Good thing with new innovations and technological solutions is that it usually opens new perspectives and possibilities to do things. The same applies to education and teaching. New technological innovations are opening new possibilities to organize and provide training. We have good online platforms, excellent games to use as a tool for learning, programs to analyse learning results etc.
However, I would still like to point out, that the core of entrepreneurship is not changed and the entrepreneurial learning is not dependent of technical solutions but something else. What is entrepreneurship? How to learn entrepreneurship?
I remember some 25 years ago, I told to my entrepreneurial uncle that I’m training new entrepreneurs as my profession. His immediate response was the question: ”Do you need to teach entrepreneurship? Is it not to buy with 1 mark (our currency in Finland before euro was Finnish mark) and to sell it with 2?” I have often come back to this short statement. The core of entrepreneurial activity is to make profit. How do you do this?
Entrepreneurship is much more than information and academical knowledge. We can teach knowledge and make sure students understand the information we have shared with them. But how do you teach motivation and courage? How do you teach attitudes? To make profit, we need to act, we need to trust ourselves and our products we sell. We need to be motivated to motivate the customers to act. We need to orientate ourselves to believe there is positive future.
I don’t like to speak about teaching entrepreneurship, but rather use the word learning. How do we learn entrepreneurship? How we as teachers and tutors help students to learn right attitudes, to be motivated to act, to have positive future respects etc. How we can stimulate entrepreneurial learning?
I have personally noticed that many times a good question is much better than trying to give right answers. Entrepreneurs need three Meta-abilities (Key qualifications): ability to learn, ability to solve the problems and ability to evaluate oneself. To stimulate entrepreneurial learning, we should support learning, problem-solving and self-evaluation abilities in our students. Asking questions and using our time and personal support to answer these questions, we strengthen these Meta-abilities.
Going back to the original title of this blog, teaching entrepreneurship with new technology, I encourage all of us to focus into the right thing: Entrepreneurial learning! There are many new good innovations to support this learning but there are also many technical solutions and learning platforms that are not really focusing into the right things! A huge amount of information with nice and entertaining platform should not take our focus. We should find out if the learning platform is supporting entrepreneurial learning by stimulating student’s motivation, courage, attitudes, self-evaluation, problem solving, learning, etc.?
Entrepreneurship is hard to teach, it is more rewarding to try to help people to learn it.
“Buy with 1 € and sell it with 2 €! Let’s find out how you can do it!”
Mr. Jouni Suonpää
The Founder and Chairman of NEBA (North European Business Academy)