Luis Isasi1 , Guillermo Castilla-Alcalá1, Francisco Antón Rivera-Riquelme1 and Alfonso Durán-Heras1

1 Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Escuela Politécnica Superior. Área de Ingeniería de Organización. Avenida de la Universidad nº 30, 28911 Leganés (Madrid), Spain.

Abstract. The present work is aimed to share the results of one of the initiatives that Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) has launched among those oriented to secondary and high school students, more precisely within Tecnocamp activities. It is more than obvious that entrepreneurship offers a feasible and successful way to economic growth and personal fulfillment. In the same way, during the last two decades it has clearly highlighted by most of the researchers that one of the most important things to do in order to develop the entrepreneurial spirit into the citizens is to academically train them from the very early stages at the school, and also to develop their business oriented and entrepreneurial skills.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship Education (EE), Youth Entrepreneurship (YE), University, Tecnocamp STEM, Entrepreneurship Intention, Entrepreneurship Spirit.

1. Introduction

Entrepreneurship Education (EE), and more specifically Youth Entrepreneurship (YE), have notably gained importance among the academic researchers [1], and also within economic, academic and social worldwide institutions: [2], [3] and [4], as one of the strategic axes to develop the entrepreneurship spirit among the citizens.

As shown by some good research works, performed worldwide in different countries and even continents, a clear relationship exists between the early business and entrepreneurship training, and the probability of those young students becoming entrepreneurs in the future, normally improving their economical situation and, consequently, the local economy development.

In the last years some universities (among which the UC3M is), have been thinking about the possibility to contribute, for the good of general society, to the general education of the young students, and more precisely to their entrepreneurship spirit. But once the final decision to collaborate is taken, the real challenge is to decide what is the best way to collaborate.

The majority of the researches that have been related to entrepreneurship education, agree that it should be approached from a global perspective [5]. From primary education students [6], until graduates [7], but it is also imperative to enhance the entrepreneurial orientation of all those workers and professionals that have just completed the obligatory education. This is specially important in depressed areas or those with high unemployment rates. The European Commission, [8], launched in 2016 an specific framework, inside the “Growth” strategy, to foster entrepreneurship education as one of the key strategic axes for mid to long term economic development of Europe.

There is also a certain consensus about the fact that the final skills and competences of those that finally become businesspeople through entrepreneurship, are wide, not so easy to detect and even vary with the economic cycle, the environment, or  the activity sector [9,10].

Taking all this into consideration, the authors of the present work, all of them with broad College teaching experience, but also with vast experience in management positions and mentoring, decided to perform the pilot program which results are presented. Once it was decided that it was worth trying, from the university, to contribute with youth entrepreneurial education and information, and after some meetings with the team that, inside the UC3M is in charge of all those activities oriented to secondary education (high school) students, it was finally decided to set up a “hands on” workshop, of just three hours duration, integrated into “Tecnocamp” activity [11].

2. Objectives

The main objectives that were established for the present work could be summarized as follows:

  • To test whether entrepreneurship intention could be boosted on high school students, through enjoyable, interesting, and entertaining formative actions, carried out from the University environment.
  • In Spain, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students in general, and engineering ones in particular, are normally not expected to become entrepreneurs. However, it seems to be clear that STEM people are really performant when becoming businesspeople. It was them important to test the activity with these students.
  • The activity was clearly clustered into entrepreneurship education, not into entrepreneurship training. The main objective was to give an overview of all the main aspects of entrepreneurship, and not to master the students into any particular technique.

3. Conclusions

Although some aspects should be confirmed with a greater sample of students, some interesting conclusions have already been obtained. The main ones are:

  • It is definitely possible and interesting to contribute, from the University and their different Colleges to the entrepreneurship education of high-school students.
  • Short and “hands-on” activities like the one that is described in the present work, clearly contribute to foster the entrepreneurship spirit, in one of the earlier stages of senior education.
  • Most of the aspects that have been highlighted by all the cited works and researchers, with regard to non-cognitive skills, and to the students’ environment (family, background, etc.) have been found to have clear correlations with their entrepreneurship intention.


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Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Industrial Management and XXV Congreso de Ingeniería de Organización Copyright © by (Eds.) José Manuel Galán; Silvia Díaz-de la Fuente; Carlos Alonso de Armiño Pérez; Roberto Alcalde Delgado; Juan José Lavios Villahoz; Álvaro Herrero Cosío; Miguel Ángel Manzanedo del Campo; and Ricardo del Olmo Martínez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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