The COVID-19 crisis has shocked the world and caused systems all over the world to reboot and restart. However, one important aspect of education which did pre-exist before the crisis and has only been accelerated during the crisis, is the high priority entrepreneurial skill training and development of youth. The major thrust of technical and vocational education in India, are to address the issues of self-reliance, job-creation, youth employability and international competiveness in skill development towards current and projected opportunities and challenges. As we march towards making an ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ in tandem with our Prime Minister’s goal, we look into a few benefits of extending entrepreneurial education to the country’s youth :-
- Entrepreneurship encourages creativity and innovation: Imagination is envisioning things that don’t exist, creativity is applying that imagination to address a challenge, innovation is applying this creativity to generate unique solutions and entrepreneurship is using this innovation to scale their ideas and inspire others to support their effort. Entrepreneurial training will hone the ability of youth to reframe problems in order to come up with unique ideas as solutions, thus coming up with unique business proposals.
- Makes youth fit for the future : We are living in uncertain times, facing an uncertain future full of complex global, social and environmental issues. Automation and digital transformation have created completely new roles, responsibilities and challenges for the future workforce. Under such circumstances entrepreneurship focused programs teach students/youth crucial life skills that will help them navigate this uncertain future. These skills include problem-solving, teamwork, empathy as well as learning to accept failure as a part of the growth process.
- Teaches the art of problem identification: Entrepreneurship education teaches students/youth to identify the problems they have never encountered before- a skill which will be very useful in tomorrow’s world. The youth need to identify problems before they learn how to solve them. They have to be equipped to face unprecedented situations as in the real world, one can solve a problem only when one has identified and described it to oneself.
- It bridges the gender gap : The underrepresentation of qualified women in leadership positions has created a gender gap in almost every industry. Focusing on women equality as a stepping stone for success in the future is imperative now, more than ever. Entrepreneurship education enables women to develop their leadership skills, embrace their competitive side and learn to take more risks.
- Entrepreneurship and skilling – a way out of the current crisis : We can either look at a glass as half empty or half full. Similarly, where some are holding extreme narratives about the untold devastation due to the COVID-19 crisis, there are some who believe this is India’s moment to achieve her destiny. Adopting a cluster-based industrialization needs a new vigour, and who else but our budding entrepreneurs, our skilled youth can instill this much needed vigour? By facilitating technology, skills market development and integrating the MSMEs with the formal credit process we will be readying young entrepreneurs, who will be a crucial element in helping our economy to rise up again.