What is entrepreneurship education actually?

The idea of entrepreneurship could be daunting to younger generations who don’t have exposure to the business world. However, in a world where industries and jobs unheard of now could prop up decade after decade, it is becoming increasingly important for your child to equip a set of skills that allows them to adapt to the future challenges and the future job market.

The words “entrepreneurship” and “education” might not look like the most obvious pairing next to each other. We associate entrepreneurship as a dynamic activity — risk-taking that leads to unguaranteed outcomes in the commercial world that could lead to unexpected returns. While traditionally, we associate education as a stable, linear progression through institutions where we develop hard skills, or “accumulate knowledge” to grow and acquire a world view. Putting the two together, entrepreneurship education is integrating steady personal growth within a fast-paced environment by introducing a dextrous mindset into education. Entrepreneurship education is particularly important for our youth because it is an opportunity for people to develop relevant skill sets by transforming ideas into value for others. In order to keep up with the fast-changing technological landscape, an increasing number of organisations around the world are encouraging employees to “think more like entrepreneurs” and less like the stereotypical employee — not only just to ensure that they are a fit for a particular organisation, but also prepared for future challenges that the world might face.

What does entrepreneurship education encompass?

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Using the EU commission’s EntreComp framework as a reference, there are three main competencies that your child can incorporate into their learning process: Ideas & Opportunities, Resources and Into Action. This could be summarised into generation, quality and execution of ideas. The main key takeaways are that this framework parallels a growth mindset beneficial for your child’s life long learning.:

  • Entrepreneurship encourages adaptability and being opportunistic

Under the “Into Action” arm, competencies such as “learning through experiences”, “coping with ambiguity, uncertainty & risk” all tie into how one can adapt to the existing circumstances and thrive.

  • Entrepreneurship makes you connect the dots

In an increasingly connected world, the most interesting areas of growth are multi-disciplinary. For example, combining programming with biotechnological applications. Entrepreneurship requires the ability to be able to work at crossroads, draw connections, apply intersectional approaches to create collaborative solutions by working with others.

  • Entrepreneurship fosters creativity to create value

Under the “Ideas and Opportunities” arm accentuates the importance of creativity. This area looks at how it is not only enough to think about short-term solutions but to hold the future in your hands by thinking out of the box. Through the transformation of ideas, value can be provided for others albeit in the form of cultural, social, or financial.

Why is entrepreneurship education important for your child right now?

  • Keeping up with changing times

With changes in our anthropocene with the rise of digital transformations to the shifting climates due to environmental damage, there is no doubt that things are changing around us at an unprecedented pace. In order to face up to these challenges and keep pace with change, challenging mainstream thinking, honing relevant skills, transforming new ideas into sustainable solutions for the common good has now become more important now than ever.

  • Job security and the rise of tech

“A mindset of agile learning will also be needed on the part of workers as they shift from the routines and limits of today’s jobs to new, previously unimagined futures.” (The Future of Jobs Report 2018)

According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) The Future of Jobs Report 2018, nearly 50% of companies surveyed expect that automation will lead to some reduction in their full-time workforce. The report sheds light on the paradox of adopting new technologies in the future. On the one hand, new technology can drive business growth, new job creation, and augmentation of existing jobs. However, skills gaps may deter new technology adoption and business growth. This can be prevented with entrepreneurship education. By building up an agile workforce equipped with futureproof skills, talents can be leveraged amidst new technologies. The WEF further states that by 2022, no less than 54% of all employees will require significant re- and upskilling to keep up with emerging technologies.

  • Character building for life long learning

Entrepreneurship education also encourages one to be responsible for one’s own career path. Thinking and acting like an entrepreneur will lend itself to be quite useful for success inside and outside of an organization with an inquisitive and onward-looking mindset.

  • The linear career path is being challenged

We live in a world where we can’t simply rely on information spoon-fed to us through organisations of educational institutions anymore. Entrepreneurship education breaks the assumption that everyone will follow a linear career path, realising the flattening of structural hierarchies within organisations.

How can your child kickstart their entrepreneurship education journey?

It’s never too late to start the entrepreneurship education journey. With the future in the hands of younger generations, the CoCoon Foundation precisely hopes to incorporate entrepreneurship education to students earlier in their academic journey to equip them with the tools to face the future. Previously collaborating with over 8400 students in over 40 local secondary schools, CoCoon Foundation’s entrepreneurship programme — Jockey Club CoCoon Student Training in Entrepreneurship Programme — offers a framework for students to step out of their comfort zones and curriculum to be active participants in building up a better society we live in.

Find out more here: https://foundation.hkcocoon.org/

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