Developing the Future Scholarship of Entrepreneurship Education: Exploring educator authenticity through practice and identity - Celebrating 10 years of the 3E-Conference



“The discussion around whether entrepreneurship can be taught is becoming obsolete as the number of entrepreneurship courses, specializations and degrees is rising at an unprecedented rate all over the world and the demand for entrepreneurial education teachers or instructors is constantly growing“ (Hägg & Kurczewska, 2021).

As a consequence of this development, over the past decade, the field of entrepreneurship education research has also grown significantly. But what have we learnt from the past decade about doing education-based research? What improvements do we perceive, what do we still know too little about? If as a scholarly community, we are serious about developing and crafting our practice, we must be mindful to question our own (past, present, and future) assumptions and beliefs.

It is also necessary to question and critique existing practices and to expose underlying assumptions and beliefs, as these may restrict our ability to ask different and difficult questions. We also need to thoughtfully consider the relevance and application of existing pedagogical and didactical knowledge, through new insight and debate. Connecting these questions potentially draws together conservations, which can reveal the relational orientation of enacted learning and agency both on the part of the educator and on the part of the student. Such a practice further opens up for the introduction of perspectives different to how we tend to view and practice entrepreneurship education. In this context, the role of our own attentiveness, including what it means to be reflexively aware as custodians of knowledge, becomes extremely important. Thoughtful inquiry requires questioning the relationship between ourselves, our roles as researchers and educators, how we enact our relationships with our audiences and wider communities, and the theories/concepts we work with in a meaningful way.

How we view ourselves as academics has become a topic of increasing interest in research on academics’ development as educators (Kreber, 2010Nevgi and Löfström, 2014Skelton, 2012). For the vast majority of academics working in HEI throughout Europe and the UK, being an “educator” is  part of the job. However, it is a task for which many have not been educated. Qualifications have come with practice. Whilst research intensive HEI environments have the capacity to facilitate the development of highly competent researchers, their identity as educators often remains underdeveloped (Hannon, 2018; Henry, 2020). Hence, a lot of past and current entrepreneurship education literature focuses on ‘best’ practice in how to develop courses, and there is less concern with for example identity, authenticity, and agency in the educational process. Accordingly, there is also less attention to the long tradition and vast reservoir of knowledge from educational research in general.

In this SI we aim to surface and reflexively engage with tensions between the universal and the unique, the social and the self, in terms of what it means to be a scholar and educator in the field of entrepreneurship education. In particular, as academics, we are expected to excel both as researchers and as educators, as well as being compliant and entrepreneurial employees (Lackéus et al., 2020; Tomkins & Nicholds, 2017). Furthermore, each of us brings our own self-perception into our teaching practice. Hence, this SI wants to address questions surrounding how an educator develops into a credible, engaged, and authentic entrepreneurship educator accentuating the underlying means, processes, and reflections.

We especially welcome contributions that examine the foundations of entrepreneurship education and study what we have learned from the past ten years of entrepreneurship education research and discuss and reflect upon where we are going – and question where we should be going regarding the scholarship of teaching entrepreneurship education.

List of themes

We propose the following indicative, non-exhaustive topical issues that can be addressed based on the SI objectives:

The first topic concerns the psychology of educating for entrepreneurship. Across Europe, entrepreneurship education is very much in vogue, such that many universities have deemed it necessary to make entrepreneurship classes available to students as part of a broadly available curriculum.  Often entrepreneurship classes adopt a narrow focus of entrepreneurship as firm formation, setting an expectation of self-employment as the only viable application or use of the education.  This perspective falls short on two counts: that students may not be prepared for the entire entrepreneurial journey (Neergaard et al., 2021), and that entrepreneurial competence is not applicable in multiple walks of life and forms of employment, thus excluding those with personal needs for more stable careers as an employee. Recently, Hartmann (2021) also pointed out that entrepreneurship is not necessarily beneficial – that there are many costs associated with it. Hence, instead of educating for self-employment and firm founding, perhaps we need to focus on providing competencies that students can use more broadly and also as an employee. Such education, however, requires the application of a different psychology on the part of the education and attention to different outcomes.

The second topic addresses the educator’s authenticity in teaching entrepreneurship. However, discourses of identity and authenticity may capture and constrain, rather than empower.  For example, talk of “teacher identity” commonly presumes that someone can understand themselves, talk about themselves and behave in ways that are socially recognizable as an educator. Educator identity is thus predicated on an agreed version of what a teacher is, and the individual’s ability to make a credible claim to “be an educator” rather than on the individual’s experiences of teaching and how possible meanings and expectations are incorporated into one’s own identity (Rostron 2018). Entrepreneurship education can set expectations of ‘practitioner’ experience – that to educate in a practice requires ‘successful’ experience of that practice.  This expectation, from students, from external stakeholders, can cause tension between which identity is preferred, and how that identity is accredited.  In doing so reframing and extending the manner in which we seek identity and meaning in what we do as entrepreneurship educators is crucial.

The third topic raises questions about the dialogue between education and entrepreneurship research. Although entrepreneurship education draws on previous advances in educational research, it seems that a dialogue between the two fields is often missing – that entrepreneurship education exists independently and there is a tendency to reinvent the wheel. E.g. Vygotsky’s ideas of scaffolding and Schön’s insight into reflection have been discussed at length in general educational research, but entrepreneurship education often fails to reference that literature. Pedagogy in entrepreneurship education is a scrutinized area and arguments are raised to attain a ‘shift’ in our understanding about how to teach entrepreneurship, to make progress (Hägg & Gabrielsson, 2019). There is a need for a recovery of teaching, and thus a re-pedagogization (Jones, 2019; Ramsgaard & Blenker, 2022) accentuating the importance of pedagogical reasoning and reflection. Furthermore, the one-size-fits-all model is under critique to advance better understandings of the practices that educators must scaffold in complex transformative learning processes. Bager-Elsborg (2019) also found that discipline context influences the way educators ascribe meaning to their local teaching practice, which emphasizes the relevance of examining the role of (cross)disciplinary differences in teaching and learning processes.

Finally, the fourth topic addresses the agency of educators as enacted practice and interaction with contexts. Entrepreneurship education is highly facilitated by the doings and practices of institutional agents (educators, students, consultants, researchers) (Priestly et al., 2015) who ideate, plan, execute, and asses the learning processes (Pittaway & Cope, 2007). Albeit the vast amount of entrepreneurship education literature, the field struggles to provide in-depth explanations towards the practices educators apply in the classroom, and how these practices impact the learning journey (Cooper et al., 2004). When educators plan and execute curriculum designs, their educational values, beliefs, and practices are typically influenced both by their approach to teaching and learning in general (Wraae et al., 2021), and their understanding of the entrepreneurial purpose (Fayolle, 2018). Previous entrepreneurship studies have typically focused on educator agency, educator autonomy (van Gelderen, 2016), and the contextual impact (Thomassen et al, 2020). In this sense, we lack in-depth knowledge about the educator whom is typically positioned as the most important agent (Biesta & Tedder, 2006) in the ecosystem of education (Wraae & Walmsley, 2020).

The present call for papers seeks original theoretical or empirical research along with systematic literature reviews that contribute to addressing and developing the future scholarship of teaching in entrepreneurship education. We would like to see contributions based on the above-mentioned topics, particularly work which reframes and repositions current discussions.

Timeline and key dates

Editorial process and timeline


Key dates


Launch of the SI call for papers

May 1st 2022

Formal in-person launch of SI: ‘Meet the guest editors’ at 3E Conference in Dijon, France

May 11th 2022

First ‘Meet the SI guest editors’ session:
Introduction to SI (virtual)

June 2022

Virtual Paper Development Workshop for interested authors and guest editors

September 2022

Second ‘Meet the SI guest editors’ session:
Build conversation (RENT 2022)

November 2022

Opening date for manuscripts submissions

February 1st 2023

Third ‘Meet the SI guest editors’ session (3E Conference 2023)

May 10th 2023

Full paper submission

August 31st 2023

Reviewing period

September 1st -December 1st 2023

Notification on paper decision

January 15th 2024

Resubmission of final papers

March 31st 2024

Final decision

June 15th 2024

Tentative first online publication

September 2024

Final publication of SI

November 2024


Meet the SI guest editors & virtual PDW: The idea of our Meet the guest editors and the virtual PDW is a possibility to understand better the SI aim that allows potential authors to re-think and fit their contributions to the SI academic conversation. In this view, the workshop’s participation is not compulsory for submitting a paper, as well as it does not guarantee the publication of the papers in the SI.

3E Conference: The ECSB Entrepreneurship Education Conference: The 10-year anniversary conference is taking place on 10-12 May 2023 in Aarhus, Denmark: The conference theme is: Back to the future of entrepreneurship education. It is a conference on entrepreneurship education that, for the past decade, has broadened the concepts of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education beyond the traditional venture creation and business school domains and to welcome scholars from education, pedagogy, and learning to integrate their education research with entrepreneurship. continuously serve as a central European platform for the exchange and creation of knowledge in entrepreneurship education. Please see website for further information:

Submission details

Publication of this special issue is planned for 2024.

  • Submission window opens February 1st, 2023 and closes August 31st, 2023
  • Submissions should be prepared using the IJEBR Manuscript Preparation Guidelines (
  • Manuscripts should be submitted through the IJEBR online system (
  • Papers will be reviewed according to the IJEBR double-blind review process.
  • Informal enquiries relating to the Special Issue, proposed topics and potential fit with the Special Issue objectives are welcomed. Questions and informal enquiries should be directed to any of the Guest Editors.

Guest Editors' biographies

  • Michael Breum Ramsgaard ([email protected]), MA (Education) is an Associate Professor at Research Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, VIA University College, Aarhus, Denmark. His research interests are all within entrepreneurship education, with a special focus on entrepreneurial pedagogy, entrepreneurial universities, teaching philosophy, and the role of contextualizing entrepreneurship education. His articles are published in Education + Training, Industry and Higher Education, and Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. In 2015, he was awarded a prize for his work from Danish Society for Entrepreneurship and Business.


  • Karen Williams-Middleton ([email protected]) PhD, is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Chalmers University of Technology. Her research interests include entrepreneurial identity and behaviour, entrepreneurial education and learning, nascent entrepreneurship and university entrepreneurship. Her research has been published in, for example, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, International Journal of Management Education, among others. She was recently awarded the European Entrepreneurship Education Award (2022) for her contributions to Entrepreneurship Education including her work through Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship, which combines education and incubation to develop entrepreneurial competencies which alumni have been shown to apply across a spectrum of careers.


  • Breda Kenny ([email protected]) is head of School of Business at Munster Technological University, Ireland.   She has many years lecturing, and research experience in entrepreneurship and international business.  Breda has led and project managed several EU funded programmes under Interreg NPA, Interreg Europe, Erasmus Plus, Daphne and Leonardo da Vinci in the areas of entrepreneurship education, business development, regional innovation strategies, senior and female entrepreneurship. She is editor of Small Enterprise Research. She has published in journals such as R & D Management, IJBR, Industry & Higher Education, JSBED, and Small Enterprise Research. Breda was an elected member of the board of the European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ECSB) from 2013 – 2019 and is the current Chair of the Campus Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Network (CEEN) Initiative.


  • David Higgins ([email protected]) is an academic with the University of Liverpool in Management and Entrepreneurship, he has several years’ experience teaching and researching in entrepreneurial learning / education in the university sector. David is an active scholar in the field of entrepreneurial learning and education hosting over 30 plus publications to date in journals, books, book chapters and conference outputs. David has published his work in journals such as International Small Business Journal, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, serving as guest editor for IJBER and Industry and Higher Education. David currently serves as a trustee to the ISBE Board. He is actively involved in the ISBE community as Vice President for Communities.


  • Helle Neergaard ([email protected]) PhD is Professor of Entrepreneurship at Aarhus University. During her career she has authored and co-authored more than 150 papers, articles, books and book chapters. Her articles are published in ETP, ISBJ and IJEBR among others. Her research interests revolve around entrepreneurship education and women’s entrepreneurship. She was the 2018 Co-laureate of the Steen K Johnson European Entrepreneurship Educator Award. She is Co-editor of IJEBR and Editor in Chief of IJGE. After having served for 15 years on the board of ECSB she is now an ECSB Fellow. She was also chosen for the 2021 IAM Distinguished International Scholar Award.


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