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DAAD-Project "STEP"


A joint project for the development of an entrepreneurship training program between the Interdisciplinary Research Unit on Evidence-Based Management and Entrepreneurship (EBME) and the Makerere University Business School (MUBS).


The majority of students in Uganda seek wage and salary employment but only a fraction of employment opportunities are available for the large number of students who graduate from university. Currently, only 10% to 16% of the Ugandan adult population receive a wage or salary. These facts point to the importance of preparing the students for an alternative route to career success: the area of self-employment.

Training of entrepreneurial skills is taking place both at MUBS and at other universities in Uganda. However, problems appear in quality assurance, little orientation towards students of other universities or towards other faculties (no outreach program), insufficient formal teaching material, and little relevance for would-be-entrepreneurs.

Aim of the project

The co-operation between the MUBS and the Interdisciplinary Research Unit on Evidence-Based Management and Entrepreneurship aims at addressing the weaknesses of existing training programs by taking a comprehensive approach to develop an entrepreneurship training program particularly geared towards college and university non-business students. Due to their high levels of human and social capital students have increased chances to build a successful and wealth-creating business, which has a double positive impact: The students create jobs for themselves and additionally for their future employees.

The curriculum will build on existing training programs and include courses regarding business and entrepreneurial skills. Improvements on the quality of teaching shall be achieved

by reviewing the existing courses and adding supplementary contents or courses,

by developing new teaching materials that allow for a practical and application-oriented training,

by conducting a training-of-trainers-program to provide the teachers with efficient approaches to impart knowledge

and by evaluating the new curriculum in an 18 months longitudinal tracer study to identify its strengths and components that need further improvement.

Entrepreneurship is defined as opportunity detection and exploitation as well as the behavioral act of starting and running a business. This implies that the curriculum has to motivate, provide skills, and give knowledge on how to detect a business opportunity and how to exploit this opportunity in the form of starting and running a business. Modules of the curriculum will be (1) identifying business opportunities, (2) writing a business plan, (3), finding starting capital, (4) starting the business, (5), accounting, (6) marketing, (7) managing the business (operational skills), (8) leadership, (9) motivation and self-regulation, (10) personal initiative, (11) persuasion and negotiation, and (12) networking. all of these will be developed within the context of Uganda.

This list indicates that entrepreneurship is a multifaceted field that requires the engagement of different scientific domains. We account for this complexity by integrating the expertise of scientists from different disciplines in the fields of business administration and psychology. This interdisciplinary approach will guarantee that our training includes all the relevant knowledge for starting and running a business, and that the training is designed according to the latest psychological and pedagogical standards.

The teaching materials will be readable from a self-teaching perspective and will conform to pedagogical standards of distant learning (e.g., self-teaching parts, advanced organizers). We emphasize action knowledge to be integrated with scientific knowledge, e.g., combining the course material with relevant personal projects and acting on the relevant parameters in a safe environment (e.g., role playing, simulation). We will translate scientific findings into action principles and recommendations for actions to provide the students with "how to do"-knowledge that maximizes their chance of successfully starting and running a business. This approach differs from more traditional academic approaches which have a stronger focus on theoretical than practical knowledge. We expect our action-oriented approach to have a significant impact on the founding and success rate of student entrepreneurs and thus contribute to poverty alleviation and job creation in Uganda.

funded by:




Prof. Frese has left University of Giessen to work at University of Lueneburg and National University of Singapore.

You can still download his articles under the link below.


Univ. of Lueneburg





Focus on opportunities as a mediator of the relationships between business owners' age and venture growth


Journal of Business Venturing




Die Paradoxie des Innovation Championings: Wenn Handeln und Kontext im Widerspruch stehen


September 2009


6. Tagung der Fachgruppe Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologie der DGPs, Wien