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Entrepreneurship has been recognized as one of the most effective engines for sustainable economic growth and development. To be an entrepreneur requires certain individual attributes that go beyond mastering the managerial and financial tools necessary for running a business. Unfortunately, whether as a stand-alone course or as a complete program of study, entrepreneurship has in general been placed under the management or business programs at many leading educational institutions in the U.S. and other countries. Furthermore, the structure and content of entrepreneurship programs have in general been transposed into other regions including the MENA countries without any significant adaptation to the local sociocultural and economic environment.

In this paper, it is argued that liberal arts institutions are uniquely positioned to develop and implement a holistic, multifunctional approach in teaching entrepreneurship, and in developing and implementing context-specific entrepreneurship programs that build on student motivation, community engagement, as well as local and global institutional networks.

We survey the structure of entrepreneurship programs in a number of U.S. and Middle Eastern countries, and propose ways in which liberal arts institutions in the region can leverage their unique mission and roles in developing human capital for the purpose of furthering entrepreneurship education and subsequently entrepreneurship-driven socio-economic development.


Originally published in:

Dakhli, M. (2009) Teaching Entrepreneurship: The Role of Liberal Arts Institutions. AUK Occasional Papers: Liberal Arts & Business Series, 83-93. American University of Kuwait.

Posted by permission of the publisher.