Towards an Entrepreneurship Curriculum in a Developing Country Tertiary Institution: The Case of Zimbabwe Open University

  • Silvanos Chirume Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe
  • Saiden Thondhlana Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe
Keywords: entrepreneurship curriculum, entrepreneurship skills, entrepreneurship assessment, STEM, academia-industry linkage, university entrepreneurship policy


Entrepreneurial activities are considered crucial to economic development. In the case of Zimbabwe, unemployment has reached unprecedented levels because of the shutting down of industries. However, economic development can be resuscitated through higher education which is perceived as an instrument for entrepreneurship promotion. The purpose of this study was to investigate the need for an entrepreneurship curriculum in universities in developing countries such as Zimbabwe and the support needed in the implementation of such a curriculum. The study used a qualitative paradigm and adopted a case study design. The instrument used for the study was an open-ended questionnaire (Quester-view) and a study of literature documents was also undertaken. The sample of the study consisted of 14 full time and 10 part time lecturers. The findings were that an entrepreneurship curriculum was highly needed and the content for such a curriculum had to embrace business management courses, vocationalisation of learning and monitoring and evaluation of business operations. These areas were to be infused in every course of the university. The informants suggested that the curriculum was to be imparted using the hands-on methodologies that included field trips, attachments, use of ICT’s, videos, conferences and seminars and guided discovery and projects. Suggestions on assessment strategies and on the support to be offered were also proffered. The study recommended, inter alia, that universities in developing countries should have an entrepreneurship education curriculum across all subject areas, an entrepreneurship curriculum should to go hand in glove with a STEM curriculum in a university, and that there is need for full support of entrepreneurship education from all stakeholders.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Silvanos Chirume, Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe

Senior Lecturer, Zimbabwe Open University, Midlands Regional Campus, Zimbabwe

Saiden Thondhlana, Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe

Senior Lecturers, Zimbabwe Open University, Midlands Regional Campus, Zimbabwe


Bridge, S., O’Neill, K. and Martin, F. (2017). Understanding Enterprise: Entrepreneurship and Small Business (4th Ed) Palgrave Macmillan: England.

Co, S., Groenewald, T., Navage, Z., Vanzvr, K. and Visser, R. (2007). Entrepreneurship Fresh Perspectives. Cape Town: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Cohen, L. and Manion, L. (1994). Research Methods in Education (4th Ed), London: Routledge.

Cullinan, O. (2017). Entrepreneurship + STEM = Success. Community College Entrepreneurship, Costa Mesa, California. Retrieved on 30/5/18 from Journal_Entrepreneurship-STEM-Success.pdf

Dewey, J. (1997). Experience and Education. New York: MacMillan

ERIA and OECD. (2014). Promotion of Entrepreneurial Education. In ERIA SME Research working Group (Ed) A SEAN Policy Index. Toward competitive and Innovative ASEAN SMEs; ERIA Research Project Report. Jakarta:

European Commission Enterprise and Industry Directorate – General (2008). Entrepreneurship in Higher Education, Especially within Non– Business Studies. Final report of the Expert Group Final March. European Commission Enterprise and Industry Directorate – General.

Garazi, A. and Jose-Antonio, C. D. (undated). Entrepreneurship Education in Spain Universities. Bizkai Lab: Entrepreneurship Centre.

Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience As the source of Learning and Development. Volume 1 Prentice Hall; Englewood Cliffs.

Kubatana (2013). Entrepreneurship Key to Job Creation in Zimbabwe. Youth Forum No. 20.

Lackeus, M. (2015). Entrepreneurship In Education, What, Why, When, How. Entrepreneurship 360, Background Paper, OECD, European Commission, LEED.

Lantz, H.B. Jr. (2009). Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education:What Form? What Function? Retrieved on 23/10/15 from

Mauchi, F.N., Karambakuwa, R.T., Gopo, R.N., Kosmas, N., Mangwende, S. and Gombarume,F.B. (2011). Entrepreneurship education lessons: A case of Zimbabwean tertiary education institutions. Educational Research 2(7), pp. 1306-1311.

Mapfumo, S. (2015). The New Curriculum Framework 2015-2022 Document (unpublished),Harare: CDTS.

Mapolisa, T., Chiome, C. and Mupa, P. (2015). Sociological Perspectives in Educational Management, Module BEDM 208, Harare, Zimbabwe Open University.

Merriam, S.B. (2009). Quantitative Research: A Guide Design and Implementation. San Francisco: Jossey-Boss.

Miller, K.T. (2011). STEM: An Entrepreneurial Approach. Quality Approaches in Higher Education, 2(2), pp. 5-7.

Morrison, J. (2006). TIES STEM education monograph series, attributes of STEM education

Murinda, G. and Gasva, D. (2013). Entrepreneurship In Education Module PGDE 215, Harare: Zimbabwe Open University.

Naude, W. (2013). Entrepreneurship and Economic Development: Theory, Evidence and Policy. Discussion Paper no 7507.

Nani, G. V. (2014). Teaching of “Entrepreneurship” as a subject in Zimbabwean schools. What are the Appropriate Teaching methods: A case study of Bulawayo metropolitan schools. Zimbabwe Journal of Science and Technology. 9(3), p140-162.

Neuman, L. W. (1997). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (3rdEd), Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Nieman, G., Hough, J. And Nieuwenhuizen, C. (2008). Entrepreneurship: A South African Perspective, Pretoria: Van Schaik Publishers.

Olutuase, S. O. (2004). Entrepreneurship Model for Sustainable Economic Development in Developing Countries. Entrepreneurship Model.pdf. Accessed 26/06/17.

Rwigema, H. (2004). Advanced Entrepreneurship. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.

Shizha, E. and Kariwo, M.T. (2011). Education and Development in Zimbabwe: A Social Political and Economic Analysis, Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Sofoluwe, A.C., Shokunbi, M.O., Raimi, L. and Ajewole, T. (2013). Entrepreneurship Education as a Strategy for Boasting Human Capital Development and Employability in Nigeria: Issues, Prospects, Challenges and Solutions. In Journal of Business Administration and Education, 3(1), pp. 25-50.

Tambwe, M.A. (2015). The Impact of Entrepreneurship Training on Micro and Small Enterprises (MSES) Performance in Tanzania: The Case of Food Vendors in Ilala District Dares Salaam. In Business Education Journal,1(1), pp. 1-18, Retrieved on 12/02/18

The STEMIE Coalition (2016). Universities and Invention/Entrepreneurship Education. Retrieved on 30/05/18 from

Udu, C. O. and Amadi, U. P. N. (2013). Integrating Basic Entrepreneurship Studies into primary Education Curriculum: Platform for sustainable National Development. In Academic Journal of Inter Disciplinary studies 2(5) July, P2281 - 3993 Pub MCSER –CE

US Department of Labor (2016). ODEP Office of Disability Employment Policy Publication Enco E:/entrepreneurship. htm accessed 7/07/2016.

Wamahui, S. P. and Karugu, A. M. (1995). Qualitative Research in Education, In Mwiria, K. and Wamahui, S. P. (Eds) Issues in Educational Research in Africa, Nairobi: East Africa Educational Pub: 114-130.

Zimbabwe Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (2015). Junior Science and Technology Syllabus (Grade 3-7) 2015-2022. Harare: CDU. Junior Science and Technology Syllabus (Grade 3-7)

ZimStat, (2013). Women and Men in Zimbabwe Report 2012. Harare. ZimStat.

How to Cite
Chirume, S., & Thondhlana, S. (2018). Towards an Entrepreneurship Curriculum in a Developing Country Tertiary Institution: The Case of Zimbabwe Open University. SOCIALSCI JOURNAL, 2, 192-202. Retrieved from
Research Articles