Upskilling Education

Boost the entrepreneurial spirit

Freepik   | Photo Credit: Freepik

When the United Nations adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000, it was hoped that, by 2015, the world would be rid of eight grave challenges including poverty, hunger and environmental degradation. However, today, the MDGs have been replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which represent the challenges of this millennium and the need to tackle them with a new perspective.

It has been established that a collaborative approach and skills-based learning are key to achieve any development goal, and the SDGs are no different. Policy makers and governments must identify common points to realise these new sustainability goals. One such could be entrepreneurship.

The way ahead

The United Nations described entrepreneurship as one of the possible solutions to sustainable development challenges in its resolution on Entrepreneurship for Development. Thus, developed and developing countries are emphasising the need to promote entrepreneurship. Though India is not behind, it still has a long way to go since micro, small and medium enterprises contribute to over a third of GDP and around half the exports in the country.

To develop entrepreneurship, it is necessary that each stage — from education to access to finance — is given due focus. This is where the importance of entrepreneurship education comes in. The current pandemic has shown the importance of business sustainability for economic development.

Early start

Enhancing entrepreneurship education and skill development in developing countries and economies in transition is one of the six priority areas under the UN’s Entrepreneurship Policy Framework and Implementation Guidance. Entrepreneurship education is required to instil and shape the entrepreneurial spirit, while simultaneously providing right tools to establish and run the business in a financially sustainable manner. Its effectiveness can be improved through introducing the subject formally in school. This will also help instil the qualities of gender equality in children’s minds.

With global warming impacting businesses in many countries, start-ups in the field of energy are concentrating on addressing issues related to climate change. For social entrepreneurs, the agenda goes far beyond clean energy production. They are also focusing on improving quality of life and to create sustainable cities and communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to shortages of intensive care beds, ventilators, and protective equipment. Many start-ups and MSMEs have begun manufacturing these items with technology support from research institutions. Mass communication of quarantine measures, effective quarantine monitoring measures, as well as digital solutions to regulate essential logistics have also played a vital role. Several start-ups rose to the occasion by providing quick solutions relating to each of these areas. Start-ups can also play a big role in the areas of organic agriculture and value addition of agri products.

The writer is Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII)

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 11:11:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/boost-the-entrepreneurial-spirit/article32301804.ece

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