Why entrepreneurship training can help achieve the SDGs


We all see very clearly the tragedy of COVID-19 and its impact on health systems in India and the ripple effects it can have on virtually every other aspect of life. He showed us how the rules we teach in Indian higher education institutions can quickly lose their relevance as almost overnight they have changed and have focused on good health and well-being.

The pandemic should be a wake-up call for all educators to see the world around us in a different light. We may be able to see more clearly what is important and what may not be.

It gave us the opportunity to ask ourselves if what we teach really prepares our students to be good citizens and the world leaders we need, the kind of leaders the world needs at a time like this, the kind of leaders who can make decisions based not only on spreadsheets, but in a truly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment.

COVID-19 shows the need to include entrepreneurship training in the curriculum of Indian higher education institutions. It is a powerful means of reducing poverty, creating sustainable governance, stimulating resilient infrastructure growth and stimulating innovation, in addition to improving social and environmental sustainability.

It includes innovative ways of thinking, openness to new experiences and assessing issues such as value creation.

If students are developed with an entrepreneurial spirit, they will become self-reliant and confident. They will be ambassadors able to solve their local and regional problems with innovative ideas, solutions and sustainable business models aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9 (SDG 9).

Investing in entrepreneurship training can create an entrepreneurial mindset and ultimately this translates into the development of an entrepreneurial orientation among young people. An effective entrepreneurship education policy is a prerequisite for any emerging economy to equip its people with the knowledge and ability to ‘fish rather than just give them a fish’.

However, the broader goal is to increase the number of individuals who start new businesses and develop an entrepreneurial culture to reduce poverty (SDG 1) and play a key role in reducing inequalities within and between countries. (SDG 10).

National education policy

Over the past five years, the Indian government has sought to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem and supported the business of young people, encouraging them to use their entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to become self-employed. This has acted as a catalyst for entrepreneurship as a career option for graduates across the country.

To help young people pursue this entrepreneurial passion and become job creators, India’s new National Education Policy 2020 set out a roadmap for Indian higher education institutions with an emphasis on the holistic development of students through multidisciplinary education and vocational training.

He stressed that education must evolve towards less content and more experiential learning to create positive outcomes, including increased creativity and innovation, ability to take risks, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, teamwork, communication skills, deeper learning of programs. in all fields at all levels and a spirit of service to the social community.

Quality education must build character, enable learners to be ethical, rational, compassionate and caring, while preparing them for gainful and fulfilling employment (SDG 4).

In this way, higher education institutions in India were given the great responsibility of preparing the younger generations to become more self-reliant, independent and sustainable. They must bridge the gap between the perceived desirability of becoming an entrepreneur and the feasibility of starting a new business.

Entrepreneurship education should help them bridge the gap between the current state of student learning outcomes and the vision of national education policy. It must prepare young students for a more meaningful and fulfilling life in terms of successful careers which, in turn, add economic, social and cultural value to society.

Channeling young people away from ‘take a job’ that someone else has already created to “create jobs” designing and launching new businesses is aligned with the Prime Minister’s concept of “Self-Reliant India Mission” and with the United Nations SDG 8.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has encouraged its accredited colleges to deliberately include coverage of specific topics such as social responsiveness, responsible leadership, sustainability, engagement and societal impact in education programs. ‘undergraduate studies in commerce by revising their standards and incorporating them into their curriculum. .

The AACSB proposed Business Accreditation Standards 2020 give hope that business schools will rethink their activities and focus more on integrated approaches to the curriculum (SDG 4) as well as their engagement and societal impact (SDG 9).

Entrepreneurship education, innovation and technology were chosen as a group because of the critical impact they have on each other. While all AACSB-accredited business schools (and probably non-accredited ones as well) have included some type of course related to information technology, there is a large room for improvement in IT results. student learning around the development of their entrepreneurial skills.

Technology is often a source of entrepreneurial opportunity, which is the result of the creative process. Likewise, entrepreneurial thinking sometimes results in technological innovation and the creative process can result in both new technologies and / or entrepreneurial ventures.

World challenges

Entrepreneurial capacity building is not just linked to employment, but also plays a central role when it comes to tackling some of the most difficult challenges in society by building a synergy between economic development and achievement. of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Many governments, think tanks, non-governmental and international organizations around the world now see entrepreneurship as a key part of the solution to end poverty and social inequalities, promote women’s empowerment and implement initiatives. business solutions for our global societal challenges.

To achieve these United Nations SDGs, Indian higher education institutions and universities must foster the development and integration of entrepreneurship training programs that explicitly target and enable young people to successfully become the next generation of entrepreneurs. entrepreneurs.

In doing so, we must ensure that the entrepreneurship curriculum prepares leaders to deal with situations such as COVID-19, shocks to business as usual that are likely to continue to occur in the future. future, and helps educators and students adapt quickly, work together and innovate.

As we are only surviving this crisis, what happens next becomes more and more important. We need to think about how we can use this crisis as a crucial opportunity to rebuild better than before, and how we as higher education entities, as teachers, researchers and consultants, can contribute to sustainable development goals.

Professor Dr Balvinder Shukla is Professor of Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Informatics and Vice Chancellor of Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India. Professor Dr Anupam Narula is Professor of Marketing and Assistant Director (Alumni Relations) at Amity University, Noida, India. The opinions expressed are personal.

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Norma A. Roth