To any entrepreneur: if you want to do it, do it now. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it.” – Catherine Cook
Early education plays an important role in developing characteristics that are critical to becoming successful entrepreneurs. Self-confidence, autonomy, a strong work ethic, ambition, empathy, and “an internal locus of control” are essential characteristics of an entrepreneur, giving them the drive and personal abilities to make their goals a reality. Entrepreneurship education is an effective tool for installing these particular qualities in children. These programs reduce apathy in participants and increase their motivation to achieve success, which plays a significant role in motivating people to become entrepreneurs, particularly young women. These educational exercises give students a greater sense of self-control and higher self-esteem, and when programs utilise hands-on, experiential learning techniques they can also increase innovative thinking skills.
This education has a real impact on the success of start-ups and business owners. Developing entrepreneurial competence in adolescence increases the likelihood that those individuals will be successful as adults, and one study found that developing entrepreneurial skills as a teenager is a greater determiner of progress than having a PhD or receiving support from friends and family. Furthermore, cultivating entrepreneurial skills in teens may also improve the likelihood that they successfully start multiple ventures.
Additionally, if entrepreneurship programs focus on science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) applications, they can also play a role in promoting STEM education among adolescents. Programs provide adolescent teens with role models and a peer group of like-minded individuals, which are two important factors for encouraging young people, particularly young girls and minorities, to consider STEM careers.
Most importantly, though, cultivating entrepreneurial qualities in students helps them across every profession. Innovativeness and ambition are critical drivers in professional success, while high self-esteem and self-control provide students with the confidence and discipline to realise their dreams. These skills and characteristics are critical to working in any profession, and by developing these qualities, entrepreneurship programs can help transform teenagers into successful young professionals.
This is the true benefit of entrepreneurship education: the tools it provides are immensely beneficial both inside and outside of the business world. For those children who aspire to be business owners, it allows them to jumpstart that process by testing out and experimenting with ideas. For those children who dream of becoming doctors or lawyers or teachers, it helps them develop skills to innovate and succeed in their field. Entrepreneurial education is more than just building a business plan and marketing a product. It’s about learning how to recognise opportunities and capitalise on them, and that’s a skill every young professional should have.
A born entrepreneur may have been born with the tools help them become successful, but this is not true for everyone. There are many examples of gifted innovators that missed the boat on financial and business success because they did not know how to manage the business side of the business.
A good entrepreneurial education will not only benefit those who want to go into business for themselves. Young children who are encouraged to be free thinkers can achieve much more than their more restricted peers. Adults exposed to successful people may also discover their potential for a more fulfilling career and life. A successful entrepreneurial education is not about school; it is about life.
In conclusion, perhaps the greatest factor that determines whether or not an entrepreneur will be successful is not the business idea itself, but rather the entrepreneur’s willingness to try (and keep trying) to turn the idea into reality. Great ideas are abundant, but it’s what we decide to do with them that counts. You know what the usually say, go big or go home, it’s that time whereby you must know your business strategies very well.