On 23rd April the World Economic Forum’s Global Education Initiative (GEI) released a report entitled “Educating the Next Wave of Entrepreneurs”.
The report, developed by a number of global experts including Dr Shai Vyakarnam, Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL), Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, looks at the importance of entrepreneurship education in meeting the global challenges of the 21st century.
The release of this report raises one of the questions that is rarely asked in business – can entrepreneurship be learnt? All too often we see entrepreneurs as people who were born with the gift. Either you can do it or you can’t.
But, I’m not so sure this is the case. All the successful entrepreneurs I’ve met have had a combination of skills, knowledge and confidence, and by talking to them in some depth it has become apparent that the skills and knowledge have all been acquired through long-term dedication and an openness to learning new things. The confidence might be innate, but equally that may come through the acquisition of those skills and that knowledge.
So, this report is an important contribution to a debate which needs to take place. We need our entrepreneurs to be looking around them for advice – for mentors who can inspire them, for courses that can guide them, and for books that can inform them.
If we are to build the entrepreneurial society of the future we must never let business success be simply an accident of birth.