Entrepreneurship Education Encourages Acquiring Knowledge and Self-development
Acquiring knowledge is a process that begins in childhood and continues throughout all one's life. Those who want to learn and do learn all the time, improve and succeed.
An entrepreneur, especially in today's advanced world, is required for an ongoing learning process. From this understanding, entrepreneurship education encourages learning, personal development, and knowledge acquisition.
The knowledge that the entrepreneur acquires gives him some benefits that help him to succeed.
The use of the word entrepreneur may mislead, since there are people who have an idea in their head of who is an entrepreneur, but today, we all have the skills of an entrepreneur.
For example, even a writer, whose specialty is writing books, obviously after writing the book he would like as many people as possible to read it. The marketing process of a book is a completely different process from writing it, and still, the writer must have knowledge in marketing, being familiar with technologies that can assist him in distributing the book, such as lectures and standing in front of an audience in order to promote the interest in the book and more.
Schools are an ideal place to provide students with knowledge in various disciplines as well as knowledge in entrepreneurship. When education for entrepreneurship begins at an early age, we can promote entrepreneurship both on a personal and on a national level.
Although there are criticisms of the education system that it prevents creativity and entrepreneurship, it still has elements that prepare students for the entrepreneurial arena.
In general, within the education system, students acquire knowledge in various fields and also learn to study independently. Both promote entrepreneurship. Knowledge of the various subjects can be the basis for future projects ("connect the dots") and learning independently is one of the required skills for entrepreneurs. To evolve quickly and gain an advantage, the entrepreneur needs to be able to learn by himself/herself from various sources.
This page displays various aspects of learning and development in the entrepreneurial process. As well as an answer to the question: How does education in schools contribute to entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship and Academic Success
Are high grades necessary to succeed in life?
This part is dedicated to teachers and students whose studies are not their best side.
For teachers - to help you see the light of students that failed in their studies for various reasons.
For students - you must understand, although studies are important and certainly can help to succeed in life, if for some reason you have difficulty in school, do not let it affect your self-confidence and belief in yourself that you can succeed and grow.
Studies are important, they give us tools and open up for us a whole world of knowledge and opportunities.
And still, it is possible to succeed in life without high grades.
Each of us has different advantages that we can maximize and redirect to the place of success. It is important that we know that we deserve to succeed, and that we can succeed - even if it will be in a different way than usual.
Some examples are presented here of entrepreneurs who succeeded even though they were not particularly successful as students.
The Israeli entrepreneur Yehiel Spector
As a student with dyslexia graduated without a matriculation certificate.
But he developed technical abilities and evaluating abilities and an understanding of the processes and alternatives - those abilities helped him develop world-leading technology solutions, and to register 17 patents.
Also, these abilities and the ability to identify opportunities helped him in his youth to identify a gap between technological progress and the firefighting field.
He decided to build the Spectronix factory in the periphery, which specializes in firefighting with the advanced technological method.
The Israeli entrepreneur Rami Levi
Like Yehiel Spector, Rami Levi was also hindered by dyslexia in school; he had to repeat the fourth grade and eventually, he finished just 8 years of study.
At age 14, he started helping to support his family. After his discharging from the IDF, he worked in his family shop in the Machane Yehuda market.
The story of Rami Levi, since he worked in the little shop which became to Rami Levi Hashikma Marketing, a chain store that is deployed all over the country, is known, and can be found on the internet.
Optimism has characterized Rami Levi since he was young. This helped him to find the good in every bad situation.
You better remember that optimism is one of the entrepreneur's characteristics and helps him succeed.
Former CEO of SodaStream, Daniel Birnbaumi
In an interview with Globes, Daniel said: "It was not easy for my parents. I was a pretty bad student and did not expect much from me. It was hard for them to see my grade sheet. As a rabbi's son, I was not accepted to the Bible Quiz of Mitzpeh Ramon, and still I'm grateful to my parents for not giving up on me when I was so screwed. Fortunately, I have never given up on myself."
Although the studies were not Daniel's strong point, he showed entrepreneurial skills from an early age.
At the age of 12, he managed a kiosk at the kibbutz swimming pool, and during his management, he learned the secrets of commerce. Then he opened a hair salon for dogs.
Daniel eventually became CEO of SodaStream. He brought the company to global success and was eventually acquired by PepsiCo.
Watch this video starring Daniel himself, the one who was a bad student.
Shai Wininger, Co-Founder of Lamonide and Company President
Lemonade is considered an innovator in the insurance field. The company has almost 200 employees in Israel and abroad.
Shai Wininger joined Daniel Schreiber and in 2015 they started Lemonade. They identified the hesitation people are having of insurance companies. Because in many cases, after a person is paying for his insurance policy for years, when a case of insurance arises, the insurance companies are renouncing themselves and looking for reasons to not give out any compensations.
Shai and Daniel understood that there's a market failure here and developed a new model of insurance, that solves the conflict the insurance companies are having when there's time to compensate their insured.
Shai told in an entrepreneur related podcast that he doesn't have a GED (General Equivalency Diploma) and in spite of that he feels comfortable in his senior jobs at the company. According to him "creativity characterizes in a large part people, that some of them don't even have a GED."
Yanki Margalit, Social Entrepreneur, and High-tech Investor
Yanki Margalit shared his personal story at a Nitzan Association conference held at Tel Aviv University.
Yanki Margalit, who founded a successful high-tech company when he was just twenty-three years old, says in his lecture that alongside his desire and curiosity to learn, read and develop, as a student, he had difficulty being part of the educational system, and was even "thrown out" of school.
This lecture demonstrates that we as adults can influence, direct and encourage children, even if they are not outstanding students. When there is someone who believes in a child, this helps them to fulfill their potential; the sky is the limit.
In the process of establishing an enterprise, the entrepreneur should gather relevant information to understand the environment in which the enterprise is supposed to work in.
The information is varied and from different disciplines: technical information about the product, information about the competition, information on the legal environment in which the enterprise operates, information about the target audience and more.
A failure to collect knowledge and information could lead to failure and a waste of a large investment. In many cases, enterprises fail because of an absence of knowledge.
In 3/2016 it was reported that the Sync.me app was blocked for use in Israel.
The application allows you to get information about the caller to your mobile phone according to information available on social networks since it knows how to synchronize people's phone numbers and their profiles on social networks.
According to reports, although this is an Israeli app development, it was blocked for use and download in Israel by the Justice Department.
An investigation carried out by ILITA [Israeli Law, Technology and Information at the Justice Department] regarding the operations of Sync.me Ltd, revealed that there are responsible grounds to assume that the information in the database was received, accumulated and collected in violation of the Privacy Protection Law.
This example illustrates that we must be familiar with the legal environment in the area of our enterprise.
In science classes, students learn to explore, ask questions, gather information, analyze it, and draw conclusions. This process is very similar to the process that the entrepreneur undergone. When an entrepreneur prepares a business plan, it also contains these elements, which are taught in the science classes.
Subject number 6 in the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program focuses on collecting information. We emphasize the importance of knowledge of the legal environment in which we operate from various aspects, discuss the possibility that we do not know all the legal aspects and how to proceed with the project without breaking the law.
Additionally, we are exposed to examples of enterprises that closed or failed as a result of ignorance of the law and how the price to pay can be heavy.
The target is to dispel the fear of establishing an enterprise, just because we are afraid of failure stems from ignorance of the law - there are ways to overcome those challenges, and those ways are taught in the class.
Expanding Horizons, Skills, and Interest
The entrepreneur's interest throughout the year helps him to focus on the project he selected. Additionally, at the beginning, the entrepreneur is required to work for many hours and use all the tools and knowledge that he has in order to save money and work efficiently.
As kids, it is not always clear what we want to be when we grow up, but as we expand our areas of knowledge and hobbies, we will be exposed to different areas. This lets us find out what is more interesting to us, what we do love and don't love, and in the future, we can choose what to do. The alternative is to run randomized according to the circumstances. Also, having a business or hobby in which it's hard to see their contributions to our future success can be beneficial.
To illustrate this point, try to get inspired by an entrepreneur and watch Steve Jobs' speech in 2005. Learn from him how studying and knowledge enrichment can help in the future.
An example - Galit Zamler's story:
As a child, I organized activities for the kids in my building at afternoons and holidays, I also produced and guided my younger brothers' birthdays. I liked this field, but over the years I walked away from this area. I didn't work with children at all, I always knew I had an approach to children, but I specialized in business management. But this exposure from childhood was very beneficial to realize later that I can mix the areas together and enjoy it.
This example illustrates how various interests, that are supposedly meaningless can be helpful for the entrepreneur: Avishay Hamburger, consulate and business and personal coach wrote a book published by Opos - Make a Work from the Laugh. The content was derived from his experience in managing, and he drew the illustrations in the book by himself. About that, he said: In every meeting or appointment you can see me scribbling, it is a youth obsession, that accompanies me decades ago, and in the book, I gave it the first public expression.
Ray Kroc, who turned the McDonald Company, into a well-known fast food chain, did it, thanks for selecting successful locations for branches that are available to the public. Apparently, there is no connection between food and real estate, but Ray Kroc worked in the real estate business when he was young, and this experience contributed to his success in the food business.
Be an Expert in Your Field
The entrepreneur's chances of success increases dramatically when he chooses an area in which he has a comparative advantage and expertise. The expertise is compared to competitors in the market.
The dictionary definition of expertise means: expert knowledge in a particular profession.
To become an expert in a particular niche an investment is required, and Malcolm Gladwell points out in his book, The Story of Success that: The picture that emerged from studies requires ten thousand hours of practice to achieve the level of control associated with world-class expertise - in any field.
But today, also people who are experts in their field must undertake a complicated learning process and cannot allow themselves to stop learning and advancing, because the technological environment is ever-changing and to challenge all of the fields of knowledge. In order to stay relevant, the biggest experts must keep on learning. This matter is related to the fact that, with technological progress and development professions disappear, professions change and others are created.
Discussion with kids:
What does it take to become an expert? Do we know which discipline we want to specialize in? Why specifically in this niche?
Lawyers are an excellent example of an industry-specific expert; this is their relative advantage over others in that particular topic.
Children among themselves consider themselves an expert in various things: One in soccer, one in studying, one in music player, one as a joker and more - these specialties are relatively easy to define because they are extroverts, and there are children that are supposedly not expert in anything, you can praise those kids about what they are, since each child is unique and has a long way before him.
Gradual Progress and Learning from Experience
Experience has a huge significance in our future success. Therefore, entrepreneurship education is also education for learning from experience, whether it's our experience or the experience of others. Gradual progression allows us to learn from experience.
In spite of the fact that his vision is enormous and significant for him, the entrepreneur begins starts acting with small steps, to allow him to study while fulfilling his vision and to correct his action when necessary.
A start with small steps that elevate the entrepreneur to his vision, reduce risks and allow the entrepreneur to test the feasibility of the project and learn from mistakes.
Gradually start allowing us to experiment, and as we gain experience, we review the degree of success [experiment and wonder] and if we have succeeded - we advance to the next level.
The meaning of small beginning, in jargon called a pilot, is defined in Wikipedia as an experiential operation of any enterprise, for gaining experience in the correction of errors before the full-scale operation.
I noted that the pilot does not always demonstrate the ability for the full-scale operation of the enterprise, especially when it comes to enterprises and complicated projects, like complicated software systems. There are situations where the pilot demonstrates the ability on a small scale, and sometimes on a larger scale, there are difficulties and problems which the pilot has not diagnosed.
In spite of it, experience and a gradual start are very important for future success.
Examples of Gradual Beginnings:
The advance towards launching spaceships was achieved in steps: Firstly, the Russians launched Sputnik 1, and following its success they launched Sputnik 2 a month later, this time with a living creature on board- Laika the dog. Only a couple of years after the first manned spaceship was launched.
Entrepreneurial world examples:
An entrepreneur that seeks to establish a catering company said that in the starting stage, she made meals from her kitchen for small-scale events. This start allows her to be careful and calculate her way without spending large sums that are dangerous for her financially.
Lital Gindi said in an article that was published in a magazine [Lady Globes, August 2010] about the growth of the company Gindy Holdings: The first field was purchased in the year 2001 with equity capital and guarantee loan by their parents, to build 36 apartments, and since then they have sold 3,500 apartments. It is no longer a project with dozens of apartments, but hundreds of apartments.
Small beginnings with kids:
Small beginnings with kids are reflected in many areas: when they learn how to walk, read, catch a ball and more. When we, adults, want to encourage kids in any subject, we must do it gradually.
Acquisition of Knowledge
The entrepreneur's learning methods are different and various, rather than organized.
Entrepreneurs learn from experience, learn from other entrepreneurs, learn from suppliers/clients /competitors and from the environment in general, learn and make an analogy from various fields, learn in institutions and courses and learn on their own from different sources [books, internet, television, audio and more].
The need to learn and know more is a constant need; it stems from the desire of the entrepreneur to improve and excel in his particular subject and to keep his competitive advantage in the market.
Stef Wertheimer in his book: The Habit of Labor, tells about his need to acquire knowledge:
In Prof. Goldberg's laboratory I learned a lot, but I began to realize that absence of my basic education was an obstacle and I felt that this makes me stop. Although I was a teenager, I was already impatient and I wanted to move faster. I began to read and learn on my own a hard professional material and try to be, in the absence of any other option, an autodidact.
Acquiring knowledge helps us to think about creative ideas. One of the techniques of creative thinking is combining elements from two different areas and creating a new product/service. In order to come up with creative ideas that are based on this technique, we must first get to know and learn up close those specific interests. Without this kind of introduction, we'll find it difficult to think of creative and original ideas with the help of the combining/connecting technique.
Language Arts Classes
While Language Arts classes aim to develop students' skills in literary analysis and interpretation, which may not directly promote entrepreneurship. They also teach students' persuasive writing, linguistic competency, and oral communication as well as to strengthen students' reasoning and persuasion skills. These skills are essential in almost every possible venture.
When he comes to market his product/service he transmits messages to prospects, whether those messages are written or spoken, they mostly appear in standard language. Otherwise the first impression of the product/service is negative, even if it does not indicate anything about the product/service offered.
Our way of expressing ourselves, our desires and our views are through the spoken or written language. As readers and listeners, we tend to read, listen and understand better when the language is standard.
Imagine an ad with spelling mistakes, what kind of impression do you get about the ad owner or about the product/service that it offers?
Also, standard language has a role in building our confidence to express ourselves; it can be seen even in comments online. When someone writes with misspellings, immediately someone mocks him of its inability to spell correctly, without regard to the content of the text - and even in anonymous comments, the author's confidence in spelling can be damaged.
So, using a standard language at home and school, and exposing the kids from an early age to the correct language will make it easier for them to express themselves well and be confident in the future.
Entrepreneur content world example:
Naama [pen name], an image consulting, was invited to lecture to a group of women, most of them from the teaching area. Although Naama is an expert in her niche and her lectures are fluent and interesting, she made many linguistic errors. Those errors were grating to part of the audience, and they loudly corrected Naama for any error.
The result: the difficulty of the lecturer and the audience to concentrate on the content of the lecture damaged the lecturer's self-confidence to reappear in front of an audience again.
I will note that in Naama's case, despite the fact that she is not young, she worked to improve her language, as befits an entrepreneur. Today she lectures without errors and fear and even writes content on the internet in her field of expertise.
Another entrepreneur content world example:
A course in which the content is sent to the student via e-mail costs thousands of NIS. The course was made by an entrepreneur with a Ph.D. When the first lesson was sent through e-mail to the student his eyes were darkened, as there were a lot of spelling mistakes.
The first impression is very important, and is sometimes decisive for the purchase of product/service.
Eventually, because of the convenience of studying a course via email, the student decided to correct and be attentive to the content, and he found it to have professional content.
The business entrepreneur should have a business model, and for that, he needs to calculate expenses, revenues, profits, costs, fees and more, so he should use the tools he learned in math. The ability to correctly conduct financial matters requires a basic knowledge of math.
Most of the things are about simple math, but when the business evolves, and sometimes even in the raising capital stage, the calculations become more complicated, and every percent can have an effect on the profit.
Dealing with numbers from an early age will help kids like mathematics professions. You can start by counting stairs when you go up or down, playing quantity games [which group is bigger?], Or by using things that kids love to play with in addition and subtraction games [like dolls, playing cards, and collecting different information].
In the book The Story of Success, Malcolm Gradwell compares Asian kids who show talents in mathematics to Western kids. Among other things, he writes this about the Asian kids: They tend to enjoy math a little more, and maybe because they enjoy math a little more, they are more willing to invest and participate in math classes and do their homework and so on, in a kind of magic circle.
The experience has shown that pleasure encourages learning in every area, and we, as educating figures, can be creative and combine fun in learning kids.
A case that happened to Galit Zamler illustrates the importance of mathematical knowledge: In one of my previous duties, I created an opportunity window to change the pricing system; I recognized the opportunity and proposed to the company management a different economic calculation than this one that had been used for years. The calculation was made to save the company a lot of money - if only it was adopted. However, since the decision makers did not understand it, they decided not to use the method I suggested, and the competitors have rushed to adopt it.
The entrepreneur should eventually market themselves and/or their service/product, and to do it successfully they use [even if they are not aware] tools taught in literature classes.
Eyal Linor, who has a regular column in the magazine Lady Gloves, well expressed the importance of teaching professional literature in the newspaper edition 6/2010 under the title "How I lost a life lesson".
Here is a part of the column: If I had more sense, I would have understood the techniques taught by my literature teacher in the dreary lessons of 1983, I would have noticed that they were going to be future weapons of marketing wars in 2010. Those who do not control the literature tools, are going to be irrelevant in the future marketing world.
In the same column, Eyal Linor explains how the story, metaphor, personification, imagery, exaggeration, and synthesis are techniques to transfer marketing messages.
It is very easy for us, as parents and educators, to make kids enjoy a literature profession. From an early age, even when they cannot read the books by themselves, they are interested and want to hear the stories - we just have to sustain that.
Entrepreneur skills & entrepreneurship education