To succeed in any career you need training. An accountant would not be able to complete a tax return without being shown which boxes to fill; similarly a manager would not be able to relate to their team without having learnt about working practices. Then why should becoming an entrepreneur be any different?
Although we may be born with a natural aptitude for a subject or discipline, any skill is able to be improved if there is a willingness to learn. Therefore it’s important to provide budding entrepreneurs with the knowledge to develop their own business. And this includes helping them learn about core business areas such as sales, finance, marketing, accountancy and management, as well as broader ranging skills such as effective communication, adaptability and maintaining confidence.
The advantage of teaching such skills over more traditional subjects is that they are not uniquely relevant to an entrepreneurial career path. After all, you can be an entrepreneur in any field, so it stands to reason that the skills needed for starting your own business would also be desirable in terms of being an employee.
Having proof of such a range of business relevant skills would make for an attractive candidate in most fields. Therefore, as the skills taught in entrepreneur courses are generally applicable to all areas of industry, these types of courses do not pigeon-hole creativity and opportunity to a specific career.
Similarly, skills associated with entrepreneurs, such as money management, financial literacy and interpersonal communications are also relevant and beneficial for day-to-day life.
However, the benefits of entrepreneurial teaching spreads further than being purely personal; it is also good for society. Entrepreneurial innovation and new enterprise are essential for a country to be globally competitive, with new technologies creating new jobs.
Further to this, even those who instead choose to pursue employed careers, are more financially literate so they are more likely to save and invest, making home ownership and a secure retirement more likely.
There is also evidence to suggest that teaching children subjects that are more applicable to real-life life, such as those most associated for entrepreneurs, makes them more interested in education and more willing to learn in the long-run.
From an economic perspective, the benefit of entrepreneurs to society has never been in doubt. However, it is unfair and lazy even, to believe that unlike every other career available, entrepreneurs are born and the relevant skills cannot be taught.
Therefore, if society is to enjoy the benefits that entrepreneurs bring, it is only fair that we equip them with the training to do so. On the reverse side, the personal benefits of an entrepreneurial education spread far further than purely the business world leading to an arguably more prosperous livelihood.
What do you think; do you think as a country we should be doing more to help develop our entrepreneurs?