Learning to become an entrepreneur in unfavourable conditions: The case of new entrants in the context of the Greek debt-crisis

K. Karanasios, T. Lans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter reports the results of a study that explored the learning process of a distinct group of learners, namely Greek new entrant agri-entrepreneurs, in the unfavourable entrepreneurial environment of the Greek crisis. To find out how this group formulates its learning during their journey towards a new occupation (entrepreneurship), semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sample of 18 agri-entrepreneurs. The interviews, which were carried out by building on the 3-P model of workplace learning using the critical incidents technique, elicited several factors that affected their entrepreneurial learning. Regarding the drivers of the learning process at the individual level, the results of this study gave prominence to the entrepreneurial agency of the participants as an amalgam of different opportunistic and necessity motives. As far it concerns the work environment influencing entrepreneurial learning, the data highlighted the importance of the so-called weak ties with external stakeholders, while they revealed a legal, regulatory and advisory system that is at least unsupportive and inappropriate for learning and entrepreneurship in general. From a process point of view, the results emphasised the importance of experimental-improvisational learning activities adopted by the entrepreneurs. Furthermore, they revealed the unexpectedly low use of Information and Communication Technologies for entrepreneurial learning. Finally, with regard to the outcomes of the learning process, the results accentuate the development of an entrepreneurial identity, where the entrepreneurs identify themselves as ecological, resource exploiting and cultural entrepreneurs. This chapter concludes by giving recommendations for further research and providing practical implications for those involved in work-related education, training and advisory support of entrepreneurs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultiple Dimensions of Teaching and Learning for Occupational Practice
EditorsSai Loo
ISBN (Electronic)9780429505119
ISBN (Print)9781138585713
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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