Let’s admit it. All of us at some point in our lives have had the thought of starting our own business and building something of our own. However, that thought is not given time and many regards by most of us, because of the lack of information and guidance. The curriculum of formal education in India has been largely drafted to design people to be suitable for clerical jobs or jobs requiring zero to low levels of creativity and innovation. This system leads to more than desired levels of risk aversion and a lack of dynamic responsiveness. Usually, students in India are taught through conventional means and methods and are given a set of steps and formulae to be remembered and reiterated on the answer sheet during exams. This system leaves little space for students to come up with new ways to tackle problems or be innovative and come up with a suitable, unique, and robust Problem Solving approach in life. The environment is clearly not very suitable, especially considering the kind of environment needed to cultivate the right kind of mindset of an Entrepreneur. This is the dark side of the lack of Entrepreneurial Education pedagogy in India. Now, let’s look at the brighter side. Andragogy has many benefits as compared to pedagogy.
- Andragogy stands on the pillars of mutual and collaborative efforts.
- Mutual respect is also an indispensable part of Andragogy.
- A mature student is usually self-directed and picks up a field of study because of his/her interest and usually, the objective is to enhance his/her skill set.
- The learning orientation is problem-centered instead of subject-centered.
- The motivation to learn is intrinsic
If we carefully read the above-mentioned points, there will not be much difficulty in linking them to Entrepreneurship. In a way, the process of Andragogy in itself is a training for Entrepreneurship. If an individual is self-driven, directed, and disciplined to successfully complete the learning process via andragogy, he/she is more equipped and prepared to handle a business than a lot of other people.
To avoid any misunderstandings, let’s start by defining the term Entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is a person who sets up at least one business and takes the associated financial risks intending to earn a profit. A successful Entrepreneur is innovative, motivated to succeed, flexible and self-directed, possesses good leadership skills, a system thinker (has a holistic view of the process and not just individual parts of it), and is ready to take risks.
The definition mentions a business, what kind of business can be an obvious question now. The following list is not exhaustive but will give a good idea on the same:
- Setting up a retail or wholesale outlet for products and/ or services that already exist in the market. In the age of technology that we are living in, a physical outlet is not always needed, E-Commerce Sellers also qualify under this category.
- Innovating and introducing new products/ services in the market.
- Innovating and introducing a product/ service already existing in the market to make it more useful and beneficial for the consumers.
- Internet Entrepreneurship is a new concept and has surfaced in recent times due to Technological advances. Blogging, social media influencers on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. fall in this field.
- Another approach is to promote innovation or introduce new products or services or markets in existing firms. This approach is called corporate entrepreneurship or Intrapreneurship. (Source: Wikipedia)
- A recent approach involves creating charitable organizations (or portions of existing charities) that are designed to be self-supporting in addition to doing their good works. This is usually called social entrepreneurship. (Source: Wikipedia)
Now that there is clarity about what an Entrepreneur is and what he does, let’s see the whole process of setting up a business in brief.
(Please be aware that Setting up a business in India is a process in itself and it is not possible to go in deep details of each step in one blog. Upcoming blogs will cater to this and we will get into intricate details and the nitty-gritty of each step in detail.)
Setting up a business and managing it is extremely challenging and requires a lot of time and attention to the finest of the details. Hence it is often said that it is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, the rewards of success as an Entrepreneur are extremely lucrative. Apart from the monetary rewards, there is social recognition and respect associated with it, especially when the business encourages innovation and comes up with products and services that contribute positively to society and transform the lives of people.