Author(s): Arminda Paco, Joao Ferreira, Mario Raposo
Education in general is considered an encouraging element of entrepreneurial intention and behavior. However, most of entrepreneurship courses are designed for students who have already taken some courses in economics, business or finances and have no feedback from the real business world. This research focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses students who have no knowledge on those areas. In this paper we will provide an analysis of two reference courses provided by two institutions (Lünd Business School and EMLYON) in order to understand why these institutions had such a good reputation in entrepreneurship education and if, in fact, they had a special attention to STEM students. The European project SCIENT aims to do an in-depth analysis of successful entrepreneurship programs, creating a (non-exhaustive) list of Universities/Business Schools offering scientific entrepreneurship programs considered as best practice examples. The research method used was the interview. We concluded that there is a widespread perception that STEM students/researchers/experts share certain characteristics that should be treated differently. Providing this target with high quality courses and exposing them to a highly motivating entrepreneurial curriculum are of great importance in enhancing and fostering the academic entrepreneurship in STEM courses in future. Furthermore, it was possible to observe that the institutions visited in France and Sweden are well known by their excellence in the field of entrepreneurship, aiming to “build global entrepreneurs” as their main purpose. Both universities put a great effort in the implementation of a real entrepreneurship culture. In this paper we have focused on the initial phase of the project - the diagnosis phase. At this point, it was necessary to list the main obstacles currently faced by European STEM PhDs wishing to become entrepreneurs and to investigate some entrepreneurship programs considered as best practice examples for STEM students. Considering the complexity of the subject, and despite we have focused only in two university examples, the paper gives a contribution to entrepreneurial spirit, competence and behavior of STEM students. Furthermore, it allow us to understand why these institutions had a good reputation in entrepreneurship education and how these programs are conducted.