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Arts Entrepreneurship: Education, Theory, and Practice  

Joe Roberts

There are no clear definitions of entrepreneurship and art. It is therefore difficult to explain and theorize arts entrepreneurship education. Here, what artists think about these issues in the United States, India, and Mexico is explored. Suggestions made by artists were examined and included in the proposed arts entrepreneurship education theory. Artists stated that they do experience lack of business skills that arts entrepreneurship education can help them acquire. These business and aesthetic skill sets are needed to make a living as an artist. The Coleman Fellows Program provided an opportunity to test the arts entrepreneurship theory constructs being proposed. The results from these tests are included the article. The 2017 annual Strategic National Arts Alumni study reported that artists continue to suffer from several skill gaps. Of these, financial, business management, and entrepreneurship skills were identified as the main gaps that continue to plague artists. This is troubling because numerous educational and training efforts have been underway to address these and other skill gaps since at least the early 2000s. However, they have not closed these skill gaps. A modified arts entrepreneurship education theory is proposed in order to do so. Artists who acquire these skills should have a higher probability of success making a living practicing their art form. The article proposes three arts entrepreneurship education theory constructs, namely collaborative pedagogies utilizing the modules infusion method, entrepreneurial universities where these pedagogies can be tested and improved, and effectively managing the commodification of arts. Supporting evidence is provided for the three constructs, along with examples of the modules of entrepreneurship content for infusion. Implications and recommendations for future arts entrepreneurship education programs are provided and discussed.


Socioemotional Aspects of Entrepreneurship for the Classroom  

Alexander Bolinger and Mark Bolinger

There is currently great enthusiasm for entrepreneurship education and the economic benefits that entrepreneurial activity can generate for individuals, organizations, and communities. Beyond economic outcomes, however, there is a variety of social and emotional costs and benefits of engaging in entrepreneurship that may not be evident to students nor emphasized in entrepreneurship courses. The socioemotional costs of entrepreneurship are consequential: on the one hand, entrepreneurs who pour their time and energy into new ventures can incur costs (e.g., ruptured personal and professional relationships, decreased life satisfaction and well-being, or strong negative reactions such as grief) that can often be as or more personally disruptive and enduring than economic costs. On the other hand, the social and emotional benefits of an entrepreneurial lifestyle are often cited as intrinsically satisfying and as primary motivations for initiating and sustaining entrepreneurial activity. The socioemotional aspects of entrepreneurship are often poorly understood by students, but highlighting these hidden dimensions of entrepreneurial activity can inform their understanding and actions as prospective entrepreneurs. For instance, entrepreneurial passion, the experience of positive emotions as a function of engaging in activities that fulfill one’s entrepreneurial identity, and social capital, whereby entrepreneurs build meaningful relationships with co-owners, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders, are two specific socioemotional benefits of entrepreneurship. There are also several potential socioemotional costs of entrepreneurial activity. For instance, entrepreneurship can involve negative emotional responses such as grief and lost identity from failure. Even when an entrepreneur does not fail, the stress of entrepreneurial activity can lead to sleep deprivation and disruptions to both personal and professional connections. Then, entrepreneurs can identify so closely and feel so invested that they experience counterproductive forms of obsessive passion that consume their identities and impair their well-being.