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students in engineering and science related subjects have not been exposed to skills allowing them for commercial exploitation of specialised knowledge (Urban & Barreira, 2007: 568).
34 Figure 2.2: The five stages of entrepreneurship training Source:Isaacs, Visser, Friedrich and Brijlal (2007) The figure describes entrepreneurship education as a lifelong learning process which consists of five stages, which are: basics, competency awareness, creative applications, start-up, and growth. Entrepreneurship education is at the developmental stage in South Africa; it is also regarded as a very important element in elevating the status of institutions of higher learning in the country. There is an increasing commitment to entrepreneurship offerings within the institutions of higher learning; the common focus areas are academic, research and outreach activities. It is further argued that teaching and assessment is delivered through the normal classroom methods and that research on entrepreneurship is more or less than other management disciplines (Kabongo & Okpara, 2009: 59).
35 According to Nieuwenhuizen and Groenewald (2008: 130), strong evidence exists that individuals who attended entrepreneurship courses have a high propensity to start their own businesses compared to those studying other courses. Training is highly critical in the development of ventures. Peterman and Kennedy (2003: 131) argue that there is evidence that people who start businesses have a higher level of education than people who do not. There is enough evidence that business owners are educated than the general population. Despite the strong correlation between education and business ownership, it is argued that formal education does not promote entrepreneurship, but it prepares students for corporate world as workers; therefore it suppresses creativity and entrepreneurship. Most universities have introduced programs and courses that promote enterprise education and entrepreneurship education. Mentoor and Friedrich (2007: 223) state that students have positive entrepreneurial attitudes, but the curricula at the institutions of higher learning drive the employee culture rather than the self employment culture. It is argued that there is a need for a change in methods of instruction. Transfer of knowledge is important but very necessary is competencies, development of skills and a change in attitudes.Herrington et al. (2009:45) (GEM 2009) highlighted that entrepreneurship education can have an influence on learners in four areas, namely: Self confidence about their ability to start a business; understanding of financial and business issues; desire to start their own business; and finally, desire to further studies at institutions of higher learning. Entrepreneurship education is defined as “the structured formal conveyance of entrepreneurial competencies, which includes concepts, skills and mental awareness utilised by individuals in the start-up process and growth stages in their ventures”. It entails entrepreneurial individuals interacting with their environment, thus discovering, evaluating and exploiting opportunities (Alberti, Sciascia & Poli, 2004: 5).