The importance of entrepreneurial education for young children

Photo by bill wegener on Unsplash
Photo by bill wegener on Unsplash

Entrepreneurship has a tremendous impact on the economic development of a country, so much that entrepreneurship is seen as a solution for the fast changing economic demands worldwide and has been recognized as a path to sustainable economic development. Jose C. Sanchez-Garcia (Ed.) in Entrepreneurship Education and Training

Now what do we know? Entrepreneurs are risk-taking individuals who aspire to succeed in business. They’ll endure every hassle, if that’s what stands between them and their success. For these individuals’ success drive is measured by the distance between the entrepreneur and the desired outcome- which in most cases is economic freedom.

It is commonly believed that entrepreneurs have the ability to spot opportunities in the market where some people will see problems. This in turn helps individuals with a high entrepreneurial propensity to transform and change their communities and economies.

The underlying proposition for entrepreneurial education is that, it is the only best possible way available of harnessing our abundant resources with economic consciousness. The reason behind the proposition is also that children, when invested in will become better future change agents. We’ve already seen what entrepreneurially illiterate leaders are capable of. Haven’t we?

We’ve seen stagnant economies and general developments. Or worse yet, we’ve experienced declension in our economic productivity. That in turn has led to the impoverishment of millions. Now we don’t want that to continue. Or do we?

Entrepreneurship should not be just about making money or acquiring wealth, but should be seen as a unique opportunity to uplift the nation and communities at a grassroots level.

What is entrepreneurial education in our case?

In the international literature, ‘entrepreneurship’ is derived from the French verb ‘entreprendre’ which means to take your bare hands and do something. Each person has the ability to make something from nothing, and the education aspect of entrepreneurship can be both formal and informal. – Jose C.

We’ve always been taught to secure employment. A great majority of the learned today, are in a sense crucified by their academic qualification. They’re educated, yes. But for what? To stay at home doing nothing. To party hard? I think not. They were promised, as all of us were, that thorough schooling meant ease in getting employed. Which in turn meant life of ease. It would seem that much time was placed in preparing factory workers.

And up to point, we all are aware that somebody must have dropped the ball too soon. No one took time to teach any of us issues of financial management. In a word, our education is lacking.

Looking at the future prospects, it is only normal to believe that children should be taught otherwise. They must be equipped with marketable skills and necessary knowledge. They ought to be raised up as a business-inclined generation. The current education system mustn’t attempt to offer a cleaner version of its current output. It must be discarded.

A new era of entrepreneurial education must kick in. Education can use already existing channels, both formal and informal. Ever heard of the term apprenticeship? That’s a typical informal mode of education in which case, children will be learning through observing those older. This can also be seen as an exit strategy.

In a sense, no talent or skill is lost or wasted. Meaning the economic dynamism remains as long as there are people. Children are taught marketable skills through hands-on practice.

The aspect of entrepreneurial education is institutionalized, with carefully planned education programs. What makes this different from the current education system, is the fact that children as early as pre-school can actually be taught about business.

Basic fundamentals can actually be instilled at an early age. Children in primary schools can be taught about entrepreneurial endeavours and wealth creation. Think about the future where all are entrepreneurially literate. What will the economic climate look like?

In keeping with vision 2030, it becomes evident that national reforms should consider entrepreneurial education. Education that involves segment when a student actually starts out into the business world. So that SMEs will mushroom everywhere and lead to vibrancy in our economy. Vocational schools must also be seen as catalysts to this effect.

Fostering entrepreneurial education in any economy is critical as it will lead to creative manpower and a successful workforce with better skills to meet the demand of the economy. – Jose C

Entrepreneurial education will ultimately make it easier for financial institutions to lend money to aspiring entrepreneurs. Financial institutions cannot afford to lend money to uneducated or uninformed entrepreneurs as it will seem as if they are throwing money away or making a negative investment. Equally important, the already global markets we have necessitate entrepreneurial knowledge.

Kent (1990) has put succinctly that education can make a difference to the supply of entrepreneurs in developing economies.