Entrepreneurship education is becoming a demanding subject to be mastered by young students. With each passing day, as the level of unemployment is increasing owing to a number of reasons like population explosion, increase in the of machine instead of human labor, low number of industries and so on, entrepreneurship is now a career option among the present generation.
Entrepreneurship focused programs teach students essential life skills that will help them navigate and direct themselves towards this uncertain future. Entrepreneurship education will aid students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to think outside the box and nurture their skills and talents.
Every prospective entrepreneur should know that as an entrepreneur, you have the ability to change the way you live and work and through your innovations, you have the opportunity to raise standard of living, create wealth and jobs and contribute to the growing economy.
In this article, we will talk about:
- What is entrepreneurship?
- Who is an entrepreneur?
- Qualities of an entrepreneur
- Importance of entrepreneurship education to students
- The skills that students can learn from entrepreneurship education
WHAT IS ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
The definition of entrepreneurship is broad and covers a wide range of things. It is not to be limited.
Many individuals have come up with different definitions of entrepreneurship based on their own perspective and all point to the fact that it is a process of creating wealth.
Entrepreneurship is the process by which an individual identifies a business opportunity and acquires and deploys the necessary resources required for its exploitation. In the 19th century, French economist Jean- Baptiste Say provided a broad definition of entrepreneurship, saying that it “shifts economic resources out of an area of lower productivity and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield.
Entrepreneurship is the willingness to start, develop, organize, manage and run a business enterprise by taking several risks and setbacks to create wealth.
Entrepreneurship is neither an art nor science; it is a way of life. Anybody can be an entrepreneur provided you have the qualities, resources and willingness to take risks for a greater good. Intellectuals are motivating the young minds (students) to start a business of their own. To make the students aware of the benefits of being an entrepreneur.
WHO IS AN ENTREPRENEUR?
An entrepreneur is someone who develops an enterprise around an innovation. They are willing to start up a new business, expand an existing one, and assume the risks of the enterprise to achieve success. An entrepreneur is an innovator; you decide to make an idea a reality even though the idea might not necessarily be theirs. This person is in charge; they are the ones that push and inspire a team to follow.
The entrepreneur sits in the driver’s seat and has the ability to change direction, accelerate, slowdown or even stop a venture.
According to Joseph Schumpeter, “an entrepreneur is a person who is willing and able to convert new idea or opportunity into a successful innovation.” Entrepreneurs create something new, something different out of nothing and they change or transmute values.
As an entrepreneur or prospective entrepreneur, there are some features, traits, attributes that you must possess and exhibit to achieve success.
CHARACTERISTICS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR
There are some attributes entrepreneurs possessed and portrayed that directed them to their path of success. As a young entrepreneur, you have to check yourself and know where you are lagging and try to improvement. Remember you cannot doing the same thing all the time and expect a different result. Now let’s look at some of the qualities.
- The drive to succeed no matter the obstacle or challenge
This is a very important attribute that entrepreneur possesses and a prospective entrepreneur should possess same for without this, there is no need to start up a business.
For every successful entrepreneur, there is a drive, will, push and motivation to succeed against all odds.
This is one important characteristic to succeed in life so every entrepreneur or prospective entrepreneur should have it in them. Having the ability to control the inner person, take decisions and stick to them, having a sense of responsibility of getting the job done which fosters self-direction.
- Ability to take risks
The process of entrepreneurship is about taking risks. Entrepreneurs have the ability to take greater risks to achieve greater success but mind you, not all risk takers are successful. For you to be a successful entrepreneur, you must know when to take risks and know the risk that will be beneficial and harmful to the business or yourself.
As prospective entrepreneurs, you should plan before taking risks and make a plan B (in case of a mishap).
“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying” – Jeff Bezos
- Creative thinking
Not all creative thinkers are successful entrepreneurs but this is a bedrock for being an entrepreneur. A successful entrepreneur is a creative thinker with loads of ideas constantly flowing through your mind. The rapid and eloquent ability to think of a wide range of new ideas helps an entrepreneur to initiate different types of business in a unique and creative way.
- Entrepreneurs are never satisfied
This is part of the success drive and this makes the want more and long for more. They just can’t settle for less or mediocre results, they aim higher than where they are presently. If they have six, the want twelve.
Entrepreneurs have the never quenching hunger for success and this makes them not satisfied with their current status quo.
- Entrepreneurs love what they do
Let me ask this rhetorical question. Why venture into a business if you do not have passion for it? When you love what you do, the job won’t be seen as a burden but an avenue for greater things.
It is just like when a student has love for learning, he or she doesn’t see going to school, reading and the learning process as a burden but an avenue to improve.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do” – Steve Jobs
- Entrepreneurs love competition
As students, we face competition every day from our peers in school and outside school. An entrepreneur always strive to be the best because “good is not enough” to them, they want more. The constant striving for perfection means they stay ahead of our competitors, they push forward and never look back. Great minds like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and many others embraced competition as it was an avenue to get better and smarter and this made them stand out in the world today.
- Entrepreneur are hard working
Working hard is one of the characteristic of a zealous entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, you know that it takes a lot of work to get a business off the ground and start moving and should be willing to put in the time. When you know what you want and what you are striving to achieve, then you know you have to give your everything (time, resources and effort).
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi
- Entrepreneurs have self- confidence
For you to excel as an entrepreneur, you must believe in yourself. No time for inferiority complex. Every successful entrepreneur believed that they could achieve success in one point of their life and this propelled them to work and put their best.
Self- confidence is a propeller to taking risk and innovation. Entrepreneurs always believe they can do it, they do not have time for impossibilities and “what ifs”. They just move and PUSH (Press Until Something Happens).
“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember you can achieve.”
–Mary Kay Ash
- Adaptability and Flexibility
As entrepreneurs, we have to roll with the punches, flow with the tide so as to go far. For the young entrepreneurs, you should be flexible, adapt to changes in technology, competition, pricing, environment, government policies and so on.
“Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.” – Sam Blakely
- Entrepreneurs are Determined
Successful entrepreneurs show a high level of determination. They are never willing to give up even in the face of adversities and challenges until they get what they want. They don’t see giving up as an option as they continue to move and PUSH (Press Until Something Happens).
The characteristics of an entrepreneur are endless. As a young entrepreneur, which of the aforementioned characteristics do you identify with? This is a question to ponder on.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION TO STUDENTS
Entrepreneurship education focuses on developing real-world skills that will help students to live exceptional lives in a rapidly changing world. Like I said earlier, entrepreneurship education does not benefit only those in the field of science, technology or business. It favors every field of knowledge in their own way.
Here are some of the benefits of entrepreneurship education to students.
- Prepare students for an uncertain future and teach them basic skills
It is said that the future is very much uncertain due to some change either positive or negative. We live in an age of unfamiliar global and technological metamorphosis. Students are faced with indefinite, unpredictable and flicker future full of complex global, economic, social and environmental issues.
Entrepreneurship education teaches students pivotal life skills that will help them navigate this uncertain future. These skills include problem solving, team work, leadership roles, communication, self- confidence, empathy and also learning that failure is part of life and growth process as helps to get better ways of doing things.
- Enhances creativity
A creative person always take different approach to a problem and that’s what makes a major difference. Entrepreneurship education encourages creativity, innovation and collaboration that molds the students into a competent or capable individual strong enough to face the reality of life outside school. This will enable them to start their journey in the market with a strong foundation.
- Develops problem identification and solving skills
Identification of problems is the first step before solving them. When you identify a problem, you are already one step closer to solving it. Students need to learn how to identify problems before they learn how to solve them.
Entrepreneurship education teaches students to identify problems they have never encountered before because in the real world, problems can only be solved when they have been properly identified and described.
- Boosts leadership quality and self-confidence
Leaders are always needed for guidance and direction. A student that is interested in making a difference will certainly succeed in paving a pathway. In the process of learning entrepreneurship skills at a young age, the students tend to incorporate new skills and start thinking like a leader.
- To make the community a better place
It has been seen that entrepreneurs are the backbone of any society and community. They drive innovation, job creation and national economic growth. Entrepreneurship transforms your community into a more attractive place to work, live and thrive.
So the question now is, would it not be great to give the young generation the tools to transform the economy and society at large?
Therefore, to ensure communities have a pipeline of the next leaders and job creators, we must teach entrepreneurship in schools. We build the sense of self- efficiency and give the students a head start to be the next generation of job creators and community strengtheners by channeling and directing them towards being future entrepreneurs.
SKILLS THAT ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION CAN TEACH STUDENTS
Entrepreneurship education can teach students some pivotal skills such as:
- Self- confidence ( how to speak in public and prepare an effective presentation)
- How to identify and solve real and complex problems that don’t have a definitive answer
- How to collaborate and work with a team
- How to take risk, when to take risk and to know the risk that will be beneficial
- Creative and innovative thinking
- Ability to set goals and achieve those goals
- How to use social media as an advocacy tool
Introducing students to entrepreneurship will develop their initiative and helps them more creative in whatever they undertake and to act in a socially responsible way. Students learn to understand the product development cycle.
Let us give them the key to a bright future and let them make the future of our society bright and great.
When I’m old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say ‘wow’, that was an adventure not ‘wow’ I sure felt safe” – Tom Preston- Werner
Can You Answer 50% of This Quiz Questions?