Building Youth Entrepreneurship Through Education

Though people say and believe that Leadership is born and cannot be learnt, the saying may not hold ground in all circumstances. When it comes to Youth and Entrepreneurship, a sustained effort to build leadership or entrepreneurial ship definitely helps and yields results.

Youth Entrepreneurship is an amalgamation of attitude, character, behaviour, passion, natural orientation towards entrepreneurship and leadership sharpened by training and building awareness and skills necessary to become entrepreneurs.

A good leader alone may not make a good entrepreneur and a good entrepreneur need not necessarily be a savvy leader. It takes a lot more to become a Youth Entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship as an attitude can be nurtured and developed in the youth at early formative stages. Integrating Entrepreneurship development as a part of the high school curriculum and expanding the same stream into college and university levels helps to give impetus to the budding entrepreneurial minds and allow them to give shape to their ideas and dreams. Sustained educational and awareness building programs combined with training in business skills helps develop a culture that promote enterprise.

Canadian Government’s effort at building Youth Entrepreneurial ship and the ‘Youth Entrepreneurship challenge, Quebec’s - A three Year Action Plan’ is a benchmark in the area of building Youth Entrepreneurship through education.

Starting in 2003, the Government has invested over 20$million to building Entrepreneurial culture amongst the youth. As per the plan the committee works extensively with the education sector including Primary, Secondary as well as University levels and other student and teacher communities to integrate a holistic approach towards introducing Entrepreneurial education as a part of the curriculum. They have also conducted extensive training sessions covering educators and counsellors to include entrepreneurship development agenda in their teaching and syllabus.

As a part of the initiative, various initiatives including conducting awareness campaigns and trainings at family and community levels, introducing entrepreneurial awareness and initiatives at all industry and official platforms have been undertaken thereby creating a buzz around Youth Entrepreneurial development.

The efforts have not been limited to building awareness and training teachers but the organisation has also established several initiatives to support the young entrepreneurs and help incubate their projects. They have also introduced the concept of mentoring and training the Youth entrepreneurs by providing them with business management skills. The most effective action has been to support micro-credit projects promoted by Youth Entrepreneurs.

Recognising the importance of introducing Enterprise education amongst the youth, countries like US, Canada and Australia have already inculcated Business Management studies as a part of the normal curriculum in the education system and have also established specialised higher education courses that help create well informed, well trained and wise entrepreneurs who are able to take the lead in creating and establishing new ventures and growing them into organisations that create and provide more jobs in the market.

Globally education system is still not equipped to inculcate Enterprise education as a part of its normal syllabus. The reasons could be very many ranging from lack of interest from students and their parents, lack of adequate material and infrastructure for training, absence of qualified and suitable teaching faculty and many more reasons.

However in the field of higher education we see the education in the Universities being integrated with industry where in Corporate provide required support and participate with students in their projects and studies.

Quoting Henry Ford - “A country’s competitiveness starts not on the factory floor or in the engineering lab. It starts in the classroom.”

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