ER-24(10-12)-22 - 7-iVr < ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT HOW VALID ARE THE MODELS USEDINSRTLA^KA Sarath Buddhadasa Executive Director Business Consultancy

ER-24(10-12)-22 - 7-iVr < ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT HOW...

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7- i V r , ,<••? area both by Western and Eastern scholars in the context of economic de- velopment and strategy making for the developing countries. This is an area which different researchers, whether they are Sociologists, Economists or Psychologists have strived to explain in terms of the assumptions and concepts relating to the context of their specialization. The Western interest on this subject was aroused especially with Max Weber's (1904) research findings in the beginning of this century. The reason for attaching such a heavy emphasis of research on entrepreneurship was that it began to consider the entrepreneur, as the "key force in the economic de- velopment" as explained, by Schumpetet {1893-1950). Weber's (1994) contribution to the understand-' ing of entrepreneurship is important as his research investigated the positive" relationship between religion based Calyinist Protestant, ethics and thespirit of capitalism. In this process, adopt- ing a psychological approach, David C McClelland (1961) tried to explain parallel behaviour between highly, achievement oriented (N. Ach) indi- viduals and entrepreneurs. McClelknd's efforts revealed that it was .possible to influence economic growth of community through training pro- grams conducted aiming at creating achievement oriented entrepreneurs who will in turn formulate enter- prises. The training models devel- oped based on this assumption are widely being used in developing countries with appropriate adapta- tions to suite the respective cultural contexts. In the Asian region, India (NISBUD Model) and The Philip- pines (UP ISSI Model) have been able to present, develop and effectively use country specific models, but in Sri Lanka, there is no evidence of ap- propriate adaptations being made-to existing models. The models are widely used with no validation of their underlying assumptions which have origins ;ip,.dif|^ent socio cultures.- It js the'acceptance of the.business. dw^opm^experts t^t there, is a ,.ppsitive >c^ entrepre- neur training. and,economic develop^ -meat of developing economies. If this.; i ^ R ^ j r ^ . - ^ . i ^ p c r t i n c n t to observe I'the Achievement indicators of Entrepreneur'Development Programs,: (EDPs) conducted by Sri Lankan agencies tp assess and .judge the quality of contribution of. .these , .programs towards economic development...
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of aspiring entrepreneurs remained the same after EDP .... " It has further re- vealed that "31.6% of the aspiring en- trepreneurs who were trained in EDP were engaged in prospective enterprises in the respective areas of the Mahaweli region. The same EDP evaluations un- dertaken by Exo and Shah (1991) re- vealed "only about 20% of trainees in the EDPs for aspiring entrepreneurs were involved in viable businesses after one year". These results suggest an in- adequate success rate of the present EDPs conducted in Sri Lanka. All these studies have not considered a control group to compare results than the present success rates recorded. Making an overall assessment, Ellepola (1987) notes that "in Sri Lanka, the entrepre- neur development work appears to be still in its infancy..." Reasons for Low Success Rates There are different theories suggested as reasons for the low level of success of the EDPs conducted in Sri Lanka. They could be broadly classified as follows: (a) Absence of a development oriented support system to provide necessary interventions during the post training period until the take off point, "emergence of entrepreneurship cannot be changed in theshort run or ma- nipulated from outside, there are cer- tain other factors institutional support, incentives etc that can be changed in the short run or injected from outside" Panangala (1987) (b) Weaknesses of the selection tools and methods used. According to Mohotti (1993) The lack of a proper procedure for the selection of partici- pants is found to be the main weakness of the existing programs. (c) Methodology and the Struc- ture of EDPs. According to Exo and Shah (1991) most of the EDPs conducted in the Mahaweli areas have no empha- sis on the "struc- ture and sequenc- ing .... The major- ity of the trainers relied primarily on their own areas of expertise, and most used subject based structures. In the absence of appropriate teach- ing materials, it was difficult to link up the course content with the real world of the small scale enterprise" (d) Absence of indigenous cul- tural orientation in the EDPs. "It ap- pears that the EDPs of long dura- tion have a high theoretical content, which reflects a bias towards West- ern Models. It could be probably due to the fact that the majority of the EDP trainers in Sri Lanka have been trained abroad in the application of Western Models and most EDPs have been funded by Western donors. A weakness in the content of EDPs is that they have not been able to integrate the indigenous entrepre- neurship experiences and values in the curricula". The above situation must invariably stimulate industrial development pro- fessionals to re-think about the total process of entrepreneurship practised at present and introduce an indig- enous formulation based on the past experiences gathered in the applica- tion of different methodologies and available research findings. Formulation of the I REP Model The Business Consultancy Services (BCS) which was established in Janu- ary 1994 as a private sector business development organisation undertook an EDP project with the World Uni- versity Services of Canada (WUSC) - Sri Lank, a Canadian non-govern- mental organization engaged in Hu- man Resource Development in Sri
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