A survey-based analysis of life-long learning patterns of young entrepreneurs

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Abstract

Our approach, in this paper, is focused on life-long learning tools that are available for young Romanian entrepreneurs, in their early career stages. Life-long learning in the case of entrepreneurs is not a topic widely covered in scientific literature up to this moment. Most of the scientific papers related to entrepreneurship focus on the idea of innovation and creativity that characterizes entrepreneurship. On the other side, the scientific literature that considers life-long learning, discusses the case of employees or managers, who are required to improve their knowledge and skills in order to perform at the work place. For the current paper, it was aimed to survey the lifelong learning tools available to young Romanian people and to evaluate their efficiency with the help of interviews with young entrepreneurs on their educational path. Otherwise stated, we intended to provide more insights on the learning methods and practices of entrepreneurs, and to establish whether the current formal education represents a strong basis for entrepreneurs’ life-long learning. The research that we performed revealed that young Romanian entrepreneurs practice indeed a lifelong learning based not as much on formal education, as on learning by practicing and networking. Starting from the observations obtained, it was conceived, based on current European best practices and projective discussions with the same young entrepreneurs, a set of life-long learning initiatives that may be promoted in the entrepreneurial community, and we identify the actual steps to be taken by life-long learning education providers in order to implement these initiatives. This paper’s conclusions serve as both a state of the art analysis, in a field which is vital for entrepreneurs surviving in competitive environments, and as a prospective guide for improving the present market of life-long learning programs.

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