chapter  4
The Evolution of Berkshire Enterprises
Pages 40

As the interest in encouraging entrepreneurism grows, the need for understanding the entrepreneurial process has been identified in academic and public policy circles (Kasarda, 1992; Mokry, 1988). This case study responds to the need for research by describing an entrepreneurial training program for the unemployed. Entrepreneurial training for this population is ripe with possibilities and fraught with dangers. The demographics and attributes of the unemployed differ from the identification of the entrepreneur in the literature as a selfmotivated and action oriented individual (Brockhaus, 1982; McClelland, 1976). In contrast, the impact of unemployment has drastic negative effects on identity and self-esteem (Amundson & Borgen, 1987; Davies, 1985; Mallinckrodt & Fretz, 1988; Steinweg, 1990). Nonetheless, entrepreneurial training for the unemployed is "proceeding proactively, fueled by immediate human and policy needs" (Katz, 1994, p. 6) and the need for research is accelerating. This case study adds to the discussion by describing the process of entrepreneurial education and identifying elements that enabled participants to move beyond unemployment and define new goals for themselves, whether they started a business or not.