Entrepreneurship education

Entrepreneurship education seeks to provide students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial success in a variety of settings. Variations of entrepreneurship education are offered at all levels of schooling from K-12 schools through graduate university programs.

What makes entrepreneurship education distinctive is its focus on realization of opportunity, where management education is focused on the best way to operate existing hierarchies. Both approaches share an interest in achieving "profit" in some form (which in non-profit organizations or government can take the form of increased services or decreased cost or increased responsiveness to the customer/citizen/client).

Opportunities can be realized in several ways. The most popular one is through opening a new organization (e.g starting a new business). Another approach is to promote innovation or introduce new products or services or markets in existing firms. This approach is called corporate entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship, and was made popular by author Gifford Pinchot in his book of the same name. A recent approach involves creating charitable organizations (or portions of existing charities) which are designed to be self-supporting in addition to doing their good works. This is usually called social entrepreneurship or social venturing. Even a version of public sector entrepreneurship has come into being in governments, with an increased focus on innovation and customer service. This approach got its start in the policies of the United Kingdom's Margaret Thatcher and the United States' Ronald Reagan.

The 1990s saw the growth of entrepreneurship as a profession within business, and in that professional approach lies the secret benefit of entrepreneurship education — it helps decrease the chances of failure by stressing a consistent and proven set of practices. That idea of professionalizing the process of entrepreneurship is the other great commonality across all of modern entrepreneurship education. Whether it is Treps , the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship or members of the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education working with grade school and high school kids in the USA, or undergraduate or MBA programs like those at Saint Louis University, Babson College, or any of the over 200 schools with majors, there are formal entrepreneurship education programs turning out tens of thousands of prepared, motivated and connected student entrepreneurs each year. There are also non-profit organizations such as SCORE, government programs such as the U.S. Small Business Administration With entrepreneurship education, they know more, others (like bankers, investors, corporate customers, etc.) know what these student entrepreneurs are likely to know, and the entrepreneurs', their firms, and national economy are better off for their taking the time to learn how to do it right.

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