Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught?



Is it possible to teach someone to become a successful entrepreneur? A growing number of academic institutions have developed classes and degree programs in entrepreneurship. At the same time, the number of successful entrepreneurs without an advanced education point to entrepreneurial leadership as an inherent trait.

What is an entrepreneur?

When most people think about entrepreneurs, they focus on well-known names in the business world like Elon Musk or Ariana Huffington. Yet, hundreds of successful business people run profitable entrepreneurial endeavors on a smaller scale. Almost every tech startup or niche business has someone with an entrepreneurial mindset pushing it forward.

Entrepreneurs are business people willing to dream big, accept risks, and preserver through failure and uncertainty. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who can analyze the business landscape, recognize opportunities, and take advantage of them.

Is entrepreneurship teachable?

Many aspects of becoming a successful entrepreneur are teachable. A formal business education can help new business owners avoid some of the mistakes and setbacks that come with a bootstrapping approach. Basic business knowledge equips leaders to understand and plan for the risks of a new project.

Hard Skills for Entrepreneurs

MBA programs and other business education classes teach leaders the basic financial and organizational skills that apply to every business. Understanding how organizations operate and make a profit helps leaders speak the language of investors and anticipate common issues like creating a sustainable growth strategy.

Encouraging an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Helping leaders adopt the mindset of an entrepreneur is a different challenge. This kind of education involves teaching students a new way of thinking. Traditionally, the corporate mindset has focused on predictability. The thinking that created the assembly line assumed a world with minimal change. The goal of a CEO in this model is to keep the business on an even keel.

Entrepreneurs know they must adapt to a world where things change unexpectedly. They develop a flexible way of thinking that can respond to how the world is rather than trying to force an outcome based on the way they think it should be. 

Human brains naturally look for patterns and try to predict outcomes. When the world does not line up with your assumptions, it can throw you into confusion and panic. Entrepreneurs must build a mindset that embraces the unexpected.

Entrepreneurial classes often use techniques that force students to recognize their biases and challenge their assumptions. They learn a flexible mindset by experiencing the discomfort of uncertainty.

Learning from Experience

Experience is still the greatest teacher for entrepreneurs. Actively dealing with uncertainty and risk gives you the necessary persistence and confidence to move forward as a leader. New entrepreneurs can also gain insight from the experiences of other leaders in handling success and failure on their journeys.

A Partner for Entrepreneurial Growth

If you want to improve your entrepreneurial skills, the Leonard Productivity Intelligence Institute is ready to assist you. We specialize in helping business leaders cultivate a growth mentality that inspires next-level leadership. Contact us today to learn more.