Can Entrepreneurship Be Learned or Is It Innate?

Entrepreneurship is an art that is perfected over time through learning and experience. It is a set of innate traits that cannot be taught, but can be honed and developed. Some entrepreneurs are born with the gift of vision and the ability to inspire the rest of us, while others learn the skills they need through the technique that works best for them. There is a bold debate on the topic “can entrepreneurship be taught”, or whether it is an innate skill that only certain people are born with.

The truth is likely to be on a continuum; some people learn for themselves through the real world, while others learn through a mixed model that may include learning the fundamentals in a formal educational setting, while also learning by doing. Tools and programs have revolutionized business education by finding a more realistic way to support entrepreneurs, rather than the older and more passive methods of “researching and writing a business plan” to teach entrepreneurship. Its goal is to impart a methodology for leaving the classroom and interacting with the market (and learning from it) to build a business model over time; this process is more like the way real businesses are built than the old way of creating a business plan and then executing it. Nothing can turn a follower into a leader, but entrepreneurial skills can be taught. Entrepreneurial qualities, such as determination and risk tolerance, are innate.

There are those who continue to insist that entrepreneurship cannot be taught, arguing that it is confusing, uncertain and unpredictable and therefore there is no single method or map to impart to budding entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a team sport, not an individual effort, and you can only learn by doing it in the real world. The skills that an entrepreneur needs to succeed go beyond business skills that are “easy to teach in the classroom (e.g. finance, accounting, and economics) and include personal skills, such as leadership and management, that are best learned through experience. White explained how entrepreneurship programs can help people build on what is already part of their inner makeup.

Entrepreneurship took root in them from an early age, allowing them to hone their skills right from the start. It doesn't mean you have to go back to college or business school (although they are certainly valid options), but rather that you learn the skills you need through the technique that works well for you. I think entrepreneurship can be taught because in my business, I see that people from all walks of life are successful in their own businesses. Rather than being an all-or-nothing question, it is possible for everyone to develop their entrepreneurial skills with dedication and hard work.

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