Entrepreneurship Is A Teachable Skill, According to New Research
Can you teach someone to become a more successful full-time entrepreneur? Researchers from Babson College say that you can. New research based on surveys of nearly 4,000 graduates that matriculated from 1985 to 2009 shows that students who took the right classes proved more successful in their entrepreneurial efforts. Evidence showed that students who participated in at least two entrepreneurship courses were more likely to become self-employed or start their own business, especially at the time of graduation.
Students who wrote a business plan as part of their education also showed a greater inclination towards self-determination. However, it was the entrepreneurship classes that made the best and longest lasting effect. Professors Edward Marram, William Bygrave and Julian Lange enlisted the help of students Wei Yong and Solai Jawahar to study the research. What they found challenged the long-held presumption that entrepreneurs were completely self-made, not taught.
This new evidence strongly supports the addition of entrepreneurship based courses at colleges around the world. The classes not only give students important skills for running their own business, it gives them a chance to determine if they’d enjoy it. The researchers also think that the classes should be required for all business students, even if they don’t intend to start their own business.
Taking three entrepreneurship based classes had the strongest effect on graduates, followed by two courses and just one. The theory is that students who only took a single course decided then that they preferred traditional employment instead. Students who wrote business plans became more intent on entrepreneurship but it didn’t change actual career choices after graduation. Alumni become more likely to start a business each after that passes after graduation, but the amount of graduates with the intention alone drops. Undergraduates and alumni with MBAs were equally likely to pursue the path of self-employment.