How to Educate Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs

Monday, December 2, 2019

How to Educate Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Role of University Entrepreneurship Ecosystems

The notion that starting one’s own business is a substitute for college, or at least that college isn’t consistent with the idea of entrepreneurship, has not been true since our grandparents or great-grandparents’ generation. Yet we hear more about how Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college than we hear that other very successful entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma and Ariana Huffington actually graduated from one. Just google “successful entrepreneurs who went to college”; you’ll instead get a number of links to entrepreneurs who never finished or never went to one in the first place.

While the legend of the billionaire college dropout entrepreneur makes for a good news story, this is far from the norm. Figure 1 shows percentages, among the adult population and among entrepreneurs, who have completed a post-secondary level of education in 23 countries. As this figure demonstrates, the majority of countries have a much higher proportion of entrepreneurs with a college degree compared to the general population. In fact, more than half exhibit twice the percentage of college educated entrepreneurs as does the general populace. With our entrepreneurial hats on, we can surely say this represents an opportunity. If so many entrepreneurs have gone to college, can we increase their preparation for this endeavor during their studies? In so doing, we can enhance their skills and confidence in ultimately building impactful, long-lasting businesses. (Read more…)

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