulate and facilitate entrepreneurial activities, could result in a lower unemployment rate, increased establishment of new companies, and fewer failures of existing businesses (Hatten & Ruhland, 1995).

According to Bechard and Toulouse (1998), the lack of training is the main reason for the failure of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). Entrepreneurship education can also be an important component of economic strategies for fostering job creation (McMullan, Long, & Graham, 1986). Moreover, effective youth entrepreneurship education prepares young people to be responsible enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers and contribute to economic development and sustainable communities (Ashmore,

Entrepreneurship education generally refers to programs that promote entrepreneurship awareness for career purposes and provide skill training for business creation and development (Vesper, 1990). It is distinguishable from other forms of business education when its purpose is creating a new product or service that results in higher economic value (Hanesmark, 1998). Entrepreneurship is an important vocational option. Individual work preferences are increasingly favoring self-reliance and self-direction (Hall, 2002; Baruch, 2004). It refers to an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action. It covers creativity, innovation and risk taking, and the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives. This supports that everyone in day-to-day life at home and in society, makes employees more aware of the context of their work and better able to seize opportunities, and provides a foundation for entrepreneurs setting up social or commercial activities.

Entrepreneurship education should not be confused with general business or economic studies, as its goal is to promote creativity, innovation and self-employment. There are indications that the formal education system is not particularly supportive of entrepreneurship and may result in the suppression of entrepreneurial characteristics (Chamard, 1989). Kourilsky (1990) found that 25% of kindergartners demonstrate important entrepreneurial characteristics (need for achievement and risk taking) compared to 3% of high school students. Accordingly, Singh (1990) concluded that traditional pedagogy should be reoriented to emphasize and value entrepreneurship in order to cultivate an enterprise culture.

An inherent assumption in entrepreneurial education is that entrepreneurship characteristics and skills can be developed. Research suggests that the propensity towards entrepreneurship has been associated with several personal characteristics that can be influenced by educational program of education (Gorman et al., 1997).Education can prepare for new venture initiation by transferring knowledge and developing relevant skills that improve the self-efficacy and effectiveness of the potential entrepreneur (Gorman et al., 1997). However, there is no consensus regarding when educational intervention is most effective in developing entrepreneurial potential.

Entrepreneurship literature has considered the effectiveness of education at various stages of life. For example, entrepreneurial education has been linked to the propensity toward entrepreneurship for adults (Gorman et al., 1997). Gasse (1985) recommended that entrepreneurial potential should be identified and developed at the secondary school level, when the possibility of self-employment as a career option is still open. Kourilsky and Walstad (1998) suggested that stimulating entrepreneurial attitudes through education at the pre-collegiate level could encourage entrepreneurship as a career choice.

In the Ethiopian context, where females are made to relinquish and are forced to go for early marriage, entrepreneurial education must begin in school -age. This trend must continue throughout the girl’s family life and school career. For students who are not adequately prepared, the economic and social costs can be extremely high. Early withdrawal from secondary school, for example, has been linked with higher levels of unemployment, lower earnings, and increased health problems (Rumsberger, 1995; Jimerson, Egeland, Sroufe, & Carlson, 2000; Reyes, Gillock, Kobus, & Sanchez, 2000). To minimize these problems, Ladzani and VanVuuren (2002) and Kourilsky (1990) suggested that students must be oriented toward entrepreneurship at an early age, so that entrepreneurial venturing is easier to accomplish later in life. Entrepreneurial program encourages middle grade students to examine their own personal development by studying role models and learning the basic values of their countries’ economic system (Banaszak.1990). Banaszak further explained that entrepreneurial programs in the middle grades provide knowledge of the role and function of entrepreneurs in a market driven economy and help students understand and practice entrepreneurial characteristics.

4. Concluding Remarks and Suggestions

The most important point emerged in the review of the literature suggested that entrepreneurship education has significant effect on students’ entrepreneurial characteristics. Given the entrepreneurship education on the one hand and entrepreneurial characteristics on the other, the review poses the need to show the influence of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial characteristics which in turn influences entrepreneurial intent particularly related to primary and secondary school students, to the one proposed by the existing broad framework of entrepreneurial literature. Accordingly, the review is unique in its approach to reveal the effect of entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial characteristics on entrepreneurial intents of primary and secondary school students that have not been critically reviewed in Ethiopia so far.

Another important issue of the review related to the problem is the link between entrepreneurship education and primary and secondary education program. As pointed out earlier in this paper, primary and secondary school students are waiting for TVET and university education graduation for developing entrepreneurial intent. The review challenged why primary and secondary school students are waiting for graduation for developing entrepreneurial intent and raised the issue as a policy concern and a career development agenda among young citizens. It will also provide an important input to policy makers so that the current position or policy could be discussed and revised to fill entrepreneurial education related gaps in primary and secondary schools.

Finally, this review may provide information to the business community and to the government in Ethiopia about investing in training to develop and nurture entrepreneurship at an early age. The investment in entrepreneurship for youth may, therefore, have long-term positive effects on economic development and global competitiveness by creating an entrepreneurial culture for Ethiopian youth.


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