How does Australia unleash a new generation of entrepreneurs who create and commercialise ideas, experiment and take risks, fail and succeed, and build wealth for themselves and the community? A generation of young entrepreneurs who, over time, will help this country stimulate higher innovation, lift productivity and wean itself off the mining boom.
The Venture will address these issues in a series of blogs on start-up entrepreneurship over coming weeks. The series aims to stimulate debate on how this country can encourage and help a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs pursue their dreams and succeed in business ventures. The goal is to give more voice to smaller enterprises in a business debate that is always dominated by big companies.
There is so much potential if tens of thousands of young people pursue innovation and entrepreneurship, in their own venture, large company or not-for-profit. The pay-off may take years and will only happen if some big obstacles to start-up entrepreneurship are lessened through innovative thinking. We have to start somewhere.
This is where you, the reader, can help. Send through your ideas on how the federal and state governments can encourage and assist start-up entrepreneurship and innovation.
Make a noise. We need fresh voices and ideas.
What’s your view?
- What will it take for young people to start ventures, rather than waste years in a series of dead-end corporate jobs?
- How do we help a new generation create their job rather than simply apply for it?
Last week’s blog, ‘Rethinking entrepreneurship education’, looked at a key obstacle for young entrepreneurs: access to finance. It argued for a radical rethink of student loans, to combine university business education with low-cost government funding, to start a venture. Many thanks to readers who emailed suggestions and encouraged me to pursue this idea.
This week’s contribution argues that young people need more exposure to fast-growth entrepreneurship and innovation concepts much earlier in their training. All too often, these concepts are taught in stand-alone business degrees, when the real potential is embedding entrepreneurship subjects into specialist degrees across a wide range of disciplines.
I once taught opportunity evaluation to a group of final-year undergraduate engineering students. It was easily the most promising class I taught, and miles ahead of those studying general business degrees. Watching bright young engineers embrace entrepreneurship concepts and apply them to their inventions was a privilege. I wondered why so much business education is taught as a stand-alone discipline when the real entrepreneurs arguably don’t need it.
Yes, I know many university courses allow undergraduate students to take business course electives, or offer such subjects in their degree. A law degree might offer a subject in practice-management, for example, or a pharmacy degree might offer training in running a business. And many students combine degrees, such as business and law.
Much of this training is about managing resources, rather than the entrepreneurial mindset of identifying and managing opportunities.
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