One of the most common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs is that they launched their ventures while they were young. According to a survey done by Ernst and young with nearly 700 entrepreneurs, more than half of them launched their companies while they were in their twenties. The survey also found that they did not jumpstart their ventures straight after finishing higher education. They had to gain real-world experience before they could launch their own venture. However, nearly a third of the people who participated in the survey said that higher education provided them with the grounding they needed for their business practice. Having an entrepreneurial component in higher education will greatly aid in the creation of more entrepreneurs and ventures, in turn creating job opportunities.
How feasible is it?
To become a successful entrepreneur, a positive attitude and a positive support structure are a must. This will foster positive opportunism and greater acceptance of failure. Universities can give students useful and systematic knowledge on all aspects of running a business, and equip them with the necessary tools to prepare them for eventualities. It goes without saying that campus life will give them plenty of opportunities to test their business ideas and get feedback on their work. They also get to analyze the variables of the trade-in a systematic way, formulate and test hypotheses, and think about abstract concepts. If they can learn to solve problems and make creative decisions based on reliable data, they will learn how to run a business that operates with a high degree of accountability. This will teach them how to successfully manage commercial concerns in the long run.
The right age, the ripe age
College students are in a very important transitional phase in their life. As they start to explore personal independence, their identities start to solidify. If they receive the right stimulation, it allows them to develop a higher degree of self-control and work on their vision. Universities must include courses and facilities that teach students critical thinking and risk-taking. This will help them form an identity as a bussing entrepreneur. Observational and experiential learning must be given equal importance. In other words, the course must focus o both theory and practice.
Universities must provide facilitators who are capable of delivering the content to students. This includes both academics and successful entrepreneurs. The delivery methods must also be diverse to cater to the widest possible cross-section of students as possible. Internet media, incubation support, simulations, help to develop a business plan, internship opportunities, case studies, one-on-one interactions, study visits, project work, mentoring, and competition among others will help support successful implementation of an entrepreneurship education curriculum.
A functional framework for entrepreneurship education
Students need requisite knowledge and skillset to conduct their study with a focus on selection and recruitment. This must be accompanied by a supportive environment and motivating incentives like grants along with a grading system that allows them to conduct their study in an effective way. Lecturers can aid them with progress reviews, using the right teaching methods, and implementing a reward system to acknowledge their participation.
For entrepreneurship education in higher education to be a success, graduates must possess certain core competencies. They need to be able to identify and evaluate business opportunities, identify and solve problems, make the right decisions at the right time, network, communicate effectively, and display out of the box thinking. If they can tick all the above boxes, then they have demonstrated that they have the core competencies needed to kick-start their own venture. Graduates must also be capable of developing a business plan that can sustain after launch. Apropos sustainability, the venture must be able to provide employment, make enough profits to fuel expansion, innovate consistently and effectively, develop a strong public image, and satisfy all stakeholders. If such a structured framework can be executed successfully, we will be able to integrate it with the existing curriculum and scale it up on a national level.