Can Entrepreneurship be Taught in a Classroom?

No matter how much guidance, support, and knowledge you have, becoming a successful entrepreneur is no easy feat. MBA programs offer a range of entrepreneurship programs, from formal courses to startup competitions and incubators, but there is still skepticism around the idea that academics can teach entrepreneurship in a classroom. It's true that learning by doing is essential for success, but it's also important to understand the key skills needed to be an entrepreneur. Many argue that entrepreneurship is too unpredictable and uncertain to be taught in a traditional classroom setting, especially by teachers who lack experience in the business world.

However, some business schools have developed new teaching models that focus on “implementation” and leveraging existing resources to take action. Others believe that only entrepreneurs with practical experience can teach the subject effectively. Additionally, developing the inclination for imagination, disruption, and counterintuitive action necessary for effective entrepreneurship is not typically part of a business school curriculum. Running a business is difficult, and learning to become an effective entrepreneur requires mastering new skills.

Currently, there are more than 5,000 entrepreneurship courses with over 400,000 students enrolling each year. Of course, being a successful entrepreneur requires more than just what can be taught in institutions; there are certain mistakes you want to avoid while being an entrepreneur that cannot be taught in a classroom. In the past, it was difficult to prove that business could be taught in the same way as law, medicine, and engineering. Many people believed that entrepreneurship could not be taught; they thought much of the success of entrepreneurs was due to innate personality traits (see studies on entrepreneurial mentality here and here).