New venture creation will provide personal freedom and job creation, thus making entrepreneurship an attractive career choice - writes Abhinav Chaturvedi
It is now well-accepted that entrepreneurship is not limited to just the creation or start of an enterprise. The trend we are currently witnessing is not about individual risk-taking but that of an individual and the institution jointly playing a pivotal role in the development of an economy. It is about the ‘Entrepreneurial Perspective’ which can bring forth creative ideas that can be nurtured by institutions. The entrepreneurial skill set is one of the best mechanisms to overcome unemployment. It not only assists in personal development but also acts as a means of self-actualisation. With new venture creation, two things are bound to happen; opportunity for personal freedom and job creation, thus making entrepreneurship an attractive career choice.
From the organisational viewpoint, usually it is the top management team (TMT) members who drive innovation and infuse the culture of corporate entrepreneurship; but what is critical to the organisation is the entrepreneurial mindset of the entire organisation.
As part of this mindset, an individual, in either a corporate setting or otherwise, should have a growth mindset, where there is use of effectuation (generating effects)/bricolage (making use of available resources at hand), problem-solving through methods like design thinking. The individual should also have entrepreneurial intent as well as alertness to spot opportunities.
With the aim of sparking entrepreneurial mindset among students, a substantial amount of investment in entrepreneurship education at universities, high schools, and even at primary school level has been initiated by many countries across the globe. Some such reputed global universities include Babson, MIT, and Stanford. In India, the focus on entrepreneurship has started gaining ground at universities such as Bennett University [BU] and institutions like Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India [EDII], as well as the IIMs and IITs. In the creation and development of entrepreneurial perspective, these institutions play a critical role.
If we take the case of BU, its Infinity Model for Entrepreneurial Leadership is at the core of all its activities. Another feature is the University’s partnership with Babson College, Boston, which provides an in-house incubator – the Bennett Hatchery. Also, the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at BU offers a compulsory credit course named Foundations of Entrepreneurship for all students across different undergraduate programmes, while specialisations/elective courses in Entrepreneurship are offered to students pursuing postgraduate programmes. However, no entrepreneurial ecosystem is built without the active engagement of the ‘change agents’ such as academicians, vice chancellors, deans, and alumni. The role played by the various student established and run ‘Entrepreneurship Cells’ (E-cells) at various institutions are equally important since they provide a platform where nascent entrepreneurs (startups), mid-sized or large organisations come forward to interact with students with the right kind of managerial attitudes (towards innovation or risk) and entrepreneurial behaviours.
To reap the benefits of entrepreneurship, students need to immerse themselves in entrepreneurial topics, and this task rests as much with governments as with the higher educational institutions.