Title: Fostering the competence of science students in identifying business opportunities: a design research approach

Authors: Jan Nab; Astrid M.W. Bulte; Albert Pilot

Addresses: Centre for Teaching and Learning, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80127, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands ' Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.000, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands ' Centre for Teaching and Learning, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80127, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands

Abstract: Opportunity identification is a core competence for entrepreneurs, and therefore should be part of an education in entrepreneurship. A pedagogical theory for teaching opportunity identification has not yet been defined, and therefore a design principle for 'fostering science students' competence in opportunity identification' was developed, based on theoretical and empirical findings. The design principle, consisting of three strategies was implemented in a course for science students and evaluated. The strategy aiming at enabling students to conceptualise opportunity identification appeared to be effective. The strategy which aimed to enable students to apply techniques for the generation of ideas in opportunity identification was partially effective, as was the third strategy which aimed to help students to apply the concepts and criteria of opportunity identification in authentic tasks. The overall results of the course showed that the students were able to identify business opportunities and to create business opportunities based on their own knowledge and skills. The conclusion is that the synthesis of the three design strategies was effective to a large extent. Adjustments and refinements to the strategies are proposed.

Keywords: entrepreneurship education; competences; opportunity identification; design principles; science students; business opportunities; pedagogical theory; science education; ideas generation; design strategies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2013.051670

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2013 Vol.5 No.1, pp.28 - 47

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 24 Jan 2013 *

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