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STEP – Idea and Methodological Approach

The Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP) is a joint project of Leuphana University and several international partner universities. STEP aims to promote entrepreneurship among youths and undergraduate students by providing them with knowledge, skills, and confidence in how to start a new business. This way, STEP offers an alternative career option against the backdrop of difficult labor market conditions.

© STEP

The STEP training is unique insofar as it is action-oriented and evidence-based. 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. Within twelve weeks, students gain knowledge regarding relevant topics, such as opportunity identification, management of finances, and personal initiative, from the domains of entrepreneurship, business administration, and psychology.

During the STEP training, the trainees engage in a start-up process of a real micro business to learn entrepreneurship “on the job”. They receive a starting capital of 100 USD, which they repay at the end of the training.

In order to ensure the sustainability of the training, local teachers and lecturers are trained in the methodological approach of STEP. This way, partner universities are enabled to offer STEP without any assistance of external partners in the long run.

The STEP training is evaluated according to the highest scientific standards. The evaluation studies have confirmed that STEP has significant short- and long-term effects on trainees’ entrepreneurial mind-set and behavior. The short-term evaluations have shown that STEP increases trainees’ intentions to start a business, their 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 engage in more start-up activities to start a new business, launch more new businesses, remain more active even when they have started a new business, create more economic value, and generate a higher level of income for themselves. The training has thus a positive impact on trainees’ entrepreneurial career.

So far, STEP has been implemented at educational institutions in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Liberia, Lesotho, and the Philippines. STEP and the research projects based on the training are funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), BASF Stiftung, and the German Commission for UNESCO.

Please visit www.step-training.com for more information about STEP.

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