Training for entrepreneurship: the dilemma of time and isolation The case of 88 entrepreneurs of small companies in Brittany

Abstract : “Nature always imposed upon beings this imperious dilemma: to adapt or to disappear” (Le Bon, 1920, p. 43). This proposal by a French doctor and sociologist (1841-1931) seems to echo the challenges proposed to the entrepreneur of the 21st century. It is from this idea that we will shed light on the place of the dilemma in the entrepreneurship training of 88 Breton entrepreneurs. What role does the dilemma play in the sustainability of companies? In what form does it translate into entrepreneurial learning? According to Cristol and Muller (2013) “entrepreneurs have little time to learn, because they are dedicated to developing their business first [...]. They would arbitrate their choices based on a parameter of time management and their commitment to training”. In addition, Toutain and Verzat (2015) state that while it is usual to consider entrepreneurship "professionally and socially" as an "individual activity", we cannot ignore the permanent interaction between the entrepreneur and his environment. We can then ask how the entrepreneur does apprehend the time between learning and activity, in this environment? What would be the benefits? How can he preserve his independence while learning from and by others? To provide some answers to these questions, we will first delimit the dilemma in its dimension referring to the temporalities of transformation processes, in an entrepreneurial context, through “lack of time” to dialogue and to think critically. In a second step, referring to the work of Alhadeff-Jones (2014), we will look at the central aspect of new conceptions of "support modalities likely to favor the deployment of a reflexive capacity and a power to act on our relationship to time". Then, based on Eneau's (2005) "educational reciprocity" and Mezirow's "transformative learning theory" (2001), we will examine the place of disorienting dilemma in a co-development situation taking place in an entrepreneurial context. Finally, the empirical approach will be based on two studies (Mégret, 2016): the first, conducted as part of a Master's degree in Education Sciences and conducted through a questionnaire with 68 entrepreneurs in Brittany; then second, still in progress and more qualitative, carried out in the framework of a first year of doctorate and based on 20 interviews with entrepreneurs. After a short presentation of the main results, the discussion will examine 1) the importance of dilemmas of time and isolation in the entrepreneurial process and 2) the importance of sharing learning experiences, to give to the entrepreneurs a more effective “power to act”.
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Jean-Michel Mégret, Jérôme Eneau. Training for entrepreneurship: the dilemma of time and isolation The case of 88 entrepreneurs of small companies in Brittany. 3rd Biennial Conference of the Italian Transformative Learning Network: "Contemporary Dilemmas and Learning for Transformation", European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA), Jun 2018, Milan, Italy. ⟨hal-01875093⟩

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