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Apr, 19 2010

Entrepreneurship education

ARE you cut out to be an entrepreneur? This is what most experienced entrepreneurs would ask if you tell them about your plan to start your own venture. But, is entrepreneurial talent God-gifted?

ARE you cut out to be an entrepreneur? This is what most experienced entrepreneurs would ask if you tell them about your plan to start your own venture. But, is entrepreneurial talent God-gifted?

Many would argue that to a certain extent this may be true, but many skills, which are needed for success, can definitely be acquired by training and education.

Grooming entrepreneurs

“Entrepreneurship requires two types of skill sets; first is a particular personality type and second is technical skills,” says Aseem Chauhan, Chancellor, Amity University, Rajasthan & CEO Amity Innovation Incubator, who is an entrepreneur as well as an educator. Skills like risk taking, networking and vision are in-born and cannot be taught though education or training. But technical skills like that of marketing, venture capital, business inception can be cultivated through education and learning.”

Although, you might be an excellent cook, you might not know how to start a restaurant or run a food joint. A formal training in entrepreneurship will not teach you cooking but will train you to start and run, say, a food business.

“According to a study conducted by the 'National Knowledge Commission', education definitely is one of the key parameters for creating entrepreneurial ventures,” says Satya R. Acharya, Asso Faculty, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI).

“An entrepreneurial culture drives creation of wealth from knowledge and generates impetus for further innovation. Post liberalisation postgraduates, MBAs with certain years of work experience contributed more to creating new ventures in India. In fact, after the growth of the I-T sector and other knowledge-based industry, the number of enterprises being taken care of by such educated people is increasing every year,” adds Acharya.

Entrepreneurship education in India

Chauhan figures that entrepreneurship education started in India much before other countries. “Children were taught entrepreneurship in the family. They were involved in the family business at a young age and learnt the business on-hand. Universities and institutions have just helped in formalising it,” he says.

Many institutes offer courses in entrepreneurship. Leading institutes like IIM-A, IIM-B and Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI), Amity University and many other offer such courses. There are both full-time, two-year courses as well as short term diploma courses. Institutes also have full time MBA courses specialised in entrepreneurship or business development and leadership. These courses groom entrepreneurs with a practical approach to the area.

Among the myriad courses that are offered by institutes, what kind of courses should one join? Radha Iyer, a faculty at K.J.Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, who teaches entrepreneurship, says, “If the course content has a combination of theory and practice it certainly is beneficial.”

Such courses are attended by people of all age groups, starting from early 20s to the late 30s. The probability of people with some industrial exposure setting up a business is more. Not just young students but experienced faces also come to learn.

Entrepreneurial education and Incubation

Almost all the institutes which specialise in entrepreneurial courses have incubator cells. These incubation cells incubate companies of students from these courses as well as other courses.

While entrepreneurship education involves classroom teachings an incubator cell can be called the entrepreneurship lab.

Incubation is the process where  industry experts help an entrepreneur in converting an idea  in to a successful venture whereas in the academics apart from imparting various skills provides inputs on  subjects  like  marketing, finances, international business, human resources along with project management, secession planning etc. The incubation on the business idea is facilitated by faculty experts, consultants, domain experts along with bankers who provide valuable inputs from funding aspects. At the end participants have more confidence on the success of their respective business ventures.

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