After completing the program, the proportion of students saying they’d like to start a business was down to 85%. Any decline in entrepreneurial ambitions might be seen as cause for alarm, considering the acute need for new-business starts. For the first time in 30 years, business closings are outpacing business openings in the U.S.
But reality checks are a good thing. Investors, educational institutions, and taxpayers want to see more than just a lot of new businesses. They want to see healthy new businesses. …
It’s also important to remember that business creation isn’t the only beneficial outcome of entrepreneurship education. Entrepreneurship is a key twenty-first-century workforce skill. It’s also linked to higher academic attainment.
Research, including this NYU report, reinforces that learning about entrepreneurship ignites an entrepreneurial mind-set in young people — they begin to think and act like entrepreneurs in all aspects of their lives. They communicate better. They persist through failure. They become flexible and adaptable when facing obstacles. They take smart risks. They turn into problem solvers and opportunity finders.
That’s important to the job-skills conversation, for example, because skills such as communication, flexibility, and persistence are in high demand by employers.
Entrepreneurial thinkers, in other words, can be great employees even if they don’t start businesses. They can be so-called intrapreneurs (those who innovate and create change inside organizations) or social entrepreneurs who improve social and government institutions.
… If it’s possible to change the way young people think about starting businesses and spark the entrepreneurship mind-set through just one brief summer program, imagine what a real school-based commitment to entrepreneurship education would do.