The Role Of Management Education In Promoting Entrepreneurship Skills

Dr Pratima Sheorey, Director, Symbiosis Centre for Management and HRD (SCMHRD)With more than 20 years of experience in the academic and corporate sector, Dr Pratima has trained executives in many organizations in India and abroad in various behavioural and functional programmers

Entrepreneurship is the need of the hour, and encouraging entrepreneurs is a priority for any government and is only rising in importance, as nations look to become self-reliant and overcome economic uncertainty. In India, this assumes added significance because of the size and age of the population. Our total population ranks second to China, with 28 per cent under the agegroup of 10-24 years. This means 367 million young people who are either at the beginning of their careers or soon will be. Hence, it is in the nation’s interest to provide education, support, and facilities to guide this large, young segment of the population towards successful professional careers.

Entrepreneurship education is an important factor in determining & developing entrepreneurial qualities in individuals. With our economy transitioning from being primarily agrarian to the one that is more service oriented, it is this vast area of business opportunity that B-Schools should, by its intervention, enable need-based entrepreneurs to make forays into. B-Schools can contribute by designing curriculum such that it offers a scope for creativity and innovation. It is necessary to re-evaluate and redesign course

curriculum across various B-Schools to create an awareness of entrepreneurship education. B-Schools need to realize this and facilitate students to develop cross-sector, multi-disciplinary skills so that they are capable of finding innovative solutions to problems present in society.

B-Schools are best suited to contribute in this sphere. They can help budding entrepreneurs to nurture and develop the required skills and competencies. They can provide the platform to their students to interact and network with the right kind of people. They can also foster integrity and ethical standards, along with a deep sense of social responsibility in future entrepreneurs.

Owing to this, the role of B-Schools in India is witnessing a fundamental change to make way for a more entrepreneur-friendly environment. True entrepreneurship education addresses both the theoretical aspects of entrepreneurship and the practical business skills. Students must understand that being an entrepreneur requires a different attitude than being an employee, an entrepreneur needs to be a visionary, while having the ability to design and implement appropriate strategies for growth, also be able to take calculated risks.

So, beyond the classroom, B-Schools in India also seek to play a critical role in developing an entrepreneurship ecosystem that can boost the number of sustainable startups in the country. Such an approach includes networking with industry experts for knowledge sharing and mentoring students, and use of physical resources, including the B-School’s research facilities.

B-Schools are also collaborating with industry bodies to create rigorous internships and research-related placements for their students. Such relationships and arrangements can be extended and utilized to mentor young entrepreneurs in relevant business skills. Ecosystems also aid a higher education institution’s role in creating and disseminating knowledge of new technologies, including gathering insights about their commercial application.

Despite significant growth in this area, India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is still in its nascent stages and the number of B-Schools offering programs in entrepreneurship and incubator facilities remain limited, given our population size. With the current initiatives being implemented at an institution, as well as government level, the time isn’t far ahead when we are capable of consistently providing high-quality entrepreneurship education across the country.