Title: 'Learn or die': the development of an assessment framework for SME entrepreneurial learning programmes

Authors: Pontus Bergh, Mattias Jacobsson

Addresses: Umea School of Business, Umea University, SE 901 87 Umea, Sweden. ' Umea School of Business, Umea University, SE 901 87 Umea, Sweden

Abstract: The unique features of entrepreneurial learning, which involves multiple dimensions, are not easily captured and today few appropriate assessment frameworks exist. The aim of this paper is, therefore, to develop an assessment framework for entrepreneurial learning and empirically illustrate its potential on a specific small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) learning programme. Based on a survey of owners/managers who took part in the government-supported learning programme, krAft, an exploratory factors analysis and a regression analysis were conducted. This paper proposes a two-dimensional framework of cognitive and social/emotional learning outcomes where both are strongly correlated to internal efficiency but only the social/emotional outcomes are correlated to external effectiveness. This paper, therefore, concludes that the mere focus on cognitive learning outcomes is not enough to successfully act upon business opportunities. Hence, the social/emotional learning dimension is of great importance, and should be utilised, in the development of arranged SME learning groups.

Keywords: entrepreneurial learning; learning programmes; learning assessments; entrepreneurs; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; business owners; managers; exploratory factor analysis; regression analysis; assessment frameworks; multiple dimensions; government support; Sweden; krAft programme; competence; reflection; business development; business growth; cognitive outcomes; social outcomes; emotional outcomes; learning outcomes; internal efficiency; external effectiveness; business opportunities; learning groups; management; enterprise development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2011.039660

International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 2011 Vol.10 No.1, pp.92 - 109

Published online: 30 Apr 2015 *

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