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Literacy for Entrepreneurship

Modelling Reading and Writing Skills for Entrepreneurship

At a glance


Entrepreneurship education and competencies for entrepreneurship have received increasing attention at various levels of education in the last decade and have become major fields of interdisciplinary research (Fayolle, 2007 & 2010; Weber et al., 2014 for overviews). In the German speaking countries researchers have particularly focused on entrepreneurship in Vocational Education and Training (VET) schools, designed and evaluated entrepreneurship education programs and developed lists of students’ competencies related to entrepreneurship (Holtsch, 2008 & 2014; Oser & Volery, 2014; Müller et al., 2014; Bijedic, 2013). However, little attention has been paid on literacy skills (reading and writing) important for entrepreneurship (UNESCO, 2015; European Commission, 2008; European Commission, 2000), especially that a significant number of VET students have a migration and linguistically diverse background (Hoefele & Konstantinidou, in preparation).

Migrants represent an important pool of potential entrepreneurs as they are more likely to start a business than natives. Nevertheless, migrant population seems more prone to failure in business due to the multicultural challenges it has to face. Part of these challenges is represented by the lack of linguistic skills (European Commission, 2015; European Commission, 2008.)

Starting a new business is an act that not only requires creative and social skills but also a high level of literacy skills in order to persuade clients, write concepts, apply for loans and govern administrative work. Jakobs, Lehnen and Schindler (2005, 8) point out that the skill to communicate in written form is a key competence that determines career opportunities.

For this reason, the project focuses on reading and writing skills related to entrepreneurship. We aim to give a linguistic description of genres and text patterns that occur within the process of the foundation and running a company. Therefore, we use a corpus-driven methodology with an emphasis on n-gramms/chunks, key words, text procedures and registers. The description of genre and text patterns   should answer the question what reading and writing skills do future entrepreneurs need and lead to important conclusions regarding the teaching of entrepreneurship related writing skills.