Can entrepreneurship be taught?

Before, answering the above question, let us try to answer another question, “Can you teach someone to fight for a cause?”.The answer, in my opinion, is big emphatic “No”. Who taught Mahatma Gandhi to fight for India’s Independence? I hope you agree with me when I say that no one really taught him to pick this cause and fight for it, unto death. Although, you can’t teach an individual to pick a cause and fight for it, you certainly can inspire him/her to do so.

I consider entrepreneurship to be a cause, a cause to solve a certain problem that you are passionate about,a cause to create jobs, a cause to create wealth, a cause to stimulate the economy.  Now, How do you teach students to take up this cause? Well, you can’t.Thus, in my opinion, entrepreneurship can never be taught in a traditional class setting. The entrepreneurship classes offered by most business schools can certainly teach some useful tools, but, an entrepreneur does not need them from the get go. He/She is better off learning them on demand.

To create entrepreneurs, universities/colleges should brand entrepreneurship as a “cool” and “exciting” cause and inspire all of its students to be associated with it. They should create an agent on campus that continuously draws students to this cause and spreads the “entrepreneurship” message that

  1. It is “ok” to take high risks.
  2. It is “ok” to be overtly optimist.
  3. It is “ok” not to enter the traditional 9 to 5 workforce.

Also,one of the most effective ways of nurturing entrepreneurship on campus, is to hire faculties that are entrepreneurs and not just entrepreneurial.

In short, to create entrepreneurs, universities/colleges should stop teaching (it doesn’t work anyways) and start inspiring future entrepreneurs.


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