Entrepreneurial activities play an important role in creating jobs and stimulating innovation which results in accelerating economic growth rates in developed and developing countries. Therefore, governments worldwide are concerned to examine the factors that stimulate entrepreneurship as well as removing the constraints that hinders entrepreneurship growth. In this context, countries around the world classify factors or determinants of entrepreneurship into a number of factors, some of these factors affects the entrepreneurs themselves, while other factors related to the external environment which affect entrepreneurs.
Generally, different factors that affect entrepreneurship either on the micro or macro levels are known as entrepreneurship ecosystem. It refers to the individual and institutional elements which either supports or hinders the entrepreneur’s choice to start the venture, and results in success or failure. The different factors that constitute the ecosystem are grouped in four enablers which are;
- business service
- government regulations.
Each enabler includes a number of determinants which they have similar characteristics. For example personal enabler refers to the factors that contribute to developing entrepreneurs’ skills educating and training entrepreneurs.
Educating entrepreneurs is a key factor for stimulating entrepreneurship as a results most countries are concerned to develop the entrepreneurs’ skills through different means; such as formal education and informal education programs, and training. Formal education focus on entrepreneurship programs in schools and universities. On the other hand, informal education programs include various training programs which tailored to improve the knowledge and skills of entrepreneurs. Governments around the world are paying more attention to entrepreneurship education through formal education system in schools and universities or through creating specific training institutes which focus on delivering informal entrepreneurship education and training.
The entrepreneurship education has gained more importance in Qatar and other GCC countries in recent years, because of governments’ interest to diversify the economy through stimulating entrepreneurial activities. GCC Governments established specific institutions to educate and train entrepreneurs. On the other hand, universities in GCC countries have created specific academic programs to encourage specialization in entrepreneurship. For example in Qatar, there are 19 institutions that constitute the ecosystem among them there are 13 which contribute to entrepreneurship education.
Stimulating and modernization of entrepreneurship education is critical element for stimulating entrepreneurial activities , especially during economic slowdown of economic growth rates in GCC countries which result from sharp decline of oil and gas prices. Therefore, educating people in different age brackets is going to equip them with entrepreneurship skills. This will help many people either employed or unemployed to set new business which increase the size of SMEs and consequently stimulate economic growth rates.