Here’s why schools should include entrepreneurial skills in their classrooms

Education and entrepreneurship networks are considered one of the most influential forces improving the health of the start-up economy. We also need “ready-to-go” business platforms through which budding entrepreneurs can access knowledge, technology, networks and capital to start their journey. An example is eSamudaay, a first decentralized local e-commerce platform for India.

The eSamudaay technology platform provides Business Mentors, local digital entrepreneurs, producers, delivery agents and consumers with all the digital tools necessary to be able to set up and manage a locally managed digital market.

How schools can introduce entrepreneurial skills

We also need to instill the spirit of innovation locally and reboot our education system to create entrepreneurs instead of just preparing students for jobs. Educational institutions can play a particularly important role in creating a solid foundation of innovation and entrepreneurship to enable aspiring entrepreneurs to successfully build high-impact businesses.

Educational institutions should create an environment where students should be encouraged to question, debate and observe to create new ideas where they are not afraid to take risks and fail. They should have the opportunity to discover new solutions, to experiment, to refine and validate solutions and to present new ideas on various aspects of life.

In order to make students aware of the possible benefits of being an entrepreneur, a core program in entrepreneurship should be incorporated into the regular curriculum as an elective subject. The future belongs to innovators and leaders. Education is an important factor in determining the entrepreneurial orientation of individuals.

Formal education is positively correlated with entrepreneurship.

Education and training can play a definite role in enhancing entrepreneurship in the context of a developing country like India by expanding the pool of entrepreneurs who can contribute significantly to the economic growth and development.

Incubators and entrepreneurship cells:

Universities in India have started to respond by creating entrepreneurship incubators and cells where students have access to appropriate resources and guidance from professors as well as business mentors. Education is no longer just for school and college students, but is expanding to include learners of all ages, who need to update their abilities to stay relevant in a dynamic world.

A number of initiatives have been taken by the government in recent years to develop entrepreneurial skills which have been included in the new national education policy of India.

Initiatives such as Villgro, Unltd India and Bharat Inclusion Initiative have supported local entrepreneurship to solve problems in sectors such as agriculture, health, environment and rural supply chains.

India has a critical mass of experienced entrepreneurs who are now forming networks that can provide the knowledge capital needed to catalyze the next generation of start-ups.

Networks like 1by0GRIT, Acenet and others bring together entrepreneurs, professionals and investors who can pool their knowledge, technologies and networks to help accelerate the development of new businesses. In the post-Covid economy, value creation is an ongoing process of ever-expanding cooperative social networks, tacit knowledge and entrepreneurial capital that combine to generate rapid societal impact.

Startups are one of the most powerful engines of wealth creation, employment and economic growth. Startups can act as a vehicle to achieve the next level of economic growth and social development. India began its journey to become one of the fastest growing startup hubs in the world, and today it has the third highest number of tech-focused product startups, after the United States and the United Kingdom.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor estimates that around 20% of Indians (aged 18-64) intend to start a business within the next three years, while over 11% are first-time entrepreneurs. Since June 2020, the number of new companies incorporated has increased significantly, and this trend is expected to continue. But volumes alone are not enough.

The sobering fact is that 45-50% of businesses don’t make it through the first year.

Therefore, the need of the hour is to improve the pass rate. Entrepreneurship is not a sprint or even a marathon. It’s like training for a marathon. If we can find a way to put more emphasis on the core business fundamentals such as cash flow and profitability of these new businesses and develop the courage of founders to keep improving, the India’s goal of a $5 billion economy by 2024 will be achieved.

Written by Anup Pai, Founder and CEO, E Samudaay

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