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Critical factors responsible for Evolution of Entrepreneurship Development Programmes

1. Programme Objectives:

Evaluation of an EDP may begin with an assessment of the philosophy or the central objectives of the programme. The agency conducting the programme must be clear about the purpose underlying entrepreneurial development.

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The objective may be to increase production, to generate employment, to uplift certain people, etc. It becomes easier to asses the goals when they are clearly defined.

Whatever may be objectives an agency is likely to start an EDP with a certain set of assumptions. These assumptions might be based on experience, research or pure hunch.

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These assumptions should be evaluated along with the objectives of the programme. One agency in India has based its programme on the following assumptions.

(a) Everyone cannot be an entrepreneur. An individual must have certain traits in order to be successful entrepreneur.

(b) The traits required for successful entrepreneurship can be identified and measured through psychological test and certain social indices.

(c) Persons who possess these traits will be more successful than those not having.

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(d) Persons possessing such traits can be trained to further develop them on other dimensions of entrepreneurship too.

Evaluation of some of these assumptions requires research studies. The required data might be collected from the trained and rejected candidates.

However, simple indices like the number of the trained candidates who started their own industries, the number of them who gave up the attempts towards entrepreneurship, the number of persons employed in these organizations, changes in their economic status, etc., are likely to throw light on weather the objectives set up by the agency were achieve or not.

2. Selection Strategy and Procedures

It is impossible to train each and everyone intending to be an entrepreneur. It is desirable to those candidates are selected from training who are likely to be successful in setting up and successfully running their enterprise.

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The success of an EPP program depends largely on proper selection of trainees. Therefore, evaluation of selection strategy and procedure is necessary.

The Behavioral Science Centre (India), New Delhi has been rating the selection of potential entrepreneurs, positive self-concept, initiative, independence, problem solving, hope of success, searching environment, and time bound planning.

A three-stage selection procedure is followed in this case. It begins with screening through a carefully designed application blank which collects data on dimensional mentioned above.

This is followed by psychological tests and behavioral exercises and games meant for assessing certain other qualities. Finally, personal interviews are held.

Several tests may be used to judge the effectiveness of selection procedures. The proportion of those setting up enterprise from the selected group as compacted to those from the rejected group can be one such test.

The ‘entrepreneurial movement’ in the selected group should be higher than those in the rejected group. Any occupational movement –say from unemployment to service, service to trade and trade to manufacturing-may be treated as entrepreneurial movement.

3. Training Programme

Another area of evaluation in the contribution of the training programme. This covers the contribution or otherwise of the curriculum and its design, the content of the programme, the faculty the sharing of practical experiences and even the follow-up.

Curriculum design deals with issues like natural (full time or part time) and duration of the programme, classes schedule, components of the programme, the type of preparation required on the part of the students and the faculty.

For example, a programme for unemployed persons can be a full time one and of shorter duration. But a programme for employed person should be part time so that it does not clash with service.

In order to judge the extent to which the training has increased the possibility of training he trainers into successful entrepreneurs, the following criteria may be used.

(a) Comparison of a random sample of entrepreneurs from the trained group with those of a random sample from untrained group.

(b) Comparison of a random sample of entrepreneurs from the trained group with those from the rejected group.

(c) Interviewing the trained group to find out their opinion on the training programme.

(d) Surveying the expectations and experiences of those under training.

(e) Examination of the curriculum content by a group of experts.

(f) Assessment of trained entrepreneurs in their business operations.

4. Organizational Policies and Structures:

Entrepreneurial development programmes are generally institutionalized. A local, regional, national or international agency often takes the initiative in starting, funding and executing the programme. These are promotional agencies. Without an institutional support entrepreneurial development programmes are not likely to be successful.

Therefore, the assessment of such programmes should begin with the evaluation of the effectiveness of the organizations or agonies concerned with the sponsoring, funding and execution of the programme.

Such assessment may cover the evaluation of the agencies resources and development needs. Such needs may relate to financial resources, faculty requirements, viable structures to attract entrepreneurs and to provide them with continuous support, physical facilities, such as a workshop, a study cell, etc.

The policies and strategies of the concerned agencies are equally significant. The training strategy of the organization concerning an EDP depends upon its overall view about entrepreneurial development. For instance, one agency might take a limited view and relate entrepreneurship to making industrial organization.

Another organization on the other hand might adopt a broader view of developing entrepreneur spirit in the community as a whole. Such a view might be appropriate in cultures facing occupational stability.

Such specific orientation of sponsoring of executing agencies would provide direction to the training courses. Therefore, command needs will also have to be evaluated.

Like the assessment of policies, strategies, community needs and the organizations of training courses the structure and process of the organization should also be evaluated.

Creative and flexible structures and processes may set an example to the trainees. The dynamics of the organization and its working may have to be examined to see if it has requisite self-renewing characteristics.

Symbolically, Entrepreneurial performance (EP) can be represented in following way:

E1 = f ( SB, MF, KA, FS, EV )

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