The modern world faces massive challenges. While humanity has overcome many diseases, poverty, and, to a large extent, warfare, many problems remain. And, from today’s perspective, some of them appear utterly intractable.
Because of this, we need a new generation of entrepreneurs – people with a problem-solving mindset who don’t automatically assume that the government has all the solutions. We need individuals to have the confidence to believe in their ideas and make them a reality so that the whole of society can benefit.
Take Elon Musk, for instance. Everyone said that making money from electric vehicles was impossible. And yet in 2020, Tesla is one of the most valuable car companies in the world – an astonishing achievement.To solve the world’s problems, we need a hundred more Elon Musks at the head of industry. But we’re not going to get them unless we change our collective approach to education.
Entrepreneurs aren’t always born. Some of them are made. And we need more of them.
Here’s how we can create a new generation of people interested in starting companies and solving the world’s problems.
Change the Psychological Narrative in Schools
The way schooling approaches success is a little odd. Kids are taught “that they can be or do anything that they want,” but, at the same time, must study specific subjects and go to various schools if they want success.
In essence, schooling trains people for middle-class existence. But that has nothing to do with entrepreneurship. Going out into the marketplace and creating something new is a very different experience from joining an accounting firm.
If schools changed their approach to the curriculum and gave kids more authority to choose a direction, then we would probably see more entrepreneurs. Children would learn that they had the capacity to create new things by themselves, without necessarily having to rely on others to help them. They’d grow up with the unconscious idea that they really can do whatever they want, including starting a company.
Begin Mentoring Early
All great entrepreneurs have mentors – people who understand the game and know the best strategies to win. But most kids never get a chance to experience this kind of input. Schools teach academic subjects, but they don’t provide insights on how to get ahead in the business world.
Mentoring kids in their teens would surely do an enormous amount to increase the confidence in taking risks in the marketplace. They’d understand that success isn’t just blind faith. It’s all about taking the right approach and executing. According to surveys, 88 percent of founders say that they had a mentor who helped them start their brands.
Promote Marketable Skills
Studying academic subjects is important, but it is also valuable for kids to learn marketable skills – things that help them create value in the marketplace immediately. Easy tech typing is a good example, but it’s not a part of standard curricula.
Provide Networking Opportunities
For many young people, networking isn’t something they experience until they get their first job. That’s too late. The development of social skills needs to start from a much younger age if they are to become unconscious and effortless in a professional context.
Fortunately, a lot of forward-thinking educational institutions are already providing these opportunities for their young people. Colleges, for instance, are asking professionals working in private enterprise to conduct week-long workshops to give young people a feel for what it’s like to be in the adult world.
Hire More Entrepreneurs as Teachers
In a similar vein, more former entrepreneurs need to go into teaching and share the spirit of enterprise with their students. Many conventional teachers are highly expert in their chosen fields, but they don’t have any hands-on experience in what it’s like to run a business. Consequently, students don’t gain any insight on how to do it while they grow up unless entrepreneurship is in the family.
Thus, if we ever want to get a new generation of entrepreneurs, we need to hire former businesspeople as teachers. Governments and schools both need to make this a priority if kids are going to get a rounded education that sets them up for success in the future. There’s nothing wrong with aspiring to become a member of the middle class. But we also need more movers and shakers – young people who are willing to take risks in pursuit of their business goals. Right now, we don’t have that, unfortunately.
So there you have it: some of the ways that we could create a new generation of entrepreneurs to solve the world’s problems.