Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (Print ISSN: 1098-8394; Online ISSN: 1528-2651)

Abstract

Developing a Curriculum for Aspiring Entrepreneurs: What Do They Really Need to Learn?

Author(s): Eddie Blass

The field of entrepreneurship “education” appears split. There are the business school offerings which emulate an MBA for small businesses and startups; there are the accelerator and incubator offerings which cost entrepreneurs a chunk of their equity in order to be processed through a version of the ‘lean canvas’ or some other business modelling process in 12 weeks; and then there are the one day seminars and inspirational gurus who motivate everyone to be a success, even when the reality is statistically going to be otherwise. This paper explores the research on successful entrepreneurs and draws out from this the basis of what a curriculum for would-be entrepreneurs ought to be in order for them to decide if entrepreneurship is the pathway for them, and how they need to navigate the pathway to success. Four key elements arise: their definition of success and subsequent framing of failure; their attitude and propensity for risk; their ability to develop resilience and recover from set-backs; and their level of action orientation to actually get things done. Aspiring entrepreneurs need to learn about themselves and how they are going to manage themselves through the entrepreneurial journey–not a business curriculum that they can pick up anywhere.