There’s a booming interest in entrepreneurship education lately, and its advocates claim that there’s more science behind the subject these days. But I think that much of what modern entrepreneurship classes explain and teach—the best ways to avoid mistakes—is misleading.
Teaching budding entrepreneurs to avoid risks causes them more damage. They are lured by falling into never-ending planning and product manufacturing, without practical research or trialing.
Failures and mistakes are unavoidable and are the same as testing theories and learning in the scientific world. Just as we would never teach scientists to avoid experimenting, we shouldn’t teach entrepreneurs to avoid making mistakes and risking failure.
Entrepreneurs refine their craft through experimentation and alliances in the real world. They learn best by rolling up their sleeves to take risks and building their companies while surrounding themselves with a reassuring mentor and peer community.
We can’t teach entrepreneurship to anyone in the traditional manner. But we must create ways to make entrepreneurs help themselves to learn more efficiently.
This implies discovering ways to provide them with a network of mentors and creative freedom to cultivate a business culture around them that articulates the following concepts: dream without barriers, open doors to creativity and innovation by listening to people, experiment more, trust, and be trusted, dare to make mistakes, treat others impartially and pay it forward.
While taking up the project Manchaha we were initially a little anxious since our artisans were new to designing. However, they proved us wrong and made us realise that their creative sense goes beyond one’s imagination.
They didn’t need anyone to teach them what to design instead took inspiration from their surroundings. While they weaved passionately what they required was guidance and mentorship to enhance their capabilities.
This reminds me of a comment from International Designer Runa Ray: “The artisans are showing the corporates a way to move forward. The beauty of the designs is the colorful ways in which the artisans use their mind.”
The risk behind giving artisans a chance to design as they wish indirectly gave birth to a creative movement. This articulates the concept that experimenting and taking risks paves way for innovations. Instead of avoiding mistakes entrepreneurs should learn from their mistakes and it gets better each time we fail.
Functioning this way means looking a little deeper than the traditional focus and discovering ways to nurture the communities that surround us. It’s a change that can pay incredible dividends.