Title: Learning mode of small business owners in Belgium

Authors: Annick Willem, Herman Van den Broeck

Addresses: Faculty of Economic and Business Administration, Ghent University, Tweekerkenstraat 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. ' Faculty of Economic and Business Administration, Ghent University, Tweekerkenstraat 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium; Cc People and Organisation, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Reep 1, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

Abstract: The aim of the paper is to explore the learning mode of small business owners from a theoretical stance and based on empirical evidence. We distinguish between the required learning mode, the actual learning mode and the supported learning mode. Data were collected using the focus group method in a very heterogeneous sample of Belgian small business owners. The results indicate several gaps between the required, actual and supported learning modes, of which many are due to unawareness of learning needs and lack of reflective learning among small business owners. The data also indicate, among others, that solutions to fill learning gaps proposed in the literature are not applicable to all owners, e.g., not all owners are able to learn through networks.

Keywords: Belgium; learning capability; learning modes; learning gaps; learning process; learning support; reflective learning; research paper; small business owners; focus groups; entrepreneurship.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2009.021611

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2009 Vol.7 No.1, pp.92 - 106

Available online: 30 Nov 2008 *

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