Can entrepreneurship really be taught?
I attend the University of Michigan where I major in communications and minor in entrepreneurship. I've heard it said many times that entrepreneurship can't be taught & that you either have it or you don't. While to a certain extent I believe that statement, I also have greatly benefited from my courses at my university -- one even pushed me to finally start my natural product line! However, I have always believed that I would own my own business & in turn, have had the desire to be an entrepreneur but what about the person who doesn't like entrepreneurship? Can they be taught how to become a great one? If you're either born to be a great entrepreneur or not, will teaching really help you? Is it worth spending top dollar on an education for? #college #money #entrepreneurship
I don't think it's an ability at birth. If a person doesn't like entrepreneurship, they shouldn't do it. If they do, but need help in some areas, they should have the courage to admit their weaknesses and enlist help. There are many types of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial opportunities. You can be an entrepreneur or founder without being a CEO, for instance.
As for education, it depends how much drive/motivation you have, and how much knowledge you already have or are actively obtaining about your industry. I would recommend becoming an industry expert and spending time learning from others. I think some level of schooling is very important, but you don't have to get an entrepreneurship degree or an MBA if you're willing to fight to push your work forward. I think these degrees can set people up for great success if they have the time and money to invest. But even the most educated people could also be unsuccessful with entrepreneurial ventures.
I think the important thing to remember is that there are many paths to personal fulfillment and success. Do you want to go to school and expand your mind before digging into your own idea? Or are you dying to work on your idea? Let your motivation/excitement drive and direct you.
G. Mark’s Answer
Like many skills, entrepreneurship first requires a passion. But after the passion, due diligence is required to take advantage of the expertise of others who came before you. Most businesses have competition, as you know, and knowledge of a market is not evenly distributed. Also, the vast majority of businesses all require the same basics. Business planning, knowledge of the existing solutions for the need or problem to be addressed, knowledge of management of your resources. You need to study basics like how to get funding, how to manage supply chains and suppliers, how to manage financing, how to attract and manage any employees. The first thing you need is a problem or need to be addressed. Then you need to investigate whether it's a need worthwhile enough to support a business. To do that, recall Newton's words, "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants." A sure way to goof up a business is to ignore the fact that there are lots of smart people that can give you information. That's how the world will teach you to be an entrepreneur once you've got your solution in mind.