On developing an “entrepreneurial disposition” in students

I think teaching entrepreneurial disposition to adolescent students (say, in Std 9-12) can be a game changer for our education set-up. As you can imagine, such young people will prosper in the rapidly changing work-life, where many jobs/careers will vanish and new ones will come into existence. Children with entrepreneurial disposition will create jobs by creating new enterprises, as well as, while working within an enterprise.

By entrepreneurial disposition (let’s say, ED) I mean two inclinations – one, problem-solving to make life better for people (and thus add value to their life), and two, thinking on a scale. As you would notice, I have not mentioned “profit-orientation”. I believe profits would follow if one is bringing value to people’s life. Also, entrepreneurship also includes “social entrepreneurs”.

As you can imagine, solving a problem (to add value to people’s life) needs using the knowledge and skills one has learnt in the school and otherwise. In addition, new knowledge and skills may need to be learnt to solve a problem, and that would require “independent learning” skills. Therefore, ED and learning to learn (which I talked about in my earlier blog) go hand in hand.

I believe getting students to work on real-life exploratory projects from the early stage can give them a kick-start to building their ED. Many times, a project done at some early stage becomes the seed of an entrepreneurial venture! At Shikshangan, we have done a good amount of work on training students in entrepreneurship. In my next blog I intend talking about how to engage students in exploratory projects.