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Using the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile (EMP)®

Thursday, February 16, 2017  
Posted by: Shelby Solomon
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Using the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile (EMP)® to Enhance Curriculum As university professors look for ways to enhance their entrepreneurial education curriculum, many are finding the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile® (EMP) to be a beneficial resource. The EMP, an assessment instrument which measures 14 characteristics and skillsets critical to entrepreneurial success, helps students leverage their entrepreneurial strengths and target areas for development. The instrument comes with a thorough Development Guide which includes interpretive material, suggestions for development, recommended resources and guidelines to help students write concrete action plans.


Western Carolina University (WCU) in Asheville, North Carolina is using the EMP as part of a four-year effort to improve its entrepreneurial education as well as provide data for entrepreneurship research. More specifically, the University is using the instrument to accomplish three goals:

• Recruit students who are likely to succeed as entrepreneurs
• Mentor students in the Entrepreneurship program
• Support the assessment and continuous improvement process for the Entrepreneurship curriculum



One benefit of understanding the unique personality characteristics of students entering the WCU Entrepreneurship program is that the University can tailor its marketing efforts to reach potential students more effectively. Market segmentation strategies can be developed based on the data collected on EMP scales such as Independence, Nonconformity, Risk Acceptance, and Passion and then pushed out to potential high school students, community college transfers, and undeclared WCU students. By tailoring marketing efforts to these characteristics, WCU will become more effective with its messaging, resulting in higher growth for the Entrepreneurship program and a better "student/program" fit, ultimately leading to improved retention rates.



The EMP provides a basis for mentoring students and—to a degree—customizing their individual learning and development plans as they progress through the WCU Entrepreneurship Program. Students take the EMP in their first and in their last Entrepreneurship classes. In the first class, they are required to reflect on their scores and develop a plan for better preparing themselves as future entrepreneurs. Professors are an essential part of this process as they help students capitalize on their strengths and target areas for improvement.



The WCU Entrepreneurship Program uses the EMP to augment the WCU’s assurance of learning and improvement process by providing an objective, independent measure of student growth. A program goal is to move the needle on those dimensions of the EMP that are learned (Skills scales) and to improve students’ understanding of their own behavioral characteristics that will affect future entrepreneurial success. Pre- and post-EMP results provide a measure of the impact of the program, especially when compared to results of students who did not major in entrepreneurship. Although the school is only one year in to the four-year project, it has already demonstrated some positive impacts in the Execution and Idea Generation scales. Going forward, WCU plans to use the results to investigate further the best way to improve the program. Modifying the program content and structure might be one option. Alternatively, it could be that traditional academic learning instruction may not be best suited for entrepreneurship student success. Rather, student learning styles that are more self-directed might better capture student enthusiasm for course content and lead to improved results. Faculty will also use the data as the basis for research into entrepreneurship education and, as students graduate and start businesses, the impact on those start-ups.


For more information on the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile (EMP), visit or call 800-753-0444.

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