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Training entrepreneurship at a French grande école: The Projet Entreprendre at the ESC Rouen

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Purpose ‐ In response to an identified information need about entrepreneurial teaching methods employed in the European higher education system, aims to investigate whether this type of experimentation could make a difference ‐ an activity traditionally considered individualistic within a collectivist society ‐ and, second, to evaluate the project in terms of its appropriateness. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Examines an innovative case of entrepreneurship teaching at a French grande école, the ESC Rouen. In line with the purpose of this investigation a number of interviews were conducted with the project manager, the students' opinion was sought and a questionnaire survey was carried out among the participants. In addition, the author herself has been actively involved as a teacher and tutor for entrepreneurial projects. Findings ‐ Finds that an entrepreneurial project such as the one presented here can indeed make a difference in creating a societal acceptance for entrepreneurial activity. Engages a large number of students in activities which range from creative thinking and practical activities such as conducting market surveys and researching potential competitors to developing communication skills vis-à-vis their fellow group mates. Highlights that there are significant barriers to entrepreneurship and enterprise creation in France. Research limitations/implications ‐ Concludes that, although the Projet Entreprendre has not yet led to any enterprise creation at the management school, it could be an appropriate pedagogical tool in line with present government aims and objectives. Suggests that the entrepreneurial project is of particular interest as it is one of the rare instances that such a project within a French grande école environment is being discussed. Practical implications ‐ A very useful source of information and reference point for entrepreneurial projects.
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Keywords: Entrepreneurialism; France; Teaching

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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