Entrepreneurship Education Encourages Acquiring Knowledge and Self-development By Galit Zamler
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 perspective, entrepreneurship education encourages learning, personal development, and knowledge acquisition.
The knowledge that entrepreneurs gain over time gives them a lot of benefits that help them to succeed.
The use of the word entrepreneur may be misleading because there are people who have some sort of image in their head of who is an entrepreneur, but actually today, we are all required for entrepreneurial skills.
For example, even writers, whose specialty is writing books, obviously after writing the book they would like as many people to read it. The marketing process of a book is an entirely different process of writing it. Still, the writers must know about in marketing, being familiar with technologies that can assist them in distributing the book, such as lectures and standing in front of an audience to promote the interest in their literary work, 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 foster entrepreneurship, both on a personal and on a national level.
Although there is criticism of the education system that it prevents creativity and entrepreneurship, the curriculum still has elements that prepare students for the entrepreneurial path.
In general, within the education system, students acquire knowledge in various fields and also learn to become independent learners. Both promote entrepreneurship. Knowledge of the multiple 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 different 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 you 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 have value; they give us tools and open up for us a whole world of knowledge and opportunities
And yet, it is possible to succeed in life without high academic grades.
Each of us has different advantages that we can maximize and direct to fulfillment and success. We must know that we deserve to succeed and that we can accomplish, even if it will be in a different way than others.
Some examples of successful entrepreneurs are presented here, although, as students, they didn't excel at all.
The Israeli Entrepreneur Yehiel Spector
As a student with dyslexia, Yehiel Spector graduated without a matriculation certificate.
But he developed technical abilities and evaluating abilities, as well as an understanding of processes and alternatives. These capabilities helped him develop world-leading technology solutions and register 17 patents.
Likewise, these abilities and the ability to identify opportunities helped him in his youth to recognize a gap between technological progress and the firefighting field.
He decided to build the Spectronix factory in the periphery. The company operates in the international arena and specializes in extinguishing fire through advanced technological means.
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 eight years of study.
At age fourteen, he started helping the family's livelihood. After completing his military service, 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 Israel, is well-known, and can be found on the internet.
The optimism that characterized Rami Levi since he was young helped him to find the good in every evil.
Indeed, optimism is one of the characteristics of the entrepreneur, that helps him/her to succeed and face challenges.
Former CEO of SodaStream, Daniel Birnbaum
In an interview with Globes, Daniel said: "It was not easy for my parents. I was a pretty bad student, and they 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 ran a kiosk in the swimming pool at the kibbutz, and, while managing it, he learned the secrets of commerce. Then he opened a hair salon for dogs.
Later, Daniel became the CEO of SodaStream. He brought the company to global success, and eventually, PepsiCo acquired it.
Watch this video where the lead actor is Daniel himself, the one who was a lousy student:
Shai Wininger, Cofounder of Lemonade 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 they started Lemonade. They recognized the hesitation people are having of insurance companies. Because in many cases, after one is paying for his insurance policy for years, when a situation of insurance arises, the insurance companies are renouncing themselves and looking for reasons to not give out any compensation.
Shai and Daniel understood that there's a market failure here and developed a new model of insurance. This model solves the conflict the insurance companies are having when they need to pay their policyholders.
Shai said in a 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 many people who do not have a high school diploma."
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 established a successful high-tech company when he was just twenty-three years old. He said in a 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 he 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 and helps them to fulfill their potential, then 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 operate.
The information is varied, and from different disciplines: technical information about the product, information about the competitors, information about the legal environment in which the enterprise operates, information about the target audience, and more.
A failure to collect information could lead to failure and a waste of a great deal of investment. In practice, there have been many cases that ventures have failed due to a lack of knowledge.
A few years ago, it was reported that the Sync.me app was blocked for use in Israel.
The application allowed you to get information about those who called to your mobile phone according to data available on social networks since it knew how to synchronize people's phone numbers and their profiles on social networks.
According to reports, although this was 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 it was reasonable 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 have to be familiar with the legal environment 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 goes through. When an entrepreneur prepares a business plan, it also contains these elements, which are taught in Science classes.
Module number six of the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program focuses on information gathering. In this module, we emphasize the importance of knowing the legal environment in which we operate from various aspects. We discuss the possibility that we do not know all the legal issues and how to proceed with the project without breaking the law.
Besides, we learn about examples of enterprises that closed or failed as a result of not knowing the law and how expensive it can be.
The goal is to dispel the fear of establishing an enterprise, just because we are afraid of failure that stems from unknowing the law. There are ways to overcome these challenges, and they are taught during the entrepreneurial course.
Expanding Horizons, Skills, and Interest
The various areas of interest to which the entrepreneur has been exposed to over the years, help him/her focus on the venture he/she chose. Additionally, in the beginning, the entrepreneur is required to know many things and use all his/her tools and knowledge to save expenses and work effectively.
As kids, it is not always clear what we want to be when we grow up. Still, as we expand our interests and hobbies, and the more we are exposed to different disciplines, we will be able to find out what is more interesting to us, what we like, and what less, and in the future, we can choose what to do.
The alternative is to run randomized according to the circumstances. Even having an interest or hobby in that is hard to see their contributions to our future success, can turn to be beneficial.
To illustrate this point, try to get inspired by an entrepreneur and watch Steve Jobs' speech. 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 in the afternoons and holidays. I also conducted my younger brothers' birthdays. I liked doing so, but over the years forgot about it. I didn't work with children at all. I always knew I had an approach to children, but I specialized in business management. Still, this childhood experience was very beneficial to realize later that I can combine these two things and have fun."
This example illustrates how various interests that are supposedly meaningless can be helpful for the entrepreneur: Avishay Hamburger, a business consultant and personal coach, wrote the book 'Do a Job Out of Laughter.' 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 I have for decades, 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 increase dramatically when he/she chooses an area in which he/she has a comparative advantage and expertise. The expertise is compared to competitors in the market.
The expertise means have a great deal of knowledge and experience in a particular field.
To become an expert in a particular niche, one should invest time, effort, and sometimes money as well. Malcolm Gladwell points out in his book, The Story of Success, the ten-thousand-hour rule. He said that studies show that to reach a world-class level of expertise, one has to practice for at least ten thousand hours - in any domain.
But even people who are experts in a particular field need to keep learning and evolving, because our world is continually changing, especially technologically. These changes challenge all areas of life, and to remain relevant, even the most excellent experts should stay updated with innovations and keep learning. This is related to the fact that with the progress and development of technology, there are professions that are disappearing, professions are changing, and others are being created.
Discussion with kids:
What does it take to become an expert? Do we know which discipline we want to specialize in? Why precisely in this niche?
Lawyers are an excellent example of an industry-specific expert, hence derive their relative advantage over others in that specific field.
Children consider themselves an expert in various things: One in football, one in studying, one in playing music, one as a comedian, and more. These specialties are relatively easy to define because they are extroverts.
But some children supposedly are not experts in anything. We 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 great meaning 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.
Despite the desire to realize a significant and meaningful vision, the entrepreneur begins with small steps, to allow himself/herself to learn while fulfilling his/her vision and to correct actions when necessary.
Starting with small steps that elevate the entrepreneur to his/her vision, reduces risks and allows the entrepreneur to check the feasibility of the venture and learn from mistakes.
Gradual beginnings allow us to experiment, and as we gain experience, we evaluate our chances for success and accordingly move forward to the next level.
The meaning of 'start small' is called "pilot". It is defined as an experiential operation of any enterprise, for gaining experience in order to evaluate feasibility, duration, cost, adverse events, and improve before the full-scale process.
Despite the written above, it should be noted that a pilot does not always demonstrate the ability for the full-scale operation of the venture, especially when it comes to enterprises and complicated projects, like complicated software systems. There are situations where a pilot demonstrates the ability on a small scale, but on a larger size, there are difficulties and problems which a pilot has not diagnosed.
And yet, experience and a gradual start are of great importance for future success.
Examples of Gradual Beginnings:
The progress in launching spaceships was achieved in steps: First, the Russians launched Sputnik 1, and following its success, a month later, they launched Sputnik 2. This time with an animal on board- Laika, the dog. And only a few years later, the first crewed spaceship was launched.
An entrepreneur who aspires to establish a catering company said that she is in the early stages, and at this early stage, she prepares meals from her kitchen for events of small size. This start allows her to be careful and calculate her way without having significant expenses, which endangers her financially.
Construction of Residential Buildings:
Lital Gindi once said about the growth of the company Gindy Holdings: The first field was purchased with equity capital and guarantee a 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:
Humble beginnings with kids are in many cases: when they learn how to walk, read, catch a ball, and more. When we, the adults, want to encourage kids in any subject, we must do it gradually.
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. They 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/her particular domain, thereby maintaining his/her competitive edge in the market.
Stef Wertheimer, in his book: The Habit of Labor, tells about his need to acquire knowledge:
"In Professor Goldberg's lab, I learned a lot, but I began to realize that a lack of basic education was an obstacle, and I felt that this made me stop. Although I was a teenager, I was already impatient, and I wanted to evolve and move faster. I began to read and learn on my own a complex 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 innovative thinking techniques is combining elements from two different disciplines and creating a new product/service.
T be able to come up with creative ideas that are based on this technique, we must first get to know and learn up close those specific subjects. Without this kind of introduction, we'll find it challenging to think of creative and original ideas by using the combining/connecting technique.
Language Arts Classes
When the entrepreneur wants to market a product/service, he/she conveys messages to prospects. Whether those messages are written or verbal, they should be without spelling and grammar mistakes. Otherwise, the first impression of the product/service would be negative, even if it does not indicate anything about the product/service offered.
Our way of expressing ourselves, our desires, and our thoughts are through the spoken or written language. As readers and listeners, we tend to read, listen, and understand better when the style is correct and without errors.
Imagine an ad with spelling mistakes, what kind of impression do you get about the ad owner or about the product/service that is offered?
Beyond that, corrected language has a role in building our confidence in expressing ourselves. One can see it even in comments online. When someone writes with misspellings, immediately, there is someone who mocks him/her for the inability to spell correctly, without regard to the written content. And so even in anonymous writing of talkbacks, the writer's confidence in spelling can be damaged.
Therefore, language lessons at school expose kids to the correct language from an early age and make it easier for them to express themselves well and with confidence in the future.
An example from the entrepreneurial arena:
Naama [pen name], an image consulting, was invited to lecture to a group of women, most of them from the teaching field. Although Naama is an expert in her niche and her lectures are fluent and exciting, she made many linguistic errors. Those errors greatly disturbed some of the audience, and they corrected Naama loudly for each mistake.
The result: Difficulty for the lecturer and the audience to concentrate on the content of the lecture, as well as the lecturer's self-confidence to stand in front of an audience again, was hurt.
It should be noted that in Naama's case, despite the fact that she is not young, she put efforts to improve her language skills, as befits an entrepreneur. Today she speaks right and confidently. She even writes content on the internet in her domain authority.
Another example from the entrepreneurial arena:
A course in which the content is sent to the student via e-mail costs thousands of NIS. An entrepreneur with a Ph.D. wrote the curriculum. When the first lesson was sent through e-mail to the student, he was shocked, as there were a lot of spelling mistakes.
The first impression is critical, and sometimes it is crucial about purchasing a product/service.
Eventually, because of the convenience of studying a course via email, the student decided to correct and concentrate on the content, and he found it had a high professional value.
The business entrepreneur should have a business model, and for that, he/she needs to calculate expenses, revenues, profits, costs, fees and more, so he/she should use the tools he /she learned in math lessons. The ability to manage finances correctly also requires a basic knowledge of mathematics.
Most of the things are about simple math. Still, when the business evolves, and sometimes even in the raising capital stage, the calculations become more complicated, and every percent can affect on the profit.
Dealing with numbers from an early age will help kids like mathematics professions. We can start by counting stairs when we go up or down, playing quantity games (which group is bigger?), or by using things that kids love to play within addition and subtraction games (like dolls, playing cards, and gathering different information).
In the book The Story of Success, Malcolm Gradwell compares Asian kids who show talents in mathematics and 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 when teaching 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 model of a popular product. I recognized the opportunity and proposed to the company directors a different economic calculation than the one that had been used for years. The new calculation method could 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, but the competitors did implement it immediately."
Language Arts classes develop students' skills in understanding and analyzing texts. They also teach writing and communication skills, as well as raising arguments and persuasion.
These skills, although they may not directly promote entrepreneurship, are essential skills for almost every venture.
The entrepreneurs should eventually market themselves and/or their services/products, and to do it successfully, they use (even if they are not aware) tools taught in literature classes.
Eyal Linor, who had a column in the Lady Globes magazine, expressed well the importance of learning literature, 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 the future means of marketing strategies. Anyone who does not master literary tools is going to be irrelevant in the future marketing world."
In the same column, Eyal Linor explained how the story, metaphor, personification, imagery, exaggeration, and synthesis are techniques to convey 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 only have to persist.
Entrepreneur skills & entrepreneurship education