Entrepreneurship Education and How Entrepreneurship Teaching is Changing
Updated: Apr 11, 2019
Each trade has a master! So does entrepreneurship. From the belief that entrepreneurs are born, the times have evolved to date when it is believed that entrepreneurs need to be trained and taught, but somewhere they already inherit the traits of being an entrepreneur. To curb that view, we all need to understand that entrepreneurship has not much to do with family backgrounds, experience and most importantly failures instead it requires the insightful characteristic and some degree of interest which may turn into a passion if trained. Indeed, even from the 1980's Drucker (1985) demonstrated his contradiction to the conviction that 'business visionaries are conceived, not made.' Drucker expressed that business enterprise is a discipline which could be educated. Heredity and qualities are not the components that choose the entrepreneurial limit of a person.
In the world of young entrepreneurs and start-ups, we need not discuss why entrepreneurship is not associated with birth any longer rather we do need to enlighten the fact that entrepreneurs are made, and the process of making them demands to be immensely programmed rather than merely being a course. Arogundade (2011) contended that entrepreneurship education needs to show future business people the application of self-reliance to create an environment which is socially new and all-around testing. Training is thus believed to help the entrepreneurial understudies with certainty and visionary contemplations empowering their capacity of settling on choices concerned to social and monetary development.
The growth of Entrepreneurship Education can be measured from the fact that today apart from being a separate field entrepreneurship education is also taught and practiced with all other disciplines highlighting the vast scope of entrepreneurship. Also, the emphasis is laid on the proposal of introducing entrepreneurship education in early school. Reason for such evolved view are young-entrepreneurs like Jack Bonneau, a twelve-year-old entrepreneur who decided to start a lemonade stand- Jack’s stand when he was eight and forwarded the idea at ten that how other kids could join the start-up chain. Entrepreneurship Education like other disciplines is not just taught and learned but is practiced, and if done from early stages it may improve the entrepreneurial efficiency. Business schools today invite and encourage students to take courses where they initiate a start-up and go about taking every needful step that makes a business run, be it the preparing the business plan, conducting market research, developing the initial idea or getting investors to invest in their start-up. In parallel to this, students have mentors to seek guidance from - in fact even after the course is over and students start a venture - the mentors are always available to guide them wherever needed. Such practices are marking a remarkable rise in the field of entrepreneurship learning.
Teaching takes its best shape when it has a learning perspective, and that is what entrepreneurship education is today concentrating on. When we talk about learning perspective we are talking about the output: 1) What should be the output quality? 2)How to reach the quality output? - The process. The two answers somehow depend on the other main dimensions of entrepreneurship education which not everyone has the courage and understanding to deal with. Entrepreneurship teaching inculcates these essentials in the minds and behavior patterns of students or future entrepreneurs so that the business fundamentals become stronger. These essential components are:
1. Opportunities: Awareness about identifying opportunities is an accustomed (valuable though) practice now but creating opportunities is the vogue. Creating an opportunity is what an entrepreneur should know because ‘Business is dynamic in nature’ it demands an entrepreneurial mind to keep thinking for surviving in business irrespective of the highly competitive market, market penetration level, and other business scenarios. Identifying and creating opportunities is a must-have attribute required at every level be it recognizing the start-up idea, creating a pitch, finding an investor, reaching masses through advertising or publicity, expansion or any little aspect of the business.
Another precise detail that entrepreneurs learn is about acting on opportunities. Each opportunity may turn into a big success if given the right reaction at the right time in the right direction. Opportunities are created either out of challenges or needs and hence call for a different approach to deal with each.
2. Failure: When an individual thinks about starting a business there are two main thoughts - Success and Failure of the business. No! The entrepreneurship education does not teach how to make businesses complete success. Entrepreneurship is practical. Therefore its education demonstrates each associated component precisely well and educates about failure being an important stepping stone for any business. Failure may occur due to infinite changing, controllable or non-controllable reasons which are not sufficient to question the potential of any individual to be an entrepreneur. The trend in entrepreneurship learning is enabling individuals to understand that failures are a part of the business and one needs to demonstrate ideas constantly, willpower and stress fighting capacities to overcome and deal with failure. Some schools are also introducing courses like –‘Ready, Set, Fail’ to serve the same purpose.
3. Innovation and technology: Today any business would want to reach all across the globe rather than being restricted to geographical limits. The key to getting there is newness and accessible network which connects the world to that newness. Entrepreneurship learning is enabled by innovative ideas and technological resources that make the understanding and operating of business environment easier. Entrepreneurship education is of no use if it does not build a framework for future entrepreneurs that makes processes less time consuming and more relatable.
It feels glad to be a part of the growing world is witnessing today where entrepreneurship education is given immense importance. The Business Schools today let students recite and practice the mantra- every problem is an opportunity! Contemplating the issues that arise in the surroundings and the world all over into an opportunity to prove one’s ability to be a visionary, problem-solver and successful entrepreneur is something so encouraging. Entrepreneurship teaching rather than focusing on what business will be profitable draws the focus on what we need to have around us that makes it better for living and drives the success itself.
Drucker, P. F. (1985). Innovation and entrepreneurship practices and principles. Amacon.
Arogundade, B. B. (2011). Entrepreneurship education: An imperative for sustainable development in Nigeria. Journal of emerging trends in educational research and policy studies (JETERAPS), 2(1), 26-29.
Robyn Shulman. 2018. forbes.com. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robynshulman/2018/02/23/how-12-year-old-jack-bonneau-from-shark-tank-is-leading-the-way-for-kid-entrepreneurs/#4240d4bd521c. [Accessed 5 June 2018].
Stan Silverman. 2014. bizjournals.com. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/blog/guest-comment/2014/10/how-this-woman-is-changing-the-world-of.html. [Accessed 5 June 2018].
Written by: Dr. Stavros Sindakis (American University in Dubai, Anaheim University, University of Roehampton London) and Nipun Dhaulta (from the Institute of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Education for Growth (iSEEG).