In today’s market, as the job gap increases and the money is localised in specialised positions, entrepreneurship seems to be the beacon illuminating the future. The next Zuckerberg and Musk might be sitting in an uni lecture right now, staring out the window, their mind calculating how impossible it is to turn their billion pound idea into a reality.
That’s why it’s more important now than ever for universities to be encouraging entrepreneurship in, not just in the students with an idea, but in everyone. As much as the Baby Boomers don’t want to accept it, the millennial generation are actually doing alright for themselves.
But great ideas from young people can’t change the world if they don’t have the support they need. Every year more universities are embracing entrepreneurship through funding and awards but here’s how all unis and colleges should be positioning themselves to give students the best chance of starting their entrepreneur career off right as penned by Donna E. Shalala for Mashable.
1. Treat students like legitimate clients
Instead of treating young entrepreneurs like hobbyists, schools should be setting up programmes, like Miami’s Launch Pad, to allow students to explore innovation as a legitimate career. Students should have to go through the same client processes as any external think-tank (i.e NDAs and venture assessments).
2. Embrace outside partnerships
Schools shouldn’t push away from outside partnerships because it might compromise the incubation of their programs. Outside partners can provide extra funding through sponsorships and opportunities.
3. Consider seed funding
No enterprise, student or otherwise, will be able to soar without the right financial backing. Universities should look to providing seed funding and grants to enterprises that genuinely have a shot at succeeding.
4. Make room for failure
Entrepreneurship takes years to actually get right. 90% of all start-ups fail dramatically and institutions need to account for that. What universities’ end goal should be is to prepare their students for the outside world. If that means giving their ideas the platform it needs, so be it, but more commonly, they need to also provide an environment where failure is an option.