STUDENT TRAINING FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL PROMOTION
The Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP) is a joint project of Leuphana University and several partner universities in East and West Africa. The STEP training aims to promote entrepreneurship among youths and undergraduate students by providing them with knowledge, skills, and confidence in how to start a new business. The STEP training is unique insofar as it is action-oriented and evidence-based. During the STEP training, the trainees engage in start-up process of a real micro business to learn entrepreneurship “on-the-job”. The trainees learn how to start and run a new business based on action-principles that have been derived from the scientific literature on entrepreneurship, management, and psychology. The STEP training is a 12-week training course which covers different topics, such as opportunity identification, management of finances, and personal initiative, from the domains of entrepreneurship, business administration, and psychology.
The STEP training has been implemented at universities and vocational training institutions in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Liberia. So far, more than 1,500 students have participated in the STEP training. The STEP training is evaluated according to the highest scientific standards. The evaluation studies have shown that the STEP training has short- and long-term effects on trainees’ entrepreneurial mind-set and behavior. The short-term evaluations have shown that the STEP training increases trainees’ intentions to start a business, confidence in their entrepreneurial skills, action knowledge about how to start a business, and action planning for starting a real new business. The long-term evaluations have shown that STEP trainees show more start-up activities to start a new business, launch more new businesses, remain more active even when they have started a new business which creates more economic value, and generate a higher level of income for themselves. The STEP training has thus a positive impact on trainees’ entrepreneurial career. More recent research projects based on the STEP training show that the STEP training compensates for a lack of financial capital in the start-up process and leads to higher life satisfaction in the short- and long-run.
The STEP training and the research projects based on the STEP training are funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Commission for UNESCO.