Where do agri-food entrepreneurs learn their job and are there skills they wished they had learned?

Florence Becot, David Conner, Jane Kolodinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The agri-food system plays a vital role in the socioeconomic well-being of the USA. In rural Vermont, the setting for this study, the contributions are even larger. Agri-food businesses contribute an estimated 12% of the state's gross domestic product and comprise 13% of private sector establishments. The community economic development potential of fostering successful food entrepreneurs suggests a role for higher education in educating the next generation of entrepreneurs. This study explores gaps in entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. Using a survey of agri-food entrepreneurs designed to obtain an understanding of the tools needed for success, the authors found that entrepreneurs valued a wide range of skills, making it difficult to tailor training. The importance of informal learning was also confirmed. The authors conclude that the role of higher education in entrepreneurial education is to educate students to think critically, recognize opportunities, develop networks and identify resources. In addition, it is critical to provide students with exposure to entrepreneurs in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-215
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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