Entrepreneurship education helps students from all socio-economic background to think outside the box and nurture unconventional talents and skills.
It also creates opportunities, ensures social justice and instils confidence and stimulates the economy.
On a broader note, it is not just the business school who must take up the initiative to include entrepreneurship education in the curriculum. Basically, entrepreneurship education is a lifelong learning process and can therefore start right as early as elementary school and progressing through all levels of education, including adult education as well.
The global business changes are taking up at such a stunning pace that the entry-level professionals barely have the time to acclimate themselves to a new company, a new competitive environment or new operational requirements. The challenges faced by young workers include lack of experience, a complex corporate world and business education which majorly theoretical and out of sync with companies’ day-to-day needs.
So here are some worth considering as well as simple ways to help universities put their degree on the competitive map and empower students effectively, readying them for productive careers. The approach of Higher education institutes must be -
Educating About, For and Through Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurial education is often categorized into three approaches - teaching ‘about’ implies it is more content laden and theoretical approach aiming to give a general understanding of the phenomenon. This is mainly a common approach and universities need to climb the next step.
Yes, for the higher education institutions to make it a blend of both theoretical and practical, it’s important to follow the other two approaches of entrepreneurial education. Teaching “for” entrepreneurship means an occupationally oriented approach aiming at giving budding entrepreneurs the requisite knowledge and skills. Teaching “through” means a process based and often experiential approach where students go through an actual entrepreneurial learning process.
While the about and for approach are relevant primarily to a subset of students on secondary and higher levels of education, the embedded approach of teaching “through” entrepreneurship is relevant to all students and on all levels of education.
Take a look at how this About, For and Through Approach to teach Entrepreneurship can work practically-
1. Put emphasis more on Case studies
Case Studies are an effective method to spur students’ curiosity, putting them face-to-face with real-life business situations. As students learn on the past or present corporate success stories and operational hiccups, it actually gives the students a deeper dig into processes and procedures that executives follow to make decisions.
The entrepreneurial study should help students get a clear picture of how managers thinking pattern works and how they formulate plans to analyse a situation, evaluate alternatives, choose a solution as well as track progress over time.
2. Link Curricula to the Real-World Business Challenges
Higher education institutes can also link the curricular to real life business challenges. Say for instance, the teachers wants to show the students how promotional fulcrum for many businesses work, they can do it by showcasing how companies make use of social media marketing to do it. By doing so, students will not only learn on social media operations but get a practical insight of the medium’s usage pattern.
3. Build opportunities for the students to Participate in Social Entrepreneurship contests
One of the ways in which students can get involved in hands-on activities and find engagement is by participating in some type of entrepreneurship contests. It includes both social entrepreneurship businesses that may focus more on a social cause and tech start-up ventures. The apprentice and Shark Tank have received critical acclaim from all over the world.
In fact, a group of institutions can also come together and sponsor such contests for the students to participate and learn much from hands on activities.
4. Collaborate with Businesses & Invite Business Executives
Universities can have partnership agreements with businesses whereby they regularly send students to work temporarily as interns at specific organizations. Entrepreneurship-in-Residence programs are an advantage for the Universities because it pairs successful entrepreneurs and start-up founders. The entrepreneurs offer students real-world perspective of business and entrepreneurship.
Further, colleges can also invite business executives and ask them to teach a full course, make presentations and share their experiences with students.
5. Initiate Consulting Services to Small Businesses and Nonprofits
By starting consulting Services, Universities can make the business study engaging. In this activity, professors can take an active role in consulting the team of students to formulate operational priorities and guide students while they are involved in the consulting engagement.
This can be a great boon for students as they learn the maximum of practical stuffs and tact to cope with business tedium and non-profit leaders.
6. Help Students launch their Individual Business Project
Universities can work in partnership with student entrepreneurs and institutions such as Small Business Administration to conduct market research, obtain finance and create viable businesses. The student entrepreneurs learn in the process and his/her classmates expand their practical knowledge.
7. Emphasize Technology Topics in Curricula
Technology has asserted its supremacy on today’s global economy. So, the idea is to not to simply plug in academic programs that includes- coding, programming and computer-hardware courses but also explain the students the strategic usage of using them to innovate, communicate, advertise and make money and which companies and entrepreneurs are doing it right now.
8. Last but not the least, the world is increasingly becoming a global entity and taking such into consideration, Universities must foster global exchange programs. Institutions can invite students from varied culture and professional background in exchange programs and also send their students to the other institutions for the same. These education exchange programs help students with immense practical exposure and therefore thinking the larger interest of the students’ wellbeing, universities should look forward to such programs.