It’s the destiny of our future graduates to tackle some of society’s most urgent and pressing challenges. Entrepreneurs have the power to shape the world by developing versatile skill sets and profitable businesses that are crucial to the progress of our economies.
But just how does one learn to be a successful entrepreneur? How do we inspire our young people to go out there and keep learning so they can make their mark on the world? I believe we need to dedicate more resources to the formation of entrepreneurial environments within higher education – environments that foster progressive ideas and innovation, and equip students with the practical knowledge and skills they need to navigate the choppy waters of business ownership.
Entrepreneurship is a term synonymous with passion, self-growth and pursuance of the things one loves. It is an amalgamation of creativity and unique abstraction merged with analytical, communication, economic and financial skills. Entrepreneurship is the sole propeller of change in the economic scenario of India. And it is of utmost importance to inculcate the development and honing of the skills right from a very young age.
WHY ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND ITS ASSOCIATED SKILLS ARE IMPORTANT?
Entrepreneurs are a valuable asset to any country. They should be cultivated and nurtured – not given extra obstacles to overcome. Entrepreneurial ventures have the potential to shape the way we live and work, in addition to creating jobs and contributing to the nation’s economy.
Our brightest entrepreneurs have very particular skills. They are great communicators. They understand the power of branding. They have an aptitude for sales and business strategy and they know how to keep a handle on their finances. These qualities are desirable in any citizen, whether they’re a business owner or employee. But they can’t be learned overnight – it takes time to become a one-man-or-woman show. So it’s best to get started as early as possible.
Any career path requires training, whether you’re an accountant, an office manager, or an airline pilot. Becoming an entrepreneur is no different. The skills required to be good at entrepreneurship are not exclusive – they can be applied to almost any field of work. Surely, entrepreneurial teaching as part of higher education could benefit everyone?
ENTREPRENEURIALISM IN EDUCATION AS IT STANDS
Many of us are introduced to the concepts of business and entrepreneurship by our parents. It certainly requires a healthy amount of courage and persistence, best acquired at a young and impressionable age.
It also requires a great amount of support by the countries institiutional pillars. Innovation flourishes best in countries with a strong ‘startup mentality’. Around 4 in 10 small companies don’t make it past the first five years, therefore countries who give extra support to their entrepreneurs ensure they have the best chance of success.
Small business management and entrepreneurship courses at college and university level have grown in number and diversity since 1990, led by students’ dissatisfaction with the traditional focus on obtaining Fortune 500 careers. Historically a key factor in driving economic growth, it is now the case that the majority of leading US businesses are less than 20-30 years old. This renewal is at the heart of a healthy economy.
There also exist a lot of entrepreneurial workshops which aim to hone the skills of interested individuals. In India, Pradeep Mishra started the entrepreneurial education programme in schools, aiming to bestow a sound knowledge of the business and economic realm. Entrepreneurship aims at turning ideas into reality. And with the creativity and unchained expressiveness that young minds possess, entrepreneurial education is the need of the hour. The exposure imparted by the education will go a long way in having every young adult watch their dream idea blossom into colourful and successful realities.
If we want to spur growth and the creation of jobs, it’s clear we need a greater focus on entrepreneurship and innovation – and this starts by nurturing the skills and dreams of our young innovators.
But one thing is certain: it’s not enough to have a revolutionary idea or outstanding technical prowess if your country is up to its neck in extortive tax laws, or doesn’t support entrepreneurial ideals. The majority of those with potential will simply not try. It is imperative to have an environment where young talent is nurtured and pushed to achieve more.
What higher education institutions could do better
Universities in most of the developed nations are failing to meet the expectations of their increasingly digitally focused students. But if we ever want to reach the same level of growth we had pre-financial crisis, we need entrepreneurs more than ever. We have a duty to cultivate strong innovators. So can universities adapt their learning systems to meet the challenge?
Today’s education system is far too focused on the theoretical, rather than developing real problem-solving skills. The focus is on writing papers and making grades, not maximising employability and experience. Many of our top graduates arrive in their first jobs with reams of theoretical knowledge, but no real-life skills, taking an average of 9-12 months to start adding value to the company they work for. Our top universities are busy churning out bankers, when they should be prioritising young pioneers.
So what’s the solution? In my opinion, we need more work experience. Opportunities for students to work at not just one, but a variety of different startups and businesses, to give them hands-on experience. What’s more, we need to encourage opportunities in up-and-coming industries like technology and sustainability. We need to turn the focus from purely theoretical to practical, and we need to subsidise theses programmes so they’re affordable.
The entrepreneurial skill set is one learned through experience. To nurture our entrepreneurs, we must aim to create cultures of innovation. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and these changes to the status quo in some of our more ‘traditional’ institutions will not happen overnight. It’s a step-by-step process, but one that is worth pursuing if we hope to produce a generation that will be capable of solving some of the very real challenges facing our society and our planet today.
ARTICLE BY POULAMI GHOSH AND INDRANIL LAHIRI EDITED BY LOGOLEPSY EDITORIAL
LOGOLEPSY PUBLISHING HOUSE is a boutique publishing house with over 200 titles in print and one of the first companies in India to bring an Augmented Reality experience for the students and educators. We at Logolepsy are forerunners in delivering a wide range of products that help foster a passion for reading from generation to generation. In business since 2014, we intend to change the landscape of education industry with our broad spectrum of books covering the major consumer book market. Logolepsy distribution centres can store more than a hundred million books. Invoicing, logistics and managing returns contribute to making distribution a strategic link in the book’s value chain. At Logolepsy, we deal in the following genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Children, History, World Affairs, Politics, Crafts & Sports, Self-help & Empowerment, Health & Fitness, Spirituality & Religion, Philosophy, Business, Management, Finance, Cookery, Pottery, Activities (Sports, Games, etc.), Hobbies, Reference, Biography, Travel, etc. Defined by a culture of expertise, collaboration and openness, we cherish and respect our heritage while constantly challenging ourselves to disrupt or enhance the best that our Group has to offer to deliver something even better.
For any queries and/or feedback, write to us at email@example.com.