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Charlotte Silander and Caroline Berggren

In this chapter, EU policy towards entrepreneurship education is analysed from an ideological perspective. The authors discuss how EU policies have influenced the direction of higher education. Increasing expectations on higher education graduates to contribute to welfare and economic growth through self-employment have pushed the development of entrepreneurship education at European universities. They show how the EU is striving to introduce entrepreneurship education into the education system through policies to improve entrepreneurial performance, both vertically and horizontally. The authors also show how the social efficiency perspective dominates, under which the overall purpose of higher education is to efficiently and scientifically contribute to economic growth and fight unemployment. This represents an instrumentalist view on education that focuses on the individual entrepreneur as a hero figure and in which entrepreneurship education is often expected to present role models to students and teach them the proper behaviour to become successful.

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Charlotte Silander and Caroline Berggren

Women as entrepreneurs are on the political agenda in most European countries. The creation of businesses is considered to be an important way to keep the economy growing. Women are especially targeted as a potential group in order to increase the number of self-employed on the labour market since they are comparatively few. Policies to promote entrepreneurship have rapidly been more and more directed towards higher education. This approach has resulted in an increase in the number of entrepreneurship education programmes at universities and a higher expectation for graduates to become self-employed. There is, however, limited empirical research into how political entrepreneurs in Sweden pushed for, and succeeded in, promoting employment and entrepreneurship among women. Political entrepreneurs in the area of women’s entrepreneurship act within a policy frame that almost exclusively limits policy and action to the individual; that is, it focuses on ‘changing the women’ in order to fit them into the expectations of society, and lacks structurally oriented actions to really change the possibilities for women’s entrepreneurship. How these political entrepreneurs act and interact to support female entrepreneurship needs to be studied more closely in the future in empirical studies at the micro level to provide greater knowledge of political entrepreneurship.