Enterprise Education: A new dimension in skill development

The country today needs skilled workers and others with skills in engineering, research, accountancy, law, and a hundred other subjects. However what is needed most is perhaps leaders and visionaries who have the insights to establish the businesses of tomorrow. Considering the vast size and population of India, the country has a shortage of well-run, well-managed companies. Such companies are necessary because they add value to the economy and create jobs and wealth. There is a need for such companies in India today because a job crisis may lie just over the horizon. Many leading thinkers have hinted of an emerging job crises in India and many credible reports have been published stating that the vast majority of engineers and graduates in India are unemployable.

The job market in India is in a state of constant flux and most graduates across India have poor job prospects. Hence there is a dire need to make many younger Indians self-employable. Unless proactive steps in this direction are taken quickly, what many in India have been proclaiming as India’s demographic dividend will turn into a demographic disaster when millions of graduates in the coming years are unable to find employment. What is needed in India is a new generation of entrepreneurs who understand business and how to create wealth; something which often does not demand a rigorous education. The next generation of business leaders must have confidence, good interpersonal skills, and the right education and training.

How Enterprise Education can create business leaders

Unlike learning other subjects, learning entrepreneurship is slightly more challenging because those who are willing to learn how to be entrepreneurs must already have some of the right mix of qualities. Enterprise education, however, allows those with the right qualities to learn how to excel as business owners. There is a dire need for new businesses in India especially as the world is being transformed by digital technologies. The need of the hour is to create entrepreneurs who can leverage the newest technologies and business methods to create viable and profitable businesses. Enterprise education helps create such entrepreneurs by helping them learn the skills needed to excel in business, allows them to see running their own business as a viable career option, and allows many who are searching for jobs to think beyond just being an employee to becoming a business owner and potential employer.

Advantages of Enterprise Education

Nearly every school and college in India awards grades to students. Such grades determine the kind of institute of higher learning a student will attend as well as the kind of job a student will eventually perform. However, enterprise education does away with a simple pass or fail grade and incorporates real life into the learning process. By incorporating real life into the learning process enterprise education allows students to learn from their successes and failures, which is how people actually learn.

Learning in such a manner instills in students qualities they will need to be leaders and successful business owners. Those who undergo enterprise education grow more self confided, self-reliant, and become determined to succeed. Once students have these abilities they are better poised to succeed in a globalised world and are better able to lead and understand how to take advantage of new technologies. Perhaps the most exciting facet of enterprise education is that it can allow almost anyone to acquire the ability to be a successful entrepreneur. Seen in the light of what may be an emerging job crisis in India there is a dire need for such education because it creates job creators rather than prepare people for jobs.

What does Enterprise Education teach?

Enterprise education prepares people to be at the helm of their own enterprise. To run an enterprise a person should have qualities such as the ability to identify real-world problems and to use strategic thinking to solve such problems. Running a business also demands a business owner have the ability to think critically and creatively to overcome barriers and challenges. A business owner should also understand the advantages of innovating and realise that innovation is the key to success in business. In addition to teaching the skills mentioned above, enterprise education also teaches students how they can take measured risks and how they can take the right decision despite having incomplete information in certain situations. Students who undergo enterprise education also learn how to take responsibility of others and themselves as well as how to be accountable for their actions and of outcomes. Such qualities are essential for sound leadership and enterprise education teaches students such skills.  

Also, enterprise education teaches how people can work together to achieve a common goal and how someone can work independently to achieve their goal as well. Finally, someone who undergoes enterprise education also learns how to collaborate with external organisations, authorities, and groups. Every business leader must have excellent interpersonal skills and enterprise education allows leaders to hone such skills so that they can bring people and groups together towards the fulfilment of a set goal. The qualities mentioned are essential for the success of future leaders and because enterprise education can help people develop such qualities, it is a new dimension of teaching and will play a major role in helping skilled candidates become capable entrepreneurs.   

Authored by Preet Sandhu, COO, All India Technical & Management Council

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