Entrepreneurship as a subject in higher level education in India

This article is shared by Abishake Koul ,IIM Lucknow 3rd runner up in Evolve 1.0

The buzz word which has caught everyone’s attention in current Indian scenario is entrepreneurship. The ones to get involved in the frenzy are not only college students but also professionals who are leaving their well-paying jobs to start a company. The start-up revolution is leading to many attempts by budding entrepreneurs but the success rate is not very good. It stands at a dismal 10% looking at the general trend. Also, the risk factor associated with starting your company is huge as individuals go on to put a lot at stake. It goes on to show that there is a need of including entrepreneurship as a subject in the curriculum.

Entrepreneurship as a subject requires a holistic knowledge of things as one is starting a new company and should know the knit wits of designing it. One of the most important aspect is identifying the need for a new product/service or identifying an opportunity to provide existing ones in a better way. At the same time one has to make sure that your idea has the potential to make it big. If entrepreneurship is taught as a subject, these are things which can be incorporated.

In the modern day, companies are looking at individuals with entrepreneurial spirit as they want people who are willing to risk and do something out of the box. It goes on to highlight the importance of starting entrepreneurship as a subject in higher level education. Along with providing knowledge in the field, the subject can include stories as examples which can act as a motivational factor to the students. These stories are important as they will teach the value of patience and persistence which are very important while starting a company as one can’t give up during the process. Also, with subject knowledge and examples of what goes wrong when starting your own company, the failure rates of those wanting to start their own companies can be reduced. In Indian context, entrepreneurs face difficulty during the funding stage as families and friends are reluctant. Including it as a subject will focus on this aspect as well.

Many people argue that entrepreneurship is something which is self-driven and can’t be taught. But there are some abilities which can be developed by teaching like problem solving approach, time management, critical thinking, working in teams and communicating efficiently.

Some challenges in introducing Entrepreneurship as a subject include finding the right teachers and right methodology to teach the subject. The teachers need to be trained so that they can deliver effectively. The Entrepreneurial School (TES) project & The Edison Project in Europe is actively promoting training teachers to embed entrepreneurial learning in schools. Also, the subject can include case studies and live project work. As a subject, entrepreneurship will encourage learning which is not from the books, the more conventional method of learning which will lead to more time in its acceptance.

Entrepreneurship is transforming the Indian economy. Entrepreneurs are generating employment and giving boost to India’s GDP. Examples like Facebook and Flipkart go on to show the impact start-ups have had. It becomes very relevant to debate on the inclusion of entrepreneurship as a subject in higher level education in India. An entrepreneurial culture in schools and colleges can give a boost to local start-ups and small businesses along with making students more self-reliant.

– By Abishake Koul,IIM Lucknow

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