There are several barriers that must be destroyed before the entrepreneurial ecosystem can flourish. Basically, these are based on the fact that in all cultures there is a sceptical and sometimes even hostile attitude towards entrepreneurship. Media, especially television, during the recent years has begun to deal with this through various competitions and other shows with entrepreneurship at the centre. For instance British “Dragons Den” and its American counterpart “Shark Tank”, while the Swedish “Draknästet” was closed down by the Swedish state television. This is one important source from which the entrepreneurial wave will form and it forms a vanguard of attitude-transformation. The school system as a whole is still struggling with taking the first stumbling steps to overcome suspicion and fear.
The study’s authors identify firstly a basic structure of high-quality entrepreneurship education. It should contain a combination of excellent classroom instructors and meetings with numerous different entrepreneurs. This is because very few teachers have practical experience of entrepreneurship and few entrepreneurs are good teachers. At the same time they raise a warning against anecdotal stories of successful projects since it only helps the learner at the margin. Since the market in different industries are very divergent and that markets are changing constantly. Therefore the authors call for a hands-on, project-based, multi-disciplinary and non-linear approach. The road to accomplish this goes via the Internet and other information technologies.
In the same way as it is not possible to learn a new dance just by studying the dance-step-schedule, learning about entrepreneurship requires activity, which means action with reflection. The authors of the study propose a combination of several methods:
-Simulations and other forms of game activities, which is best carried out by the computer screen
-Interactive teamwork and group activities
-Direct action-based market research and interview with potential customers to identify demand
-Purchase- and sales event with real money
-Educational visit to the entrepreneurial firms
-Meetings with entrepreneurs who can act as evaluators of business plans and other activities that student have done
-Student-driven company that uses real money, both in society and in school, perhaps with an entrepreneur as a mentor.
To all this, the Internet can be a good forum to begin the activities.
“Digital tools offer particularly rich learning possibilities. Youth entrepreneurship education must continue to pioneer use of digital learning strategies and techniques. Digital games, simulations, animation, film and digital arts, and immersive environments may be especially well suited to youth entrepreneurship curricula.”
Steve Mariotti & Daniel Rabuzzi, The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship
They also claim that entrepreneurship education should not be limited to the traditional school day and school year since entrepreneurship is an endless undertaking. Especially as the goal should be that students learn to work with a handful of basic principles of entrepreneurship, including:
-The joy of entrepreneurship and to provide services to others, ownership, and to generate profit
-Investigate and analyze the market potential
-Empathy – “learn to walk in customers’ shoes”
-Competitive advantage and build brand
– “Laws” of supply and demand
-Results on investments and calculus
-Create attention to services and products
– “Think out of the box”
Certainly, training must be adjusted to the age of the learner, but also by the “See One, Do One, Teach One” principle, in other words individualization, not only preparing for the entrepreneur’s or intrapreneur’s daily work, but also for the knowledge society in general. It is this form of work which gradually replacing the old Henry Ford’s assembly production line principle in the knowledge society. Other skills that is essential for success is language, for instance advanced knowledge of English. Tourist English is not good enough anymore in the professional working life.
Article Author: LarsGöran Boström