Entrepreneurship can be taught! Yes, you read that correctly. At Kinetic, we believe that beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic; entrepreneurial skills are a must-have for today's students. Having entrepreneurship learning in a school curriculum is crucial to equip students with entrepreneurial skills. In this article, we will explore the reasons why. But before we argue whether entrepreneurship can be taught or not, let us look at how various organizations around the world define entrepreneurship:
What is Entrepreneurship?
The Kauffman Foundation, which is an American based organization that focuses on promoting entrepreneurship. According to the foundation, entrepreneurship is "the act of creating a new organization or business that is focused on the development and delivery of innovative products or services."
Harvard Business School, one of the most prestigious business schools in the world, defines entrepreneurship as "the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled."
In our own layman's understanding, entrepreneurship involves identifying a gap or a problem that needs to be solved in the market or society, then you proceed to develop a solution for it. The solution can be in the form of a product, service or a combination of both, and it is normally aimed at meeting the needs of the target market. Entrepreneurship also involves the process of creating and delivering value to customers, and generating revenue through the sale of the product or service to sustain the venture. For this to be a success, one requires a deep understanding of the target market, effective marketing, innovation, risk-taking, and effective management of resources. It is important to remember that the end goal of entrepreneurship is to create a sustainable and profitable venture that provides value to both the entrepreneur and society at large.
While some people may have a natural ability to be successful entrepreneurs, it is believed that anyone can learn the necessary skills and develop the right mindset to become a successful entrepreneur. Bill Aulet, wrote a book known as the Disciplined Entrepreneurship.
Disciplined Entrepreneurship, your guide to becoming a successful entrepreneur
In the book, he argues that to be a successful entrepreneur, you must have great and innovative products. All the other factors that influence success are nothing without a product. And the process of making a great product can be taught.
Bill talks about various myths and misconceptions people have about entrepreneurship. The third myth in this book is about an entrepreneurship gene. Society at large believes that certain people are genetically predisposed for success in being entrepreneurs. The truth is, there are real skills that increase the odds of success, such as people management, sales skills, product conception and delivery. These skills can be taught. They are not genetically gifted to a few lucky souls. People can adapt and learn new behaviors, and entrepreneurship therefore can be broken down into discrete behaviors and processes that can be taught.
The Current Education System and its Limitations
Education is the process of obtaining knowledge, skills, beliefs, and attitudes through a variety of learning experiences, including formal education, on-the-job training, and independent study. It is a continuous process that enables learners to advance intellectually, socially, and emotionally as well as preparing them for their various roles in the society. Education can take many forms and can be formal, non-formal, or informal, and is essential for personal and societal growth and development.
Why the Unchanging Curriculum?
When you look keenly at the history of the invention of the wheel, you realize that the world has not only changed rapidly but there has also been significant evolving. Things like technology, work, civilization etc have changed rapidly. One of the main areas that has stagnated is education and the way a majority of us learn. With the evolving trends, the current education system that lays emphasis on exams and results, we lack the ability to solve the challenges that this century presents.
Now, let’s look at some of the limitations in this sector.
1) Limited Emphasis on Practical Skills
There is a limited emphasis on practical skills in our current education system. Students are frequently not taught the practical skills necessary for their future success in the existing educational system. Such skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication.
2) One-Size-Fits-all Approach
The system also provides a one-size-fits-all approach. The only issue with this learning approach is that it assumes life is linear and a standard curriculum is created for the students which may not meet their individual needs, interests, or strengths. On the other hand, entrepreneurship and life in general is not linear. What works for a particular person might not work for the next one. This is how we analyze challenges and develop solutions that specifically address them depending on the circumstances.
The Benefits of Equipping Students with Entrepreneurial Skills.
There is an urgent need for students to be equipped with entrepreneurial skills at a young age. No matter which career path the students choose in the future, entrepreneurship skills are essential for them to navigate in the 21st century. The aim is not for them to own business ventures or become entrepreneurs. These skills are essential in their daily life as they become established members of society. At Kinetic we believe that students should learn entrepreneurship skills because:
1) Collaboration and Teamwork
When students are learning entrepreneurship, it will often involve them working on projects, tasks and ideas that require them to collaborate while working in teams. As students work on developing a business idea, they need to work together with others to generate and refine ideas, conduct research, develop a business strategy and bring it to life.
When this process is happening, students learn how to communicate effectively, manage tasks among the team, and also handle interpersonal dynamics. By assigning each themselves tasks that they are capable of delivering, they end up learning how to leverage each other's strengths and compensate for each other's weaknesses.
2) Lifelong and Continuous Learning
Entrepreneurship forces one to continue learning and being innovative. This life long learning is not just within your specialty, but entrepreneurship allows you to learn about all the building blocks within your organization. You will have an opportunity to learn about marketing but also you will be able to learn how to do sales and talk to clients even though originally you might be a software engineer working on the project. When students learn such skills, they will invest their time in continuous learning out of the classroom and even after their school journey. This creates a culture for them to always seek ways to keep learning and improving in every aspect of their life.
3) Financial Literacy
Entrepreneurship teaches students about financial literacy by introducing them to business principles and practices related to starting and running a business. Some of the principles learnt in this process include budgeting, cash flow, and profit margins. Students gain knowledge about how to evaluate financial information, establish future plans, and make informed financial decisions. This hands-on immersive learning experience helps students build the skills necessary to succeed financially in any professional path and offers insightful information about personal financial management.
4) Fostering Problem Identification and Solving
The world is changing rapidly and the problems and challenges we face are becoming more complex and sophisticated. There is a need for students to gain the ability to identify problems before learning how to solve them. In the old and normal school curriculum, problem-solving exercises are a norm. However, the same cannot be said when it comes to identifying problems. In school problem-solving skills are taught by giving students problems that have already been well-defined by others. Problems in the real world can only be resolved after they have been accurately recognized and explained.
By engaging in entrepreneurial projects and activities, students learn how to identify problems they have never dealt with before. This fosters a mindset of creative problem-solving, risk-taking, and adaptability, all of which are important traits for success in today's fast-changing world. This skill is much needed now and will continue to be needed in the future.
5) Encourage students to make the world a better place.
When students learn entrepreneurship, they are encouraged to identify problems in society and develop innovative solutions to solve them. By creating and implementing solutions that address social issues around them, students can make a positive impact on the world while also creating economic value. This economic value can be in the form of job creation or financial stability for themselves. When they are motivated by a mindset of problem-solving and creating a positive impact, they inspire to be agents of change and create a better world. Teachers and other educators in general should be empowered to encourage their students to be motivated by a desire to help people through entrepreneurship.
How Kinetic can help you establish an entrepreneurial program in your schools
At Kinetic, we are on a mission to nurture the next generation of young entrepreneurs. Whether you are a head teacher, principal, director of clubs and societies, you play a critical role in shaping the future of Africa's youth. By embracing the Kinetic platform, you can help your students develop an entrepreneurial mindset, enrich your school's curriculum offerings, and empower your teachers.
The Kinetic entrepreneurship curriculum will provide your students with real-world skills that prepare them to succeed in the 21st century. Our entrepreneurship curriculum will enhance your existing curriculum and take your school's education program to a new level. Undergoing this program will enable your students to discover their strengths and develop their problem-solving skills and be able to fit in this fast moving 21st century world.
Case study of Crawford International School.
Recently, we partnered with Crawford International School in Kenya. We have launched our hands-on immersive, project based entrepreneurship program at their campus in Tatu City.
Crawford International School has been recognized by The Excelligent in an annual listing of The 10 Leading Schools in Kenya in 2020 for strengthening educational foundation by empowering students. The school's commitment to providing students with a well-rounded education, including the development of practical skills, aligns perfectly with our program's goals and mission of nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs.
The students at Crawford International school are excited to be part of our systematic entrepreneurship program. The program takes them through every step of the entrepreneurial journey. From ideation to market research, prototyping, and customer engagement. The students will also have a chance to perfect their communications skills by doing presentations and pitch demos of their projects. By doing this, they will equip them with practical skills and knowledge necessary for success in the business world.
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