Entrepreneurship Education and enterprise creation

Entrepreneurship is regarded as one of the important determinants of the industrial growth of the country. The dearth of the entrepreneurial and managerial skill is one of the most common problems being faced by all under developed economies. Entrepreneurship is to be promoted to help the alleviation of the unemployment problem, to overcome the problem of stagnation and to increase the competitiveness and growth of business and industries. Various attempts have been made to promote and develop entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship Education (EE) is one such attempt to address the need of society at the grass root level. India has a pioneering status among developing countries for its early start on a variety of entrepreneurship education programmes. For the most part, entrepreneurship education in post-independence India has been focused on measures designed to encourage self-employment and founding of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). As the economy transitioned from being primarily agrarian into one that has significant contribution from other sectors, it was felt that the most pressing requirement was education that would enable need-based entrepreneurs to make forays into these emerging sectors. Consequently, in the 1960s and 70s, entrepreneurship education was almost exclusively delivered in the form of training programs, offered by institutions under the aegis of State and Central Governments, and by financial institutions receiving support from the Government. Considering the need and importance of educating the students at a very early stage and also to orient the teachers on entrepreneurship for imbibing the idea with broad objectives, three broad approaches were adopted for entrepreneurship education

  • Awareness Creation at school and College levels
  • Faculty development Programme on entrepreneurship
  • Introduction of Entrepreneurship as a subject at the school,college and university level.

Entrepreneurship Awareness Camps for school and college students  are often very successful in terms of enthusiasm ,response and feedback. It definitely has some long term impact as students are sensitised on possibility of looking at entrepreneurship as a career option and they also come to know about the institutions and organisations involved in entrepreneurship development.In most of these camps very positive and successful stories are shared with the participants and the qualities needed to be successful are emphasised.This often acts as a motivation for many and helps in realisation of the need to develop the achievement drive. Through experience ,it is observed that less than 1% of the students who undergo an awareness camp get interested to take a step further.Those who do are normally students who already had a strong desire to start their enterprise. A very small percentage (less than 10% )remember what they had learnt during the training and get back to the facilitating bodies later.They often start searching for more information on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. Another 30% remember the good experiences they learnt or heard during the camp and atleast remember the trainer.Rest can recall when asked and many are indifferent. The recall rate often depends on how effective the trainer was.

Faculty Development Programmes : It has been almost two decades now since Faculty Develoment Programmes on Entrepreneurship Development was initiated. In these programmes,the teachers are sensitised on need for introducing entrepreneurship as a career option for students.Apart from the concept of entrepreneurship, various inputs involving stakeholders of the entrepreneurial eco-system  are given to the teachers.The teachers after attending these programmes are capable of organising Entrepreneurship Awareness Camps  and initiating Entrepreneurship Development Cells.It is however seen that over the years very few teachers trained in Entrepreneurship Development  have impacted lives of students through entrepreneurship programmes.While the immediate feedback post training is very encouraging ,however the environment in the Institutes  often acts as a deterrent  to initiate activities related to enterprise development.Teachers often end up by organising an awareness camp and that remains as a one time activity .Very few  who end up starting a Entrepreneurship Development Cell  do so because of complying with NAAC mandate or because of support of College authority.

Entrepreneurship as a subject has been introduced as a part of curriculum at the school/college and university level  but this initiative has hardly created any impact on enterprise creation.It often just remains as another subject which needs to be learnt for assessment  at the examination.The moment any subject becomes a part of a curriculum it becomes exam oriented .There is no doubt a great need to introduce the subject at the school and college level but pedagogy and assessment criteria needs to be relooked.

Ultimately, the successful implementation of entrepreneurship education depends on teachers and the pedagogy they apply in classrooms and thus teachers’ role in delivering and ‘shaping’ entrepreneurship education is of paramount importance. Through teacher education they should be equipped with the specific skills and knowledge to implement the pedagogy of entrepreneurship. Traditional methods of instruction based in the classroom have been shown to be poor means for the development of entrepreneurial skills and attitudes. In contrast active learning methods in which teachers become coaches and facilitators help learners to experiment and learn about themselves. Also, an emphasis should be put on pedagogies that allow students to experience and feel the concept – a changed learning context is thus beneficial: the classroom can be supplemented with

practical, hands-on experiential learning opportunities, bringing the outside world into the school.

Above all they should retain the goal of all educators which is to develop young people who have a passion to create, grow and learn.

Effective entrepreneurship training does impart specific knowledge and skills, but it must also convey a mindset — one that embraces a certain amount of risk and is ready to learn and bounce back from repeated failure. Because of the cultural divide, teachers till date never encouraged students to become entrepreneurs. Social studies classes would sometimes address entrepreneurship as an economic fact, but does not involve students in personal career exploration — and other academic classes rarely address the subject at all.

It’s all of our responsibility as parents and teachers to open as many doors as possible for youngsters so that they can choose from. We should actually raise and guide children/youngster not to be anything in particular – that’s a choice they’ll make by themselves.

But give great

  • education,
  • discipline,
  • a strong sense of self-confidence,
  • an appropriate level of fearlessness and comfort
  • with appropriate risk-taking, and more than anything
  • not being afraid to fail.

If these qualities are engrained in them, it helps them to think of entrepreneurship too.

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