Entrepreneurship Skill Development
The Praed Foundation work in business development focuses on the development of both commercial and social entrepreneurs. Consistent with TCOM theory of practice, the focus of our development efforts use a consensus based assessment process to understand emerging entrepreneurs and support their professional development. The Readiness Inventory for Successful Entrepreneurship (RISE) has been used to assess entrepreneurship skills in institutions of higher education (community colleges and universities), economic development organizations, and large private companies. The tool has been used for the following purposes within the TCOM framework:
Decision Support – In educational settings, the RISE has been employed to assess curricula and co-curricular activities to ensure that they support each other in helping students to develop their entrepreneurship skills effectively. Decisions about adding to or modifying courses and activities become more well-informed and strategic. Entrepreneurship-focused economic development organizations have used the tool to adapt and organize their activities and to assist them in more successfully engaging with other entities in their local/regional entrepreneurial ecosystems to ensure that their client entrepreneurs are getting suitable help that is provided at a level that is appropriate to their client’s stage of skill development. Private companies have engaged with the RISE as a tool for helping them to make more accurate decisions regarding the succession of mid-level managers, when the goal is to foster entrepreneurial thinking and acting by upper-level management.
Quality Improvement – Arguably, more skillful entrepreneurs are higher quality entrepreneurs. The RISE facilitates the development of entrepreneurship skills by identifying skill weaknesses and, through coaching, helping entrepreneurs to create and pursue action plans for addressing those weaknesses. In essence, it is a means to directed self-reflection, which is essential to skill improvement. Use of the assessment tool also enhances the quality of the organization using it. For example, higher education institutions that take a skills-based approach to entrepreneurship education can use the RISE to improve their ability to create a meaningful teaching and learning environment for their faculty and students.
Outcome Monitoring – The RISE permits the measurement and establishment of a skills baseline that provides initial guidance to the skill-development coaching process and a means to track progress through subsequent assessments. The skill development of entrepreneurship students, for example, can be tracked from the time they enter the entrepreneurship program to the time they graduate, providing a measurable learning outcome.