I believe entrepreneurship is a great vehicle to provide employment opportunities to everybody, whereas they are small lifestyle venture owners or the founders of high growth startups. There is much more we can do to support entrepreneurs, beyond the necessary incubator programs that are already in place in many universities and colleges. And a lot of people are working on this direction already. By offering tailored and short entrepreneurship programs embedded in the curriculum, we will be equipping the students and the researchers with the tools and the confidence to start their own businesses using their craft, their skills and their passions. They will graduate from University knowing that they can work for others and/or themselves, and feeling more empowered as they have gone through the entrepreneurial experience under the safe umbrella of the University. While at Uni, they can test, try, start building their business, getting feedback from professors and students and using the resources the campus provides. They can use their businesses ideas and skills as the subject of many of their assessment, which will be more meaningful and relevant.
Universities can do more to promote the idea of sustainable entrepreneurship, or what I call, slow-cooking entrepreneurs. Beyond the incubator/accelerator model, that support rapid growth companies in a particular set of industries and for a particular set of backgrounds, a more comprehensive entrepreneurship program will focus on supporting students along the way, in each course they take, in each internship, in each exchange program. It will help them to change their mindset and to feel confident or capable of creating a business out of what they know to do best. With no need of becoming a tech wizard or a data analyst magician. By inviting and promoting a diverse range of speakers, mentors and entrepreneurs to campus, students will get more exposed to a diverse group of founders and business owners, that will help to make the idea more accessible, attainable and appealing.
My vision is for the University to become an Incubator itself, where there is a tailored entrepreneurial journey for each student, matching their skills, their lifestyle and their goals.
Do you know good entrepreneurship initiatives and programs? Please share them with us, leave a comment!