The Importance of Inculcating an Entrepreneurial Mindset Among the Youth

The Indian economy has witnessed the brink of transition through the process of economic liberalisation undertaken in 1991 which shifted the focus from government owned entities to private players, while attracting foreign investment and decreasing inflation rates through open market competition. Despite such elaborate mechanisms, the effect of rise in GDP could only be observed only a few years later. The reforms opened up the avenue for emerging contenders in form of smaller enterprises and entrepreneurs, contributing significantly to economic growth while aiding employment generation. With the current pandemic disrupting the socio-economic setting of the country, many have taken to utilising their entrepreneurial skills to navigate the losses, having made significant contributions in terms of employment generation and wealth creation in such adverse times. 

The global spread of COVID-19 has posed a challenge to the higher education landscape, coercing schools and universities to transition the entire instructional apparatus to an online mode within a fortnight. Learning has been functional due to the prevailing technological support and usage of the medium of digital instruction. Before the pandemic, the integration of online learning in higher education has been relatively inconsequential, but many students have graduated and are ready to become a part of the workforce in this virtual era. A pronounced and catastrophic effect on business and economies has reduced job opportunities, probing many to undertake measures of self-employment. As educational qualification doesn’t assure employment guarantee, it becomes imperative to inculcate the presence of entrepreneurial education in the Indian education system to enable individuals to start their own enterprises. 

Many educational researchers have highlighted that critical thinking and problem-solving are natural abilities of students that are often incognito due to emphasis on approaches like rote memorisation, standardised tests and mainstream academic subjects over creative endeavours. Thus, the proposition of including entrepreneurial education in curriculum arose at Kobe University, Japan by Shigeru Fiji in 1938, which has gained significance in K-12 schools in recent times. It has taken a centre stage in the National Education Policy 2020 with the aim to incorporate the curriculum in Indian schools. The NEP seeks to promote such curricular structures among students, increasing the exposure of vocational education in partnership with an industry-oriented emphasis on entrepreneurial competencies. 

The inculcation of an entrepreneurial mind set, especially among high school students aids their education by imparting them communication skills, time management, and collaborative spirit. It assists individuals in developing a deft thought process for problem identification and creative solutions. The expansion of analytical skills enriches their interpersonal growth which transcends educational spaces, providing them with holistic personality development. Such a mind-set is recognized as an all-encompassing for students as it is  applicable in all aspects of life – enables one to address real-world challenges, pursue alternate careers and seek novel ideas to create value. 

The presence of an entrepreneurial background among high school students favours them along with the larger socio-economic space in the country in the form of innovations, technological advancements at a competitive global level. With the integration of entrepreneurship in the school curriculum the students will develop a guided skill-set which would enhance their academic performance while instilling entrepreneurial proficiency. Students would be able to identify the gaps in the existing system and would be able to put their theoretical understanding in terms of a practicable mechanism. The comprehension of entrepreneurial manoeuvre equips students by skilling up their knowledge in enhancing their enterprising tendencies in terms of management, accounting and sales, which would nudge them towards modelling their own ventures.

As our world is changing rapidly, the entrepreneurs of tomorrow also need to navigate the technological space with ease. With the inculcation of Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses like the Atal Innovation Mission, provides them with training and infrastructure to design, construct prototypes or test their innovation, having an entrepreneurial mind set would give the students a distinct advantage to envision the products and services needed for the coming generations. 

The current scenario of the Indian economy utilises the innovation of novel discoveries for the development of social change. Establishment of small businesses are being incentivised by the government of India through various schemes and financial assistance. Various initiatives like Make in India, Skill India and Startup India have brought about an entrepreneurial wave to support small scale ventures. The need for entrepreneurial curriculum thus aids the institutions to create prepared entrepreneurs along with guiding students towards being independent in their career choices.

An entrepreneurial mind-set also aids confidence and risk taking ventures, while improving leadership skills among the youth. This in turn becomes very beneficial for the students as it would build them into better negotiators, improve their social interaction and decrease their fear of failure, all of which prove as benevolent attitudes in their academics. They would be able to manage their personal competency while setting up goals for self-improvement, with relevant entrepreneurial skills, eventually contributing to their personality development. One of the key aspects revolving around such a mind set is the feedback mechanism often utilised in startups and businesses. Entrepreneurs often undergo several back and forth interactions involving assessments of their ideas or products from investors and business networks which enhances their ability to perceive criticism constructively. This also enables them to be resilient and have a strong willpower, encouraging an overall optimistic outlook towards life. 

Thus, inculcation of programs in terms of entrepreneurial education would help students to act as responsible change makers in the future where they would be able to influence their experiences and confidence to explore their innovation at a need based level. Utilisation of such skills would give students the opportunity to test the plausibility of their ideas in a realistic setting and nurture it into creating a meaningful impact for the future generations to come.

About Kirti Koushika

Kirti Koushika is a 24 year old post graduate in Development and Labour Studies from JNU. Her areas of interest include developmental policies, migration, cinema and she is intrigued in exploring all things intersectional within the social sciences.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this article are the author's own.

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