Entrepreneurship Education

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Ofen Unavailable or Lacking Substance

A few years ago, I participated in a business start-up and financial planning workshop.administered by a nonprofit organization, now out of business, and sponsored by a financial institution that most people around the country would know immediately.

To prove business knowledge I was required to review a CD and other educational materials then complete a written test. The section about money matters and personal finance was hilarious… and disturbing.  One of the questions about money management stood out.  The corresponding  multiple-choice answers listed the option of burying the funds under a rock.

Really?

Needless to say I decided not to participate in the program for other reasons but I wondered about the mindset of the person who designed the learning materials.

My experience was not unusual. Consider the following:

College Survey Results
“In a 2011 survey, 88 percent of young people said that entrepreneurship education is vitally important, given the new economy — and yet 74 percent of college students had no access to entrepreneurship resources on campus. And when resources were available, most students felt they were woefully inadequate,” writes Cathy Ashmore Ph.D., executive director for the Consortium of Entrepreneurship Education.

Survey states:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

There are many reasons for the lack of adequate entrepreneurial education, such as political agenda, science, math, technology or class bias.

Regardless of the reason, other issues interfere with entrepreneurship education. For instance, jargon-filled concepts such as capitalism and free market enterprise, or aspirations to be like super entrepreneurs Bezos and Zuckerberg. Issues that create unrealistic goals and keep many aspiring entrepreneurs from understanding the real-world concepts they should know about self-employment even if owning a business is not a goal.

References

Slide Show
Youth Entrepreneurship Study
Slide 39 Stats
http://tinyurl.com/mx9gzpa

Why We are so Bad
At Teaching Entrepreneurship
Cathy Ashmore, 2012
Time.com
http://tinyurl.com/bpr76mk
Summary: Many students never learned real-world
entrepreneurship skills in school. The article discusses
some of the reasons why despite tremendous interest in the subject.

Entrepreneurship Education is
Hot But too Many Get it Wrong
Businessweek.com
http://tinyurl.com/k9tcr2y

Transforming Teens into
Tomorrow’s Tech Titans
PBS.org
http://tinyurl.com/jwwklrd

The Start-Ups We Don’t Need,
Scott Shane
January 7, 2009
American.com
http://tinyurl.com/9dp9qu

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