Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED)

1990-1097 (online)
1990-1100 (print)
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A series of reports from OECD’s Local Economic and Employment Development Programme (LEED). The LEED Programme identifies analyses and disseminates innovative ideas for local development, governance and the social economy. Governments from OECD member and non-member economies look to LEED and work through it to generate innovative guidance on policies to support employment creation and economic development through locally based initiatives. See also OECD Reviews of Local Job Creation under Related Reading.

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Entrepreneurship and Higher Education

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Edited By:Jonathan Potter
10 Oct 2008
9789264044104 (PDF) ;9789264044098(print)

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Stimulating innovative and growth-oriented entrepreneurship is a key economic and societal challenge to which universities and colleges have much to contribute. This book examines the role that higher education institutions are currently playing through teaching entrepreneurship and transferring knowledge and innovation to enterprises and discusses how they should develop this role in the future. The key issues, approaches and trends are analysed and compared across a range of countries, from the experiences of the most entrepreneurial universities in North America to advanced European models and emerging practices in Central and Eastern Europe.

It is clear that entrepreneurship engagement is a rapidly expanding and evolving aspect of higher education that requires proper support and development. The book stresses the need to expand existing entrepreneurship efforts and introduce more creative and effective approaches, building on the best practices highlighted from around the world. It will provide inspiration for those in higher education seeking to expand and improve their entrepreneurship teaching and knowledge-transfer activities, and for policy makers who wish to provide appropriate support initiatives and frameworks.

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  • Executive Summary
    Higher education institutions (HEIs) support enterprise creation through their three key missions of research, teaching, and interaction with the wider community. Despite the traditional "ivory tower" image of higher education, many universities and colleges have long collaborated with business – a form of interaction that has lately acquired greater urgency. Increased national and international competition among HEIs for students and researchers, limits to the capacity of public funding to meet HEI development needs, and a changing, more innovation-driven economy have had a profound impact on higher education and its role in supporting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. The HEIs’ engagement in entrepreneurship is both a new, potentially lucrative revenue stream and a new tool for them to compete for other resources. A growing number of institutions are providing entrepreneurship education and creating structures for sharing knowledge with industry – and the success of that trend will determine the ability of the public sector, businesses and HEIs to meet their complementary objectives.
  • Towards an Analytical Framework for Policy Development
    This introductory chapter provides an analytical framework for developing policies to promote entrepreneurship in higher education. It addresses two themes essential to the role of higher education institutions (HEIs): "knowledge transfer" and "entrepreneurship education and training". The chapter offers key reasons for fostering entrepreneurship in HEIs, and the nature, type and scope of entrepreneurship that can help to add value to both HEIs and the wider economy. There is a detailed and analytical account of some of the underpinning philosophies that have influenced current thinking on entrepreneurship education and its direct and indirect manifestations, such as technology transfer mechanisms and academic spinoffs. The chapter also considers the crucial issue of the context in which various developments take shape. This analysis forms the basis for developing a framework within which policy can be created to help foster entrepreneurship in universities.
  • Higher Education's Role in Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
    This chapter provides an overview of the type of role that higher education plays in promoting entrepreneurship in the economy. The authors place this role within the context of social and economic change and a growing recognition of the value of entrepreneurship in influencing and absorbing the outcomes of such change. Equating entrepreneurship with new venture creation, the authors reflect on the different ways knowledge is transferred, particularly through education and training offered by higher education institutions.
  • Entrepreneurship Education in an Age of Chaos, Complexity and Disruptive Change
    The first part of this chapter seeks to identify four fundamental themes that underline a need for leaders and policy makers to venture outside existing industrial age worldviews in order to develop a new framework with its own distinct sets of rules and regulations. These call for a new paradigm for teaching and learning about entrepreneurship. The second part of this chapter examines the conditions and cultures needed to nurture and sustain enterprising behaviours. It provides global case studies and materials related to development of entrepreneurial ecologies and their networks. The conclusion calls for adaptation of this emerging ecological paradigm by means of collaborations among government policy makers, entrepreneurs and educational leaders. This collaboration requires a strong sense of trust, a diversity of ideas, adaptability, flexibility, and a compelling vision of achievement, improvisation, communication and inspiration.
  • Entrepreneurship Education in the United States
    The offering of small business management and entrepreneurship courses at both the two- and four-year college and university levels has grown in the United States in both number and diversity of content. This expansion of educational offerings has been fuelled in part by dissatisfaction, voiced by students and accreditation bodies, with the traditional Fortune 500 focus of business education (Solomon and Fernald, 1991). The issue is not that demand is high but that the pedagogy selected should meet the new innovative and creative mindset of students. The challenge to educators will be to craft courses, programmes and major fields of study that meet the rigors of academia while keeping a reality-based focus and entrepreneurial climate in the learning environment. Entrepreneurship is an ongoing process requiring a myriad of talents, skills and knowledge that lead to unique pedagogies capable of stimulating and imparting knowledge simultaneously.
  • Entrepreneurship Education in Europe
  • Benchmarking Entrepreneurship Education across US, Canadian and Danish Universities
    This chapter presents a benchmark study of entrepreneurship education at 27 universities – ten in the United States, ten in Canada, and seven in Denmark – that was conducted in 2003-04. A general method for benchmarking entrepreneurship education activities at university level has been constructed and applied in the study. The method allows for a quantification of the scope of entrepreneurship education. The study illustrates significant differences in both the breadth and depth of entrepreneurship education in Denmark versus the United States and Canada. US universities have a wider variety of entrepreneurship programmes and classes, and they have by far the largest proportion of students attending them. Given a clear dearth of entrepreneurship education at Danish universities relative to their US and Canadian counterparts, the chapter points to lessons for policy makers and universities.
  • Entrepreneurship Education for Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe
    As the former Soviet Bloc countries transform their economies, significant cultural, legal, political and institutional forces continue to constrain entrepreneurship. This chapter examines the role that entrepreneurship education can play in creating momentum for change. It starts by examining entrepreneurship education in turn in the United States, in leading European OECD countries, and in Central and Eastern Europe, noting major differences in how these countries value entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. The discussion then turns to an assessment of the impact of entrepreneurship education. Finally, lessons are drawn on how to improve entrepreneurship education in Central, east and south east European countries, including through introducing innovative curricula and interactive teaching methods.
  • Developments in the Teaching of Entrepreneurship in European Transition Economies
    The aim of this chapter is to map the current situation in the entrepreneurship education of 22 European transition economies and to develop a shared source of data on entrepreneurship education in the region. The analysis covers 774 higher education institutions from the region, of which 363 had entrepreneurship-oriented courses, modules or curricula. The creation of entrepreneurship profiles in the schools as well the level of teaching is analysed. The chapter also identifies examples of the best practice in entrepreneurship teaching from the three viewpoints: how the specialised units co-ordinating teaching and research of entrepreneurship are designed; the best examples of curricula; and the level of internationalisation of the programmes offered in these schools. 
  • Higher Education, Knowledge Transfer Mechanisms and the Promotion of SME Innovation
    This chapter addresses the question: How can higher education institutions (HEIs) promote innovation in the small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in their region? It assesses what we know from previous research about various mechanisms involved in the promotion of SME innovation by higher education institutions. A variety of mechanisms exist, including technology consultancy, technology transfer offices, contract research, science parks, incubators, technology centres, shared research equipment, educationindustry labour mobility, and technology training. However, existing linkages between higher education institutions and regional SMEs tend to work best when they are informal rather than formal, and thus the extent to which they are actually used is not precisely known. Recommendations for policy development in advanced (OECD) economies are suggested.
  • University Knowledge Transfer and the Role of Academic
    There are several reasons for the growing interest in knowledge transfer and academic spin-offs. First, it has been noticed that science and technology have become increasingly important for economic growth. Second, many studies confirm that new and expanding entrepreneurial firms are creating a high share of net new jobs. This points to "science and technology-based entrepreneurship" as a phenomenon of high importance for industrial renewal and, again, economic growth. Third, since earlier research has established that universities and existing companies are the two main sources of new technology-based firms, it is not surprising that academic spin-off has been considered an important mechanism for the transfer and commercialisation of university research. This chapter provides some findings on how academic spin-offs are created, how frequent they are, and what impact they have on economic growth. Two examples – the United States and Sweden – are included to illustrate the mechanisms of licensing and spin-off firm creation. 
  • Technology Commercialisation and Universities in Canada
    This chapter describes the institutional arrangements and policy structure of the Canadian university sector as they relate to transferring technology to industry and promoting entrepreneurship among students and the community. In addition to teaching and research, Canadian universities are increasingly expected to be agents of economic development and to commercialise the outcomes of research. Universities experience tension in trying to fulfil this expectation. They are keen to diversify revenue, but debate the fit of commercialisation with their mandate. Further, traditional systems of collegial governance and tenure-based incentives can inhibit commercialisation. The University of Waterloo’s successful record of spinning out companies and interacting closely with its community serves as an example of good practice. There is increased interest in entrepreneurship-related courses, and substantial growth in the number and diversity of offerings. The Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology programme introduced by the University of Waterloo serves as an example. Finally, the policy implications of the Canadian experience are discussed. 
  • Promoting Innovation in Slovenia Through Knowledge Transfer to SMEs
    Slovenia has sustained a relatively high level of public expenditure on research and development and a relatively large proportion of employees and value added in high technology manufacturing compared to the EU average. However, innovation among SMEs is relatively low compared to the average in EU member states. This chapter reviews the Slovenian government’s innovation policy framework and the extensive programme to promote knowledge transfer from institutions of higher education and research to the business sector. The review covers policies towards SME incubators, technology parks, technology centres, technology networks, industrial clusters, financial subsidies for high technology SMEs, and the mobility programme for young researchers. The research is based on documentary evidence and interviews, and presents case studies of an innovative university-based incubator and a successful industrial cluster in the automotive industry. It concludes with a number of suggestions for policy measures to improve the transfer of knowledge from HEIs to SMEs. 
  • Knowledge Transfer Mechanisms in the European Transition Economies
    There are a variety of definitions of knowledge transfer, and differing viewpoints as to the extent to which it is possible to establish a difference between knowledge transfer and technology transfer. By tapping into the positions taken by parties into the knowledge transfer debate, this chapter examines the main characteristics of these two different, albeit related, concepts. It goes on to propose a theoretical model in conjunction with the results of a preliminary field survey (details of which follow). This model is a contribution to extensive empirical work that has to be undertaken in order to assess the impact of university-industry interactions, especially in the Central, eastern and south eastern European countries (CESE) countries. The chapter then offers policy recommendations aimed at forging even closer ties between HEIs and regional small and medium-sized enterprises in European transition economies. 
  • Entrepreneurship and Higher Education: Future Policy Directions
    This chapter sets out some key conclusions and recommendations on fostering entrepreneurship for governments, development agencies and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The introduction draws out some major messages. Discussion then turns to the case for broadening HEI missions to incorporate entrepreneurship promotion and the rationale and role for policy intervention. The next section highlights the main approaches that leading HEIs are taking to promote entrepreneurship and the challenges in developing these approaches. Finally, a number of detailed recommendations are made. 
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