Purpose – Entrepreneurial learning is an important area of enquiry which is not well understood in either the academic study of entrepreneurship or the practical development of new entrepreneurs. The article aims to explore two questions: first, how do people learn to work in entrepreneurial ways – are there significant processes and experiences in their learning, which can be related to existing learning theories? Second, can a useful framework to understand entrepreneurial learning be developed and\ud applied both in entrepreneurial practice and conceptually by educators?\ud Design/methodology/approach – The article includes a brief critical review of the theoretical literature in the areas of entrepreneurship and learning. Thematic discourse analysis is used to interpret the life story narratives of three entrepreneurs in the creative industries. Material from their learning experiences is used to support the development of a conceptual model. This demonstrates\ud connections between the emergence of entrepreneurial identity, learning as a social process, opportunity recognition, and venture formation as a negotiated activity.\ud Findings – The principal finding is to propose a conceptual framework of entrepreneurial learning as a triadic model, including major themes of personal and social emergence, contextual learning, the negotiated enterprise, and a group of 11 related sub-themes. Practical implications – Applications of the model in entrepreneurship education, work-based learning and practice, are proposed, within and beyond the context of the creative media industry.\ud Originality/value – The paper develops an original and distinctive conceptual understanding of entrepreneurial learning through analysis of entrepreneurs’ experiences, based on a social learning and constructionist perspective
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