* GUESSS 2021 report highlights need for dedicated entrepreneurship education

The GUESSS 2021 National Report of Qatar, authored by Allan-Villegas Mateos, HEC Paris in Qatar research associate Allan-Villegas Mateos; professor Mahmoud M Abdellatif, director of the Centre of Entrepreneurship at Qatar University; and Mokter Hossain, assistant professor at Qatar University, revealed that Qatar is above the regional and global average in its share of active and nascent entrepreneurs.
The report shows that becoming an entrepreneur is a preferred career path for students immediately after graduating even though 87% of the students surveyed are not being offered a compulsory entrepreneurship course, and 37% have not attended a related programme.

Allan-Villegas Mateos

The report offers insights into university students’ entrepreneurial career intentions and underlying motivations, comparing students in Qatar with those in 58 countries. It is aimed at understanding the role of universities in fostering entrepreneurial activities in Qatar’s national entrepreneurial ecosystem, as the country transitions to a knowledge-based economy.
However, the report reveals that students significantly lose their entrepreneurial intent within five years of graduation despite 89% of them being aware of business incubation and accelerator programmes.
The report suggests three reasons why students are not pursuing entrepreneurial careers: the absence of a strong entrepreneurship culture among younger generations; motivations and attitudes being influenced by family expectations and backgrounds; alignment with proven theory that entrepreneurship is a process of developing the appropriate mindset, skills, and leadership empowerment through curricular and co-curricular programmes.
Alignment with proven theory that entrepreneurship is a process of developing the appropriate mindset, skills and leadership empowerment through curricular and co-curricular programmes.
The report goes on to suggest four recommendations to aid the development of a successful, sustainable university-based entrepreneurial ecosystem. They are: offering mandatory entrepreneurship courses at all educational levels; increased stakeholder effort to reach student communities, including communication, engaging more faculty members, joint programmes, hosting and sponsoring entrepreneurship activities, and ensuring access to infrastructure; the development of a robust and effective organisational infrastructure including the training of faculty involved in teaching, research, and curriculum development, advancing and managing entrepreneurship initiatives tied to research incentives and rewards, and outreach using business incubators, technology parks, knowledge transfer offices, co-working spaces, and other infrastructure; ensuring that ecosystem leaders, sponsors, and champions readily have the financial and non-financial resources needed.
"Entrepreneurial transformation of the ecosystem will be achieved by infusing an entrepreneurial culture, building entrepreneurial competency, accelerating the creation of ventures, and commercial outputs, and impacting Qatar National Vision 2030," concludes Allan-Villegas Mateos.
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