The Business School Role in an Entrepreneurial Economy

Video Icon Video
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Business schools can change the perception that entrepreneurship only applies to new commercial endeavors, and that entrepreneurs are born, not made.
Featuring Austin Okere, CWG Plc
  • Entrepreneurship is the majority source for new job opportunities in many economies.
  • The advantages of entrepreneurial pursuits include new technologies and innovation, which can benefit other small and medium business that already exist.
  • Business schools have a responsibility to discuss the benefits, risks, and management of entrepreneurship in their program curriculum.

Transcript

Austin Okere: [0:13] Entrepreneurship is the backbone of the economy. In many economies, entrepreneurs provide 80 percent of the jobs. Let me give you an example. For instance, in Nigeria, there are only 191 companies listed on the stock exchange.

Apart from the fact that they provide the most jobs, a lot of business processes, new technology, innovations come out from entrepreneurial pursuit.

[0:30] There are 41.8 million small and medium businesses, which are entrepreneurial businesses, according to the National Bureau of Statistics in 2019. Imagine the impact it will have to empower these businesses to employ just one more person each. That immediately adds 41 million jobs.

[0:55] Apart from the fact that they provide the most jobs, a lot of business processes, new technology, innovations come out from entrepreneurial pursuit. Yes, a lot of them die in pursuit of innovation, but the ones that succeed bring up new systems that can be expanded and scaled to make even existing big companies better.

[1:21] I would say that entrepreneurship is key. How can business schools teach entrepreneurship? A lot of people come to me and ask me the question, "Are entrepreneurs made or are they born?" That is the wrong question. The right question is, "Who volunteers to be an entrepreneur?"

Business schools' role is to break the myth of entrepreneurship by not thinking that it is born with, but by who volunteers to be an entrepreneur.

[1:41] Why would anybody volunteer to be an entrepreneur if he is not taught about the opportunities, the risk, and how to manage both, how to think about leaving the footprints in the sands of time, taking a passion? Taking that passion to a bootstrapped, minimum-value product, iterating that same product, and then scaling it to a mainstream solution.

[2:16] That is where people like private equity companies would then come in and put in funds that is needed to take it exponentially. At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is extremely important to create jobs and to provide the paths to innovation. Business schools' role is to break the myth of entrepreneurship by not thinking that it is born with, but by who volunteers to be an entrepreneur.

Subscribe to LINK, AACSB's weekly newsletter!
AACSB LINK—Leading Insights, News, and Knowledge—is an email newsletter that brings members and subscribers the newest, most relevant information in global business education.