Bernal-Guerrero, A. (Ed.) (2022). Identidad emprendedora. Hacia un modelo educativo. Tirant Lo Blanch. 265 pp.


Jesús Conde


For a number of years now, the expression entrepreneurial identity has had a high profile in international research with the aim of better explaining and justifying entrepreneurial processes. Its emergence has almost exclusively been linked to the economic sphere. This work, however, offers a different perspective, in line with the approach to entrepreneurship education of the research group led by Professor Antonio Bernal, from the Universidad de Sevilla, in which renowned researchers from a variety of Spanish and foreign universities participate. This broader vision of the phenomenon of entrepreneurship is associated with the different settings where processes of entrepreneurship can occur, including their social and personal versions, in addition to the productive one. The book forms part of the project called Formación del potencial emprendedor. Generación de un modelo educativo de identidad emprendedora [Training entrepreneurial potential. Generating an educational model for entrepreneurial identity] (PID2019-104408GB-I00), which is included in the VIII Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación [VIII State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation].

Before analysing the construct entrepreneurial identity, the prologue to the work notes that it forms part of an individual’s personal identity. In this way, it considers how personal identity is built through an interactive and evolutionary social process, in which interact, on the one hand, the attributed identity, which is external in nature and through which subjects wish to be recognised; on the other hand, the claimed identity, which is internal in nature, in which individuals seek to evaluate the meaning of their own life experience, as well as which aspects of their identity they wish to conserve and which ones they wish to acquire. From the result of this valuation, crises of identity occur, in which people have to take particular decisions in which their condition of principle of action is manifest. In this sense, entrepreneurial activity is associated with the configuration of one’s identity, as the different choices taken will also shape the structure of the entrepreneurial self.

The entrepreneurial process is complex, as it involves developing an entrepreneurial identity that goes beyond merely acquiring entrepreneurial competence. The latter involves knowledge and skills aimed at the action, at knowing how to act, at building a plan for entrepreneurial action that is optimal with regards to how it fits the need demanded by the practical context itself. However, competence is not sufficient. Instead, it needs a motor that drives entrepreneurial action from its start until its development. This is known as entrepreneurial potential and, unlike entrepreneurial competence, it is not observable. Therefore, it cannot be evaluated externally or publicly as it cannot be reduced to a simple system of actions. “Entrepreneurial identity” consists of both competence and potential.

The volume is structured in three sections. The first of them provides a conceptual sketch of a formative model for entrepreneurial identity and it contains chapter one. The second section aims to consider the elements that make up entrepreneurial potential. This section comprises chapters two, three, and four. The third section presents an array of competences that embrace entrepreneurial competence. This last block consists of chapters five, six, seven, eight, and nine.

The second and third blocks emphasise the existence of two entrepreneurial dimensions: competence and potential, aspects which, as noted above, are interrelated.

In chapter one, Bernal presents an educational model of entrepreneurial identity: the MEGIE (General Entrepreneurial Identity Educational Model), which provides an interpretative framework of reference for understanding the phenomenon of entrepreneurship and developing appropriate training actions for it. Prior to the orientation of the model, the importance for current society of entrepreneurial identity and its complexity are explained, and the theories and scientific studies that primarily support this model are analysed. MEGIE is a theoretical innovation in a field that needs training models that can offer a more complete understanding of the entrepreneurial phenomenon, not limited to the commercial or employment field.

Chapter two starts the second section of the book, which seeks to explore entrepreneurial potential. This chapter conceptualises potential as an underlying construct through which subjects can develop their own life projects. Evaluation instruments derived from the scientific literature on entrepreneurial attitudes are reviewed and then the elements that make up entrepreneurial potential itself are extracted. Especially notable attitudes include creativity, innovation, motivation, leadership, self-esteem, etc. Identifying these entrepreneurial attitudes serves to develop formative plans that give as a re-

sult a working life project configured optimally and meaningfully. In this way, this chapter presents a variety of methodological strategies for educating entrepreneurial potential, such as lean thinking, design thinking, lateral thinking and the scrum agile methodology, among others.

Chapter three presents the perception of self-efficacy as a key aspect for entrepreneurial action. The self-perception of efficacy of the entrepreneurial self results in a fundamental valuation to facilitate or block the entrepreneurial process. Through an educational innovation project on Service Learning (SL) for primary teaching students from the Universidad de Burgos (Spain) to acquire competences linked to social entrepreneurship, the importance of the personal perception of entrepreneurial behaviour when making training plans for entrepreneurship is underlined.

Section two ends with chapter four, in which the findings of an empirical research study carried out by various Spanish universities are presented. This investigation concludes that the family has a direct impact on the generation and promotion of entrepreneurial culture in young people in the stage of Baccalaureate and Professional Training. The results then agree with previous studies that find that our personal beliefs and aspirations are modulated by interaction with our direct social context. Consequently, looking forwards, it is necessary to explore social settings, specifically the family, to examine in depth how entrepreneurial intent is modulated by other exogenous variables linked to sociological or cultural factors.

With the previous section analysing entrepreneurial potential now completed, section three of the work starts, setting out the practical projection of entrepreneurial identity: the competence. Chapter five analyses management competences in entrepreneurship: leadership, managing change, and innovative culture. This chapter contains an analysis of the importance of the influence of leaders for the success of other agents in the entrepreneurial task. In addition, a range of dimensions that comprise the transformational leadership of innovative cultures are analysed. This chapter concludes that, in the fourth industrial revolution, which we are currently experiencing, teachers must mediate in activities that make students learn to learn and be entrepreneurs, and so teachers must promote innovative and creative tasks to ensure that their learners acquire knowledge and skills that can shape a life project that is in line with the real needs of society.

Chapter six defines social capital as an object of study to identify the component of entrepreneurial competence with the greatest social depth. This chapter presents the origin, conceptualisation, types of social capital, and ways of measuring it, and then explains the importance of the commitment of the educational institutions and agents as generators of social capital. This capital, which derives from the social network in which people are situated, is offered as an opportunity for entrepreneurship.

Chapter seven analyses the basic set of psychological attributes that make up the individual’s entrepreneurial capacity, such as emotional intelligence, personal initiative, and resilience, among others. It starts from a shortcoming detected in the education system, which is the absence of designed and planned training to favour entrepreneurship contemplating this more personal and internal dimension.

Chapter eight analyses the business dimension of entrepreneurial activity. In it, different entrepreneurial competences typical of the particular institutional setting of businesses are presented: corruption of the country, language or religion. The social legitimisation of the entrepreneur is also examined as a variable that influences by conditioning the social dynamic of entrepreneurship. This chapter shows that the phenomenon of entrepreneurship, from the entrepreneurial vision, is multidimensional and demands the activation of a holistic competence including everything from knowledge of business aspects to competences for business planning, for the configuration of the business plan and the strategic plan, for funding, and for innovation.

Finally, closing the work, chapter nine considers the competences associated with personal growth. Specifically, it provides a proposed teaching methodology, which seeks to achieve comprehensive entrepreneurial training. The presence of entrepreneurial education in the curriculum is vital for students, as it prepares them for the society in which they are immersed through life projects originating in our culture. Entrepreneurial culture cannot be neglected, but its promoting for the optimal development (personal, social, intellectual, and moral) of all individuals is a challenge for the field of education.

To finalise, and in the words of the editor, Antonio Bernal Guerrero,

this work seeks to contribute to the development of the debate around the virtualities that entrepreneurial education contains, which, after a journey of more than two decades, calls for models capable of better understanding the process of formation of entrepreneurial intent … to broaden the horizon of possibilities for individual and social growth. (p. 21)

It will then be of particular value for anyone with an interest in knowledge of entrepreneurial education and its scope, as well as people who are curious about training the very processes that shape personal identity.

Jesús Conde

Licencia Creative Commons | Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Esta obra está bajo una licencia internacional Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial 4.0.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License