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Entrepreneurship is for All

I started my career almost 2 decades ago and in that era of 2000’s the world knew of two major directions of work – service or business. If you were educated you chose a service with the government or with a private MNC, the ones who chose to do business generally came from business families or were outliers who had to break the social norms as it was not a conventional norm to take up business.

Lots has changed over the past 2 decades and the world of careers in India has the emergence of a big superhero “Entrepreneur”. What used to be an exclusive domain for the few is now enticing all. The very idea of business or trading has undergone a generational shift, and today it's all about the “Entrepreneurial Idea”. Barriers of money and family backgrounds are no longer the hurdles that used to be to start your own “Enterprise”. The eco-system around the idea of Entrepreneurship is also very encouraging these days – the government has come up with its own encouraging policies like Start Up India, Make in India etc., the parents and society do not look at a typical start-up with negativity that it looked in the past, it's pretty cool to be an entrepreneur.

While the world around us has changed its outlook towards Entrepreneurship, it has now become a buzzword in the school space as well. The irony of most schools is that every new fad becomes either a special course or gets a hyped mention in the marketing brochure. I worry that in all this noise and the hype the real idea of introducing children to ‘Entrepreneurship’ may be lost.

Having started multiple entrepreneurial ventures and funded many more over the years here are some of my observations around the idea of introducing ‘Entrepreneurship’ in schools.

  • Not all students are meant to be scientists, but that does not mean that all students should not learn science. The idea of schooling should be to expose all students to new ideas and concepts like Entrepreneurship.

  • The 3 pillars of a good enterprise are Idea, Plan & Team

    • Ideas change the world - All good ventures start off with an idea that solves the problem in the world. Exposure to the world and its issues is important for students. Internships, real-world projects, social work etc. are great tools to build empathy that’s the core to solving problems.

    • Business Presentation & Fund Raising - How does the idea become a reality? Who will fund the business and how will it grow? Can you convince the world to believe in your dream? The good old debate/theatre clubs need to be given a fresh lease of life and refurbished to help support presentations. Fundraising for social causes is a great way to introduce students to this idea.

    • Team is the key – Who will make it happen? This learning is best experienced not in traditional classrooms but in the playgrounds, on-stage events and life skills workshops.

A lot of times when I look closer at some of the old traditions of schools I do realise that they gave a great foundation to building future generations. Most of what you may want to empower in the name of Entrepreneurship has been an integral part of schooling in the past. Before you build a good Entrepreneurship program in your school, look into your basics and reinforce it.

Entrepreneurship is not one course or a club activity or subject it should be a combination of multiple school activities.

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