Both educators and the public have begun to recognise that developing an entrepreneurial mindset and skills provides value in disciplines outside of business and that employers desire to hire those with abilities associated with the entrepreneurial mindset including problem solving, self-motivation, and resilience. The 2008 report on Entrepreneurship in American Higher Education shows how it “provides a revealing lens for studying how cultural values, social institutions, economic policies, and legal practices interrelate to shape human behaviour” (Kauffman Foundation, 2008, p. 10).

However, although entrepreneurship has become a well-established and embedded component of most business and management schools (Hatten, 2020; Marques et al., 2012), in non-business related disciplines, it is still seen as being peripheral (Cummins et al., 2021; Heriot et al., 2014); an ‘inserted’ rather than an ‘integrated’ element of the curriculum (Hannon, 2006). This is especially prevalent given that non-business undergraduate students account for 83% of the overall student population in the UK in 2020/21 (Higher Education Statistics Agency, 2022).

In a regional context, entrepreneurship education has also moved up the agenda. In Northern Ireland, both the Programme for Government and draft Industrial Strategy set out a key aim for enterprise and entrepreneurship to be fully embedded across society, while the Irish Government’s 'Report of the SME Growth Taskforce: SME and Entrepreneurship Growth Plan' (2021), sets out an ambitious long-term strategic blueprint for entrepreneurs and SMEs, building on the Framework for Sustainable Economic Renewal, which pledged specifically to progress the provision of entrepreneurship and management training to students from non-business disciplines; an explicit recognition that entrepreneurship should not just reside in the business domain.

To date, the emphasis in this area has been on ‘push’ factors from the centre. The focus of this paper is to examine the attitudes of non-business, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students to ascertain how important they believe entrepreneurship currently is in their field of study and how important they feel it should be in the future. In other words, do students (as the central government bodies, agencies and others do) see the value and importance of entrepreneurship to them, given that students across disciplines are most likely to be the driving force for entrepreneurship going forward.

By placing greater emphasis on entrepreneurship from a non-business perspective, this will re-energise and re-invigorate the topic further, propelling it into an integral part (and driving force) of societal and economic development in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIAM conference 2022 Proceedings
Number of pages5
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Apr 2022
EventIrish Academy of Management Conference 2022: Reenergising Management for a Greater Future - Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 24 Aug 202225 Aug 2022


ConferenceIrish Academy of Management Conference 2022
Abbreviated titleIAM2022


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