Home' Forge : Vol 2 No 2 Contents We must act now to develop the next
generation of venture creators.
The federal government's innovation
focus must be accompanied by a
strong commitment to embedding
entrepreneurship teaching in schools,
universities and vocational education
Frankly, there has been too much talk
about innovation and not enough
about those who create commercial
or social value from ideas: the
entrepreneurs. And there's not nearly
enough thought as to how Australia
will develop the next generation of
outstanding venture creators.
We must resist the outdated thinking that
entrepreneurs are 'born rather than bred'
and cannot be nurtured through learning
and training. We cannot just hope that
more entrepreneurs who have the skills
to commercialise Australian innovations
on a global stage will emerge.
That is not to downplay the importance
of entrepreneurs who have never had
formal training in this feld. The vast
majority of entrepreneurs learnt about
their craft the old-fashioned way: on the
job, and through a series of successes and
failures. Some took up entrepreneurship
because the education system did not
recognise their talent.
We should also not assume that education
will develop tens of thousands of successful
entrepreneurs, or guarantee their success.
So much about start-up entrepreneurship
cannot be taught in classrooms. The only
way to learn it is by doing.
But there is a big prize to be won in
exposing talented young Australians to
entrepreneurship at school, university
and TAFE. Done well, it will deepen the
pool of potential venture creators, help
identify and foster talent, and produce
more entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship
education can also give students the skills
to navigate a rapidly changing labour
market: a world in which part-time
or contract work is the norm in many
industries, and in which more people have
portfolios of micro-jobs and/or ventures.
Sadly, our education system seems
years -- possibly even decades -- behind
this rapid move to self-employment and
Forge magazine offers six suggestions
to policymakers on entrepreneurship
1. View entrepreneurship education as
a mindset, not a collection of tools. A
key factor inhibiting entrepreneurship
education is its status as a 'business
subject'. Ultimately, it is about
helping people identify and evaluate
opportunities, and create value from
them. It's too important to be left in
2. Start early. There's no reason that
entrepreneurship cannot be taught at
primary school (business creativity),
then secondary school (innovation)
and universities (commercialisation).
Some schools are introducing
entrepreneurship education, but it's
not enough, and too much of it is
about running small businesses.
3. Create entrepreneurship heroes.
We turn elite sports stars and
artists into heroes to inspire young
people. It should be the same with
entrepreneurship. Let’s profle
successful young entrepreneurs, as
Forge does each edition, and use role
models to promote the appeal of
entrepreneurship to young people
who are suited to it.
4. Teach entrepreneurship broadly
at university. Every course at every
university should include one or
two mandatory entrepreneurship
subjects. From architecture to zoology,
university students must be taught
how to turn their ideas into businesses,
should they choose that path.
5. Recognise entrepreneurship
learning. The United Kingdom has
considered creating entrepreneurship
'passports' to recognise the learning of
students who create ventures or work
in other start-up ventures through
internships. Formal recognition of
entrepreneurship experiences will
attract more students to this feld.
6. Don't forget the TAFEs. Arguably,
entrepreneurship education makes
more sense in vocational education
than in university education. Many
entrepreneurship students want
vocational on-the-job training, not
academic theory. Imagine if state
governments created vocational colleges
that specialised in entrepreneurship
education, and helped thousands of
students who are more interested in
vocational study than university.
This is only a fraction of what is needed
to develop a larger pool of skilled
entrepreneurs who can commercialise
innovations. And it will take years
-- probably decades -- to develop an
education system that is capable of
helping more students create their own
jobs. We must start now.
You will fnd many stories about
outstanding entrepreneurs in this and
other issues of Forge. We are passionate
about helping to develop a stronger
culture of innovation, entrepreneurship
and wealth creation in Australia.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Forge.
As always, email your comments or
suggestions on Forge to
David Haratsis, publisher, Forge.
From the publisher
Innovation policy must include entrepreneurship education
From the publisher // 1
Links Archive Vol 2 No 1 Vol 2 No 3 Navigation Previous Page Next Page