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The Why and How of Entrepreneurship for Students

Anupama Ramachandra

Anupama Ramachandra, a Fulbright Scholar, is an experienced academician and Principal of Delhi Public School, Electronic City, Bangalore.

Recently I happened to visit a sister concern of our school, 150 km away from Bangalore. As I was coming back along the rural and semi-urban areas, I noticed people selling agriculture produce probably grown in their fields- flowers, vegetables, oil etc. Then I saw a girl, probably a fifth or sixth standard student selling jackfruits. For 10 pods she was charging Rs 25. I tried to bargain with her. She said it won't be cheaper anywhere, in Bangalore it may be Rs 50. She agreed to give five pods more for Rs 25 and I bought it. At a young age she had learnt marketing, hadn't yielded to customer demand to reduce the price, and considering the fact that the fruit will get spoiled next day. Does she fit the description of an entrepreneur? There was a lot to learn from this little girl about business. 

What is entrepreneurship?

The word 'entrepreneur' originates from a 13th century French verb, “entreprendre”, meaning 'to do something' or 'undertake'. By the 16th century, the noun form, entrepreneur, was being used to refer to someone who undertakes a business venture. Entrepreneurship is the ability and readiness to develop, organise and run a business enterprise, along with any of its uncertainties inorder to make a profit.

CBSE Syllabus

CBSE has introduced entrepreneurship as an elective subject for Class XI and XII. Any post graduate in Economics or Commerce can teach entrepreneurship in schools. The seven units covered are 1. Entrepreneurship: Concept and Functions 2) An Entrepreneur 3) Entrepreneurial Journey 4) Entrepreneurship as Innovation and Problem solving 5) Understanding the Market 6) Business Finance and Arithmetic 7) Resource Mobilisation. 

Some of the connected skills that are acquired from this course are creativity, innovation, logical, critical thinking, decision making, risk taking, problem solving, collaboration, managing risk, divergent thinking, among others. These are skills that should be developed in all of us, not just entrepreneurs. The curriculum is also dynamic keeping in mind the growth of the economy and diverse needs.  The New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 stressed that vocational education should start in Class VI. 

Myth: Entrepreneurial activity should always end up in startups. Fact is that all entrepreneurial activity need not end up in startups. Entrepreneurial skills can help revive a company, made into large conglomerates. Pepsi had a tough time when news spread that it contains a unhealthy sweetener. The company could overcome it by not using aspartame as sweetener and sales went up. Similarly, MacDonalds faced an issue with respect to chicken it was using and they stopped using chicken injected with antibodies. Netflix was a DVD rental company and in 2007 they started streaming software to become successful.

Why Entrepreneurship?

It is not only meant for someone who wants to start a business, it is for everyone. Entrepreneurship should start as soon as he or she comes to her senses. Children are born with this instinct but education kills those initiative by telling them what to think rather than how to think. Everyone one whether an artist or a home maker, teacher or CEO or employee needs to have entrepreneurship skills.  Entrepreneurship training helps students to think big, take risks and network.

Seven skills students always need- curiosity and imagination, initiative and entrepreneurship, agility and adaptability, critical thinking and problem solving, effective oral and written communication, collaboration across networks and leading by influence and accessing and analysing information (Source: These days children think of making money when choosing careers and entrepreneurship can enhance the standard of living. Empathy, creativity, communication, collaboration is enhanced through entrepreneurship.

Qualities of entrepreneurship should be there in all irrespective of what one may be doing for a living.

Entrepreneurship Skill Development Methods:

1. Case Study Method (Creativity and innovation).

2. Success Story Method (Building confidence and personality).

3. Idea Generation Contest Method ( Out of box thinking).

 4. Business Plan Method (Holistic planning skills)

5. Simulation Method (for building problem solving skills).

6. Project Management Method (building project management skills).

7. Designing Project Method (For building designing skills.

8. Digital Marketing Project Method (For digital marketing skills).

9. Mission Vision, Goals and objectives Development Method (for building goal setting skills).

10. IT project Method (IT skills).

11. Communication Assignment Method (For building communication skills).

12. Managerial Games Method (For building managerial skills).

(Source: India Today).

We have to celebrate failures not just successes. And connect them with the problems in the classroom or school or in the surroundings. This can lead to development of entrepreneurship. A culture of entrepreneurship has to be fostered at home and school. 

The Ministry of Education in association with All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has launched a new initiative called the School Innovation Council (SIC) which can be set up in schools. IT helps thousands of teachers to become innovation ambassadors. Schools can register with SIC through their website. SIC helps schools organise leadership talks, panel discussions, arrange industrial visits and also fund innovative projects of students.

(Excerpted from the presentation, The Why and How of Entrepreneurship for Students-#Pallikkutam Global Connect #25 held on Zoom on April 27, 2023.  You can see the full presentation on the hyperlink above

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