Exposure to entrepreneurship in school matters

If students are introduced to the idea of entrepreneurship, they're more likely to start a business of their own

By , Guest blogger

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    Craig Vattiat, a teacher at Oregon City high school, teaches his class in business law in Oregon City, Oregon, on Monday, Oct. 5, 2009. Classes in business, especially entrepreneurship, can help students of all levels eventually start a business.
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The findings of a recent study by Babson College suggests that exposure to entrepreneurship in school increases the intention to become an entrepreneur.
This is consistent with preliminary findings we are seeing in data we have gathered here at Belmont.

Increasing exposure to entrepreneurship is a driving force behind our inclusion of entrepreneurship coursework for all students pursing either undergraduate or graduate degrees in business at our school. It opens students' eyes to business ownership as a career path.

We are also trying to take our efforts to integrate entrepreneurship into other programs across our campus. While we cannot get entire courses into other academic programs, we can help integrate the topic into existing courses by working with faculty from other disciplines. In fact, cross-campus entrepreneurship education is a trend happening at colleges and universities around the globe.

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Those students studying engineering, medicine and other areas of healthcare, art and music, the sciences, and so forth, all need exposure to entrepreneurship. For with exposure we can increase the number of business owners in an economy. We can offer these students a better understanding of what entrepreneurship really is and what it takes to launch and grow a venture. We can demystify it and help dispell some of the myths and misconceptions they have about entrepreneurship. This is why I included entrepreneurship education as one of the five points in my recent post about my agenda for utilizing entrepreneurship to help rebuild our economy.

While some level of entrepreneurship does "just happen", educating students about business ownership and free enterprise will amplify entrepreneurial activity.
Teach entrepreneurship not only gives them the skills they need, it actually increases their confidence that they can be successful at business ownership and increases the likelihood that they will in fact start a business of their own.

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