Entrepreneurial Instructor: How to Become One?


When you embrace the role of trainer, it builds loyalty, drives your team's development, and drives superior business performance. Teaching is not simply an "extra" for good managers but an integral responsibility. If you don't teach, you don't lead.

Having the idea of a business venture is generally easier than making it a reality. Creating a company is not something that, as such, is taught in universities; the school imparts some knowledge in subjects such as administration, economics, or finance. However, 90% of people with projects and ideas lack knowledge about how to create and manage the day-to-day running of a company.

Some experts say that entrepreneurship is required in addition to school learning; education teaches you to stay in line and look at what has been. Entrepreneurship requires standing out and imagining what could be.

Research by the Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit organization created to promote entrepreneurship, showed that in the United States, between 1985 and 2008, the number of courses to promote entrepreneurship increased approximately twenty-fold. More than 5,000 entrepreneurship courses enroll more than 400,000 students a year.

The goal of entrepreneurship in education is to develop the entrepreneurial mindset for the benefit of those joining the digitized economy, whether within a corporation or in their venture. The foundation expresses that "entrepreneurship is fundamental to understanding and succeeding in the contemporary global economy."

The study of entrepreneurship benefits students, regardless of their major and the economy as a whole. According to academic researchers, Alberta Charney of the University of Arizona Department of Economics and Gary D. Libecap of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), entrepreneurship graduates are "three times more likely to start their own business, three times more likely to be self-employed, have 27% higher annual incomes, own 62% more assets, and are more satisfied with their jobs."

Studying entrepreneurship while building a business means the theory has a real-life application. Students can apply the models they learn to their businesses. To understand what entrepreneurship is all about, students have to do it. Startup founders become experts in processing information, evaluating, and planning.

Entrepreneurial Education

Entrepreneurship education focuses on developing skills to help students lead exceptional lives in a rapidly changing world. These include skills such as team collaboration, effective presentations, data analysis, using social networks for advocacy, solving complex problems, using creativity to solve problems in innovative ways, and developing business proposals.

Entrepreneurial education brings some benefits, among them:

1. Preparing for an uncertain world

According to a World Economic Forum survey on the Future of Jobs, half of today's work activities could be automated by 2055, creating new roles, responsibilities, and challenges for the future workforce. Entrepreneurship-focused programs teach students crucial life skills to help them navigate this uncertain future.

2. Creativity and collaboration

Entrepreneurship education fosters creativity, innovation, and collaboration, which the world's top universities highly value and will serve young people well beyond college.

3. Problem identification

This teaching allows us to identify the problem before learning how to solve it. Traditionally when the problem is presented, we go into "solution" mode rather than "identification" mode. Problems can only be solved in the real world when properly identified and described.

4. Develop the courage

Qualifications, intelligence, and socioeconomic status are no match for the characteristic that University of Pennsylvania researcher and psychology professor Angela Duckworth defines as "grit," i.e., passion and sustained persistence applied to long-term achievement. The demanding and uncertain path of entrepreneurship requires more passion and sustained persistence than most other activities.

5. Thinking about making the world a better place

Entrepreneurs seek to solve problems, satisfy needs and alleviate pain points with the help of their products and services. They are programmed to make a difference and make the world better. By participating in entrepreneurship programs, students are not only preparing to create their future but to change the world.

The question is: do these courses make any difference to the business future of your students?

Justin Wilcox, one of the founders of TeachingEntrepreneurship.org, believes that the key skills of entrepreneurship are empathy, experimentation, iteration, creative problem solving, financial management, and effective communication, which are best learned in a real-world context. "No one learns to play an instrument or ride a bike by reading a textbook. Similarly, business skills are developed by practicing them," he says.

What is not learned in the academy must be obtained externally. The ideal would be to find professionals, advisors, or even experienced business people and entrepreneurs who have had both successes and failures in their projects.

They can become trainers who can provide a vision that helps to organize the path of entrepreneurship and its management; from them, you can get the necessary training to make an idea a reality. They are leaders who can bring their entrepreneurial experiences that help to have introspection on what real entrepreneurial life means.

A trainer is not necessarily a teacher. Entrepreneurial training processes are beginning to go beyond schools and educational institutions to get closer to spaces of interaction in everyday life where there are the needs that the entrepreneur wants to satisfy, whether it is a product or a service.

In this sense, it can be said that a consolidated company can become a scenario for training and learning and that those who are normally identified as bosses or leaders can be trainers of both their collaborators and entrepreneurs.

University or Reality

Under this criterion, in addition to having a college education, to create a successful business, you must have a growth mindset, be open to learning, and be willing to take advantage of the resources at hand. University courses in entrepreneurship can provide essential skills. Still, there are many ways to acquire these skills as long as you have the desire to do so, and that comes in the practice of real-life entrepreneurship.

Mike Seper, Director of the Fostering Innovation for National Security Program at the University of Washington, where he teaches, thinks that books on innovation or entrepreneurship cannot provide a formula for success. "The idea of making my students buy textbooks to learn how to be more entrepreneurial is not an approach that has ever worked for me, and my classes do not require textbooks.” Steve Blank, founder of Lean LaunchPad and designer of the National Science Foundation I-Corps (NSF I-Corps) and Hacking for Defense classes, is famous for telling students, "Get out of the building!". Lean is a methodology that makes it clear that new businesses and startups are not scaled-down versions of large companies and need their processes and tools to succeed.

According to experts, the answers entrepreneurs are looking for are not found in textbooks. However, the mentality has changed. Today, the answers are no longer sought in a book but through asking others, which generates a natural mentoring between a trainer and the person who wants to start a business. Seper puts it this way: "The lessons I learned during office hours were much more valuable than anything I learned in a textbook.

Not surprisingly, more and more business educators are pushing textbooks aside and replacing them with a reality check. One learning opportunity is called "Customer Discovery" which consists of conducting a series of interviews to validate a hypothesis from which customer discovery is achieved. The last experiential learning opportunity begins with the conversation with customers.



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