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Social entrepreneurship education for engineering students : a paradigm shift toward a socio-technical approach to innovation

Abstract : This article aims to explore and give an overview of social entrepreneurship education for engineering students. As traditionally engineers are supposed to create technical innovation, their entrepreneurship courses are principally based on technical projects. However, there are an increasing number of engineering students who develop their entrepreneurship project based on not only a technical but socio-technical approach to innovation. This new trend indicates that engineering students’ vision of innovation and entrepreneurship is widening: the scope of social entrepreneurship appears increasingly to be the origin of their motivation and involvement. Our applied research methodology involves in-depth interviews with our present students and an online survey with our former engineering students who have set up social entrepreneurship projects over the last five years. We explore their motivations and focus on their specific interests and benefits in doing a social entrepreneurship project. Our results indicate a very high level of social awareness of these engineering students and their commitment to making the world better and benefitting all society with their work. Their motivation has originated from a strong personal belief or is based on former experience. Moreover, social entrepreneurship projects have created a higher satisfaction level for these students which is a good indicator of better learning outcomes. We conclude by highlighting the importance of social entrepreneurship education in providing a holistic approach to innovation for engineering students.
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Contributor : Christiane Gillet Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 3:38:12 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 24, 2022 - 2:18:02 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01557774, version 1


Christiane Gillet, Klara Kövesi. Social entrepreneurship education for engineering students : a paradigm shift toward a socio-technical approach to innovation. 24th EDiNEB Conference 2017. Contributions from Business and Economics Education to Social Innovation, Educational Innovation in Economics and Business Association, May 2017, Utrecht, Netherlands. ⟨hal-01557774⟩



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