Entrepreneurship education: Alumni perceptions of the role of higher education institutions

Sara Carter, Elaine Collinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is concerned with the retrospective perceptions of alumni towards the general provision of entrepreneurship education in higher education institutions (HEIs). Whilst many HEIs provide some form of enterprise training for their student population, relatively few have considered extending this provision to their alumni community. In addition to exploring retrospective perceptions, the research sought to ascertain the current level of entrepreneurial behaviour and the future entrepreneurial ambitions of alumni, and attempted to determine the demand for post-qualification entrepreneurship training among HEI alumni. The results are encouraging, in that they demonstrate a keen interest amongst alumni in entrepreneurial activities. The main constraints to setting up in business were perceived to be the generation of a viable idea and the lack of both finance and experience. Respondents believed that HEIs should provide a more practical grounding for graduates, specifically citing financial management and business communications skills as key elements missing from the undergraduate curriculum. There was a consensus that HEIs have an important role to play in providing alumni with both formal post-qualification training and social support networks to encourage entrepreneurial activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-239
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Graduates
  • Higher education
  • Start-ups
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management


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