“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”-Albert Einstein.
Entrepreneurship is a way of life. It cannot be taught as every other subject. Some basic principles can be taught in theory, but most of it requires practical hands-on application as it is a skill that must be developed and nurtured.
Is entrepreneurship really an acquired skill?
There have been numerous studies and reports related to the science behind the functioning of an entrepreneur’s mind. Some of the reports include:-
i) When you compare an entrepreneur to an analyst, their way of handling a challenge or solving an issue is very different. Entrepreneurs use the right side of the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is associated with creativity. While the analysts tend to use the left side, which is related to logical thinking.
ii) The endocrine system also plays a pivotal role in determining certain aspects of people with testosterone level tending to 1,100 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) are more tolerant to risk and more likely to be entrepreneurs than people with lower base testosterone levels. Also, it is seen that entrepreneurs have a better capacity to overcome adrenaline fatigue. Levels of dopamine are higher in entrepreneurs compared to others.
iii) It is often seen that many entrepreneurs and CEO’s like David Neeleman and Bill Gates have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder which helps them in multitasking and handling pressure in a better way.
To some individuals, certain skills required for entrepreneurship come naturally while for some it is an acquired skill. This is where schools and universities come into the picture. Across the globe, more than 200 universities offer courses on entrepreneurship. Columbia University, Harvard, Imperial College, University of Calgary etc are some of the world famous institutes that offer a major in this course.
Several colleges in India like India School of Business, IIM Bangalore, XLRI are also offering various courses on entrepreneurship. There is a wide range of courses available throughout the country which include entrepreneurship management, fashion entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship etc. Also, the Central Board of Secondary Education has introduced entrepreneurship as a subject in its curriculum.
Why is there a need for entrepreneurship education and how does it help?
i) Children are naturally creative and have curious minds. Generic subjects and school learning dampen these over time. Similarly, teaching them entrepreneurship will help them harness and magnify their skills.
ii) Identifying the source of an issue and preventing it is as important as fixing it. This is the essence of entrepreneurship.
iii) Avoiding risks is not always the best option. Sometimes one must learn to take calculated risks as “no risk, no gain!” Entrepreneurship encourages and imbibes this attitude.
iv) It is important to understand that entrepreneurship is a very broad concept and has different forms of social entrepreneurship, small business entrepreneurship, scalable start-up entrepreneurship etc.
v) It will help students think out of the box and motivate them to go out in the practical world and fearlessly explore and try new things.
vi) Also through this, they might not always be successful and will at some juncture face failure. But this will train them to overcome failures and learn from their mistakes.
How should it be taught?
Theoretical knowledge is definitely important to an extent but a subject like entrepreneurship requires one to go out there and gain experience. Institutes must conduct entrepreneurship workshops and competitions to increase interest among students. Experiences and practical knowledge are likely to stay longer than bookish knowledge. Also, it is mostly being taught at the university level or at the higher secondary level. But the earlier it is taught, the better it will be as children can grasp faster and are quick learners. Thus teaching entrepreneurship is not sufficient unless it is taught in the right manner.
This can be important information for someone in your circle. Share on Facebook, Google+, Linkedin etc.