Would you believe it? A college finds that college courses are useful and necessary. Who’d a thunk? Is the Pope Catholic?

 

Is being an entrepreneur in your DNA, or can it be taught? A new study from Babson College finds the evidence is “overwhelming” that if business students take at least two core entrepreneurship classes, that can “positively influence” them to go on to start up a business.

Professors at the Wellesley, Massachusetts-based college analyzed a survey of some 3,755 alumni and found that two (“or better yet three”) entrepreneurship classes strongly affected students’ decisions to pursue start-ups, and that writing a student business plan also had some influence, though not as strong.

Is Being an Entrepreneur in Your DNA? | LinkedIn.

There is evidence that entrepreneurs don’t do well in school, but you won’t find that discussed in the article.

This is a false dichotomy. The writer thinks there are only two possibilities: either it’s in your blood, it’s innate, or it is taught in a college course. What about apprenticeships? Or mentors? No. None of that. It’s either DNA or college. No other possibilities.

And in the third paragraph, the article makes the predictable but unfounded leap from “entrepreneurship CAN be taught (in college)” to “it SHOULD be taught”. Surprise, surprise. Also notice the stress on reducing risk, a typical professorial attitude.

Why learn entrepreneurship from a professor who has never entrepreneured anything in his life?

“It’s time to cast off the prejudiced question, ‘Why teach entrepreneurship?,’ because we now have excellent empirical evidence that it makes a difference.  We think that entrepreneurship should be taught not only for the production and training of entrepreneurs but also to help students decide if they have the right stuff to be entrepreneurs before they embark on careers for which they may be ill-suited,” the professors wrote in the study, called “Does An Entrepreneurship Education Have Lasting Value? A Study of Careers of 3,775 Alumni.”

I don’t deny that entrepreneurship can be taught. Cameron Herold’s dad taught him (see the TED talk on the video below). I just don’t believe that college courses can teach entrepreneurship.

What’s next? Maybe college courses to teach selflessness and community spirit?


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