The Impact of Contextual Factors on Entrepreneurship Education Outcomes

Anna Vuorio, Giulio Zichella, Olukemi Sawyerr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


The question of who benefits from entrepreneurship education (EE) has puzzled both practitioners and academics alike. The results of EE impact research have been equivocal, and one suggested explanation is the influence of contextual factors such as the types of learning experiences, gender, and discipline. In this paper, we answer the question of which contextual factors shape the outcome of EE examining the outcome variables of entrepreneurial intentions (EI) and creative self-efficacy (CSE). We collected data between 2016-2018 in Denmark, Finland, and the United States using quasiexperimental pre-post survey design. The data consists of 210 students from three universities who were exposed to three different learning experiences, namely, writing a business plan, achieving proof of concept, and achieving proof of business. Through multi-value qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), the results show four unique combinations associated with high levels of EI after a learning experience. It seems that high EI is associated with developing proof of concept and proof of business, but not with writing a business plan. Also, students’ fields of study and prior work experiences play a role in high levels of EI regardless of the learning experience. Similarly, seven unique combinations are connected to high levels of CSE. It seems that high levels of CSE after a learning experience are associated with achieving proof of concept and achieving proof of business, but not with writing a business plan. In addition, students’ prior work experiences seem to play a role in CSE. These results imply that traditional business plan–based learning experiences may not generate the desired changes in attitudes from EE. Also, the results suggest that the effect that different learning experiences have on students may differ depending on contextual factors such as students’ backgrounds including field of study and prior work experience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Vol 2
EditorsFlorinda Matos, Maria de Fátima Ferreiro, Álvaro Rosa, Isabel Salavisa
Number of pages8
Place of PublicationReading
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9781914587146
ISBN (Electronic)9781914587153
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event16th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. ECIE 2021: A Virtual Conference - ACI and Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 16 Sept 202117 Sept 2021
Conference number: 16


Conference16th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. ECIE 2021
LocationACI and Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the European Conference on Innovation & Entrepreneurship

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