Education and Entrepreneurship – Are They Mutually Exclusive?

Date: 2-Jan-2014 Post in: Entrepreneur , Learner By: Raj Dhonota

Spanning the last few decades, we’ve managed to subconsciously embed this thought into our minds that education and entrepreneurship do not go hand in hand. While the former has to do with learning and fathoming new skills, the latter is the process of marching forward with an initiative and starting a new business.

The fact that entrepreneurship is among the keystones of stable economic growth is a well-established one. Developed nations around the globe generously invest into it; competitiveness and innovativeness come with the territory. But is there really any guarantee that an entrepreneur can or will succeed without the foundation of a sound education?

A handful of aspiring entrepreneurs with start-up business ideas are hungry for success; they’d show the determination, the energy, drive and willingness, and often have the potential to offer ground-breaking products or services. These are quite rightly essentials to being a successful entrepreneur. Unfortunately, many tend to think that a poor academic foundation isn’t much cause for concern, and this often leads to a false sense of security.

A solid academic prowess gives way to crucial skills that cannot be acquired elsewhere. They say experience is the best teacher and it is often used as an alibi to overshadow a lack of education. Most start-up entrepreneurs today prefer sticking to the notion that education and entrepreneurship are mutually exclusive. They go on to claim that entrepreneurship is the “only way out”.

Often you may come across young entrepreneurs touting worn-out examples of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates; how they never needed a good college or university education to “make it big”. Not reassuring though, the number of entrepreneurs who’ve been successful without a sound formal education has steadily decreased when we look back at the past two decades.

In the “knowledge economy” we live in today, education has become a precious commodity indeed. We call it the knowledge economy since many things that we often take for granted in today’s society, revolve around the accumulation of information and generating innovative ideas.

To think that entrepreneurs can have a competitive edge today with the absence of a formal education would be a gross miscalculation.

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