by Leslie Downes
The entrepreneur is no longer being seen as something unteachable, something only a born talent can produce. It is well within the realm of possibility for someone to be taught the techniques, methods, and ideals an entrepreneur must have in order to succeed in business. Innovative schools are realising this, and increasingly the rarity of an entrepreneurial course is becoming more and more a normality.
One such school is Melbourne High based in Victoria, Australia, which partnered with Jon Michail and his team from Image Group International, providing the students with a program on – Entrepreneurship and Doing Business in the ‘Asian Century’. The program specifically focuses on conducting business in Asia’, and has garnered attention for its practical yet effective.
Numerous students of the also program entered into the esteemed Global Student Challenge run by the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong (pictured above), where business plans from schools all over the globe are pitted against each other; giving students a platform to showcase their creativity in front of an international audience, as well as provide insight into life and business abroad.
The business plan submitted by the students of Melbourne High School was judged the best in Australia, and within the highest 30 teams of all submissions, sending them and their head of Business Studies Joseph Marotta, as finalists on a sponsored trip to Hong Kong for the semi-finals.
Not only does the competition give students a glimpse into the competitive nature of the business world, it is also known for being a place to further develop their business skills and knowledge. The competition is a hub for students to connect and build networks, and encourages innovation, provides real experience into the world of business, and gives the opportunity for students to get their idea off the ground.
Many schools are starting to adopt entrepreneurial programs in an effort to instill these ideals into their students early, in order to prepare them for a life after school, may it be the traditional careers of law, medicine or engineering and also as an entrepreneur, in addition to their vocational preference. Whether or not the program helps the student in their business career is currently up to debate, and largely dependent on the individual program provided.
Supporters of entrepreneurial courses say the benefits exceed merely a better business career, and champion recent developments that suggest such programs also provide the students with the necessary tools to succeed in almost anything thereafter. Research claims that students who completed entrepreneurs programs perform significantly better than non-participants in all other educational endeavours. Student dropout rates were significantly lower than the national average for 16-19 year olds, at 1 percent, while the national average was 3.4 percent. Many students from the program continued on into a plethora of different fields: some obtaining degrees in science, and others in technology and engineering.
Entrepreneurship starts with students, and whatever the outcome of a student entering an entrepreneurial program will be, it is evident that the benefits of providing such a program far outweigh anything that could provide a contrary.