Why do we need entrepreneurship education ?

Translated by Maria Oikonomou

Based on the original article in Greek by Σπύρος Κατρανίδης

Education is a significant process, aiming to learning and providing knowledge to the individual, in order to survive in the future as an independent one. But what happens when the knowledge and skills acquired today are considered useless in record time? What should I do when I live in a period of time where the illiterate is not the one who does not necessarily know how to read and write, but the one who is unable to evaluate, acquire and put into practice the knowledge that will offer him or her personal and professional development? How do I adapt to the non-stop changes of our time?

The term entrepreneurship education, although there is no clear definition (there is also the term business education that focuses more on businesses) and without being limited to business development, refers to the strengthening of young people’s attitudes and entrepreneurial skills, in order to be used in different aspects of their lives, regardless of their career, as employees, consumers and citizens.

But the question is, why is entrepreneurship education important?

entrepreneurship educationIts importance has been highlighted by many researches as it enhances a plethora of soft skills, which are utilized not only during the career, but also for solving everyday-problems, improving the quality of life and society. It is well-noticed that start-up companies seem to have a higher success rate due to people who have entrepreneurial skills. Entrepreneurship education creates a qualified professional staff capable of coping with change, creating new ideas and putting them into practice. This has as a result the increase of staff’s productivity and GDP, the decrease of unemployment and the creation of wealth. It is clear that it is a very important investment with long-term benefits.

In this way skills are developed and…

  • young people are trained to plan, take risks, evaluate, judge and make the best possible decisions. They can also think and evaluate the implementation and outcome of the plan.
  • the performance of a number of areas is being improved, like the one referring to school, studies and profession.
  • decision-making, taking the initiative and problem-solving are strengthened. Interpersonal relationships, teamwork, collaboration, communication and leadership skills, essential elements of coordination and flexibility, are developed as well.
  • young people form an opinion and a point of view, with the ability to confront an issue or problem and the possibility of support.
  • they learn about time and financial management.
  • psychological effects such as self-confidence, self-esteem and satisfaction.
  • learn to improve and bounce back after failure.
  • they are led to the set-up and management of companies with a greater chance of viability.

But in which way can entrepreneurship education be put into practice?

  • through activities that stimulate the development of skills by assigning tasks to one or more individuals with case studies. In these, the participants take a stand on problems and propose solutions (preferably innovative ones).
  • participation in entrepreneurship competitions.
  • by advising non-profit or small companies.
  • participation of professionals in the educational process.
  • exchange programs.

Entrepreneurship education has been one of the EU’s priorities since the early 2000s and of OECD. It is the 4th of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and is part of the curriculum of both schools and universities. However, in Greece only this year started to be included in the curriculum of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools with pilot nature courses of entrepreneurship and innovation, as a distinct subject in the skill workshops. Obviously, more radical changes are needed in order to leverage entrepreneurship education, which will upgrade the educational system and bring multiple benefits.

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