YOUNG and Entrepreneurship & Skill Development Project (ESDP), in association with Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), recently hosted the two-day National Young Entrepreneur Summit 2020.
Moderated by Tajdin Hassan, Head of Marketing, The Daily Star, the panel discussion, 'Is traditional education enough for a student to develop an entrepreneurial mindset', reflected on the current education system and the general perspectives on entrepreneurship. The panelists were Ayman Sadiq, Founder, Robi 10 Minute School, Tawsif Alam Khan, Managing Director, Vertical Horizon and Md Sohan Haidear, Founder & CEO, Smartifier Academy. The session explored the Bangla and English medium students' mindsets, as well as university students and young professionals' perspectives on entrepreneurship.
Over the last few years, there has been positive changes in the entrepreneurial sector, with an evident rise of young entrepreneurs. However, continuing conversations about entrepreneurship is crucial for sustaining in this fast-changing world. Lack of proper curriculum and industry knowledge, as well as disadvantages of a fixed mindset were some of the aspects discussed by the panelists.
"We can help SMEs or small businesses to thrive if we can provide them with customised courses based on the contextualised knowledge about Bangladesh's business scene," shared Ayman Sadiq, discussing how our current curriculum is not sufficient for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
"This generation often takes things for granted, which has a negative impact on their goals, as they lack the drive," expressed Tawsif, an accounting teacher mainly working with English Medium students.
The panelists further discussed the role of parents and schools in shaping up a child's entrepreneurial abilities. They recommended customised changes in the curriculum, suggesting ways to incorporate business in education.
"The lack of knowledge about the potential business prospects of our country is another major gap for the entrepreneurial sector," added Tawsif.
"We are accustomed to a fixed mindset culture, which should be replaced by a growth mindset, allowing positive changes in skills and leadership qualities," said Sohan Haidear.
Inclusive and engaging content on business, entrepreneurship, and self-dependency among others can help create a positive and empowering mindset about entrepreneurship
"We, as a nation, have a negative attitude towards business and earning money, creating barriers on our own, which limits the prospects of new businesses," said Ayman. "Fundamentally, from a young age, students should be accustomed to the idea of earning money to change this negative attitude."
The panelists noted that the traditional curriculum in our education system dates back to age-old theories and ideas, contradicting the knowledge and skills needed for developing an economically solvent nation. To that end, further collaboration and policy implementation will encourage graduates to become successful entrepreneurs.
"Collaboration between university organisations, start-up companies and other businesses can play a powerful role to help students get hands-on experiences to apply their theoretical knowledge," said Sohan. The panelists further suggested that developing stories based on start-ups, known business figures and recognising gamification methods in teaching will also inspire young students to become entrepreneurs.