With the emergence of the startup culture, this is the perfect time for India to train its workforce and inspire people towards entrepreneurship or self-employment.
Great economic minds throughout history have identified the link between entrepreneurship and development. Lately, India has implemented several structural reforms to promote private sector development and entrepreneurship. India’s economy has grown considerably during the past few years and the country is poised to become the youngest workforce in the world by 2020 with 64 per cent of its people belonging to the workingage bracket of 15-64. This demographical advantage gives India an unprecedented edge to emerge as a global economic leader. Experts believe this vast young pool, if skilled well, can lead to an additional 2 per cent GDP growth rate in the coming year. With the emergence of the startup culture, this is the perfect time for India to train its workforce and inspire people towards entrepreneurship or self-employment.
Entrepreneurial learning is a growing area in education and many schools in India, including the Global Indian International School (GIIS) Chinchwad, have begun including it in their curriculum.‘Quest’ is one such flagship program introduced by GIIS where the young creative geniuses can pitch their potential ideas for an innovation to experts from relevant industries. Panel discussions likes “Building entrepreneurship skills and mindset: Is it now a requisite for future readiness?”are focused upon to familiariseand prepare students to set them in the right direction for understanding entrepreneurship at a young age.
There are a variety of ways that institutes can integrate entrepreneurial learning for their students. This can be done through:
Teachers can setup a year-long project for which they introduce ‘brainstorm bins’ in the classroom, a box in which students can put in their business ideas to be worked on during the year. This would make the students think of creative ways to execute their vision in real-time as well as encourage them to work on their problem-solving skills.
Every now and then students complain about various aspects of school. Institutes can convert this into a proactive process by encouraging students to present solutions to these real life problems. This helps students cultivate relationships with their peers, while providing a boost to their self-esteem, and encourage problem-solving instead of complaining.
Following the concept of the popular TV show, Shark Tank, institutes can now conduct a similar process for their students. Judges for the same can be local entrepreneurs, which will also give students a chance to network with actual entrepreneurs who can impart practical knowledge and solutions.
Schools should reach out to organisations that specialise in conducting programs for entrepreneurial learning. Big Idea Week and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship are among the organisations which offer the same.
While it is important for teachers to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in students, it is equally crucial for them to not to be discouraged by failure. Students should be taught to learn from their failures and understand that willingness to start over from scratch is one of the key traits of successful entrepreneurs.
Students should also be motivated to work on developing skills such as personal branding and building professional relations. Entrepreneurial learning is thus a novel way of developing students, not just for future employment, but also for their personal growth. This will help transform young minds into well-rounded individuals who can be prepared for the challenges to come. India needs to pay more attention to the skills required for entrepreneurship but most importantly, improve the education system through a greater focus on entrepreneurship courses.
The article is authored by Dr Amrita Vohra, Principal, Global Indian International School, Chinchwad.