Education providers in Nepal understand that the growing interest in entrepreneurship education is an opportunity to provide formal education to individuals looking to start their own business. Over the years, there has been an increased interest in entrepreneurship among students from different backgrounds
At business schools, we learn to cater to customers’ needs by primarily learning about their weaknesses or difficulties they encounter during use. The identification of these weak points and their basis for new business ideas have led entrepreneurs to cater to the specific needs of the consumer.
From this perspective we can understand why many schools market themselves as providers of specific educational or learning programs. In other words, educating people in specific areas is also part of giving consumers, in this case potential students, the opportunity to actively address their vulnerabilities.
Educators in Nepal have developed new programs that allow an explicit type of consumer.
Numerous colleges offer curricula that are new, unconventional, and follow certain trends that are currently popular in the marketplace.
For example, social media marketing is being taught as the popularity and importance of social media has increased. It’s also an extremely popular way to start new businesses.
Similarly, there are programs that combine information technology practices with the concepts of general management and allow students to learn different concepts from both areas.
Likewise, universities around the world conduct surveys with their PhD students to refine the curriculum and better respond to market trends. The modern education system has thus become unconventional and adapts to the current needs and wishes of society.
Likewise, education providers in Nepal have understood that the growing interest in entrepreneurship education is an opportunity to provide formal education to individuals wishing to start their own business.
Over the years, there has been an increased interest in entrepreneurship among students from different backgrounds.
Hence, the registration of 275,433 new small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the country in 2019 is an opportunity for Nepalese educators to market their entrepreneurship education.
The transformation of the Nepalese education system has been demonstrated through various types of courses, programs, and international college affiliations.
Programs specializing in entrepreneurship education are also a result of this transformation.
In addition, the curricula on offer are designed to provide students with a comprehensive system to help them learn to address issues related to starting their own business, pre-ventures, startups for growth and maturity.
Hence, there is a growing entrepreneurship community in Nepal that is focused on both entrepreneurial development and formal degrees.
But there is a question: why should entrepreneurship education only be given to those with this particular inclination? Why not teach entrepreneurship to middle and high school students? I think early entrepreneurship training will allow students to realize different opportunities.
In our society, students are told from a young age that there are good prospects for life in traditional courses such as medicine, engineering, nursing, and banking. I remember saying as a child I wanted to be a doctor.
I also remember vividly a conversation I had with a high school friend who got bad grades. She said, “I don’t feel bad about this because my parents made me pursue this area.”
However, we are evolving as a society and we recognize that career opportunities should depend on the child’s interest, talent and abilities. So I think introducing an entrepreneurial mindset at a young age will help students with potential start their own businesses.
However, research conducted to assess the effectiveness of early entrepreneurship education found that such programs were not 100 percent effective tools for promoting entrepreneurial intent or skills and had only modest results in changing the entrepreneurial interests of participating youth . However, this does not mean that the program showed negative results.
On the other hand, the results of the study also showed that children who were part of the treatment group improved their self-efficacy, performance needs, risk tolerance and analytical skills. Students also showed more proactivity, improved creativity and perseverance after the program. Therefore, including the program in the curriculum would not affect the education of the students.
One of the main concerns of entrepreneurship education is that not all participants can afford to pay for higher education.
Hence, the early education programs are a better way of providing potential entrepreneurs with a stronger foundation.
Among other things, the narrative we received through social media posts and quotes is that successful millionaires are usually college dropouts.
Yes, these individuals were talented enough to accomplish their goals without a college degree. The passion and drive these people explored in starting their own business cannot be repeated in a classroom. But we should also look at the educational background of the CEOs of the top Fortune 500 companies, most of whom were business school graduates. A good education will help an entrepreneur become a versatile leader who doesn’t focus on just one area.
Entrepreneurship training teaches students to anticipate mistakes and actively seek them out. At a business school, students also receive coaching from various experts and people with similar backgrounds, as well as networking opportunities.
Formal entrepreneurship training is more of a blessing for an individual as it will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Bhatta holds an MBA from King’s College specializing in Marketing
A version of this article appears in print for the Himalayan Times on February 3, 2021.