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14 May, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Need for encouraging entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship can, and should, promote economic opportunity. It can serve as an agent of social justice
Ahmed Al Asheq
Need for encouraging entrepreneurship

Till date, several longitudinal and cross-cultural research studies have evidently substantiated the significant role of entrepreneurial activities in fostering and stimulating country’s GDP per capita, economic growth, and self-employment generation, while a considerable number of researches intensively acknowledged the eminent role of SME (small and medium enterprise) in contributing to the community economic development, precisely in rural and remote region. For developing economies like Bangladesh, entrepreneurship does saliently impact the socio-economic level growth with financial wealth formation.

A notable universal trend is well noticed that entrepreneurship has been unprecedentedly soaring at a ground-breaking pace. In some of the economies in which the ultimate choice for starting a new business was conventionally caused and driven by necessity, presently an escalating quantum of entrepreneurial activities is well triggered by opportunistic phenomena, inherently indicating the importance of studying entrepreneurship not only at national policy making but also at academic institutional level.

Although Bangladesh government and various public organizations have adopted several noticeable initiatives and policies to promote entrepreneurship, exceptionally emphasizing on MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise), but at the academic institutional level, very few impactful policies have been evident to strengthen the student’s intention to seriously embrace entrepreneurship as a potential career alternative.

According to the 2018 GEM report (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor), in the region of Asia and Oceania, nascent entrepreneurship score rate increases by 1.1 score compared to 2016/17 and new business ownership rate also swells by 1.0 score than the previous year; while all over the world an increasing nascent entrepreneurship trend is experienced, indicating the paramount role of entrepreneurship as a substitute of traditional ‘blue color’ and ‘white color’ job employment.

The ‘GEDI’ institute (Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute) in their 2017 global report ranked Bangladesh 133 out of 137 countries, with overall GEI (Global Development Index) score of12%. The most interesting and strongest recommendation of this report has been the enhancement of the overall entrepreneurship condition that might add 10% value (equivalent to $187 billion) to the national economy of Bangladesh.

The report, also mentioned the strongest area of the entrepreneurship condition in Bangladesh, has been the opportunity start-up. As we are living in the age of digitized global village, e it has become the foremost responsibility of our academic institutions to tune up their educational programmes in such a way so that our students could easily grab the opportunity of having entrepreneurial activities as a prospective strategic start-up.

If we take a deeper look at the world-renowned business schools (e.g. Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan, Kellogg, EDHEC, ESCP, NUS, CEIBS), we come to know that these business schools have been extensively offering a full master’s degree programme in ‘entrepreneurship’ education, followed by innovation and technology management; so that their graduate scholars could smoothly kick-start their own entrepreneurial venture. To be more specific as an example, MIT Sloan has already launched entrepreneurship lab called “Martin Trust: Center for MIT Entrepreneurship” (entrepreneurship.mit.edu/mba-entrepreneurship-innovation/), through which they are offering intensive programme on ‘MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation Track’ for those students who are committed to entrepreneurship.

Mr. Ayr Muir, the owner & CEO of “Clover Food Lab” and an environmentalist, after being MBA graduated from Harvard Business School, he started his own tech-based food start-up, following by a disruptive strategy. His fundamental intention to obtain MBA degree was to establish his self-business venture in which he could apply the knowledge he would have obtained from MBA. In this case, his educational background intrinsically enabled him to pursue an unorthodox path—that is own start-up food lab, a successful entrepreneurial venture.

Simultaneously, business schools and institutes in Bangladesh are still functioning in the traditional arrangement. In our public and private university’s business schools, in bachelor or master’s level, perhaps one or two courses focused on entrepreneurship are usually offered, still there has been no purely master’s degree course on ‘entrepreneurship’. Then the most critical question comes into the mind, why our students still couldn’t come up with an astounding start-up idea like ‘Facebook’, ‘Uber’ ‘Airbnb’ or ‘Amazon’.

Although in recent times, we have come across a few tech-based amazing social entrepreneurial start-ups like “10-minute school”, still we are substantially lagging behind in this segment. In this respect, our corporate sector needs to be aligned with business schools in order to stimulate the student’s inclination to start their own business. Still in our country, business graduates are destined only for looking traditional job employment (i.e. white colour job), whereas American and European students are crucially leveraging their educational platform to be self-employed.

From the entrepreneurship research point of view, students belonging to the “Humanities” are less intentional to pursue self-employment; rather they prefer govt. job which is perceived to be the most desirable and safest form of employment in our country. Since, all the western academics and scholars have imperatively emphasized to remodel and redesign their educational curriculum according to the market needs, it is high time for our academicians to rethink of our educational system in a competitive transformational way so that our students would be able to apply their gained knowledge in their job, business and personal life.

Our local business schools could arrange seminars, workshops and business competitions among the students to strengthen their moral and competency level to take entrepreneurship as a career. Even they can set-up innovation lab and entrepreneurship incubators to motivate students, especially for the “Humanities” grouped students. Furthermore, our regional govt. officials could systematize training course on “entrepreneurship” in cooperation with adjacent colleges and universities and multi-national companies to promote entrepreneurial career among the rural students and prospective individuals.

Babson college, fundamentally focused on entrepreneurship education, has been running “Entrepreneurial Thought and Action (ETA)” for expanding student’s opportunity to trial and test their business ideas and thoughts. Also, they have founded social innovation lab where societal innovation-based experiment is encouraged as well. Technically, this kind of platform is significantly lacking in our present educational infrastructure.

It has been the striking duty and responsibility of our national educationalists to rethink, redesign, and restructure our current business studies curriculum, with purposefully considering the significance of entrepreneurship education. In order to produce more competent and divergent job market candidates, with enabling them to think outside of the box at this digitized period of time.

The writer is a freelancer. Email: asheq_ju@yahoo.com

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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