Exploring entrepreneurial competencies education: complexity and context-dependency

P.C.M. Neessen*, J.W.M. van den Boomen, F.H.T. de Langen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


Objectives: The concept of entrepreneurial competency is placed central in the learning process of students by the European Higher Education Area. The usage of the entrepreneurial competence models and didactic approaches in entrepreneurial education in the Netherlands is still unclear. The following research questions were formulated: 1) Which entrepreneurial competencies are explicitly taught in Dutch higher education? 2) Which methods are used to teach these competencies? 3) Which methods are applicable to use in an activating online educational setting, as experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic? Prior work: In recent years, various models have been developed that address the concept of entrepreneurial competency. Identifying entrepreneurial competencies and the intended context is important for educational organizations. It influences the choices regarding the didactical methods and the complexity of the assignments. Within EE, there are three kinds of entrepreneurial education (EE) For each kind of EE, different educational methods and tools are described in the literature. Approach: Data was collected using an exploratory, qualitative multiple case study design. Five entrepreneurial programs within Dutch higher education were explored. Results: Multiple competences were identified that were considered most important by educators. It also appears that EE approaches could be characterized by two dimensions, complexity of competencies and context-dependency of competencies. The transition to location-independent education during the pandemic was unproblematic in our study. The transition towards time-independent education is unclear. Implications and value: This research contributes to the existing knowledge by defining the entrepreneurial competencies seen as most important in EE and by describing how they are taught in higher education. Based on the research two dimensions of entrepreneurial competence education are defined; complexity of competencies and context-dependency of competencies. These dimensions can be used to describe the different approaches to EE.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2023
EventResearch in Entrepreneurship and Small Business (RENT) 2023: Taming Uncertainty - Gdańsk University of Technology (Gdańsk Tech), Gdańsk, Poland
Duration: 15 Nov 202317 Nov 2023


ConferenceResearch in Entrepreneurship and Small Business (RENT) 2023
Abbreviated titleRENT XXXVII
Internet address


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