- Compiled and written by Entrepreneurial Business School -

Success in the new economy is not only a function of relevant skills; it also demands people who have entrepreneurial mindsets.  We all know that the business environment has changed dramatically and that the knowledge, skills and attributes, needed for economic success, have changed as well.  The world economy has progressed beyond the industrial phase and new economic success factors have come into play.  Most futurists agree that in order to excel in the current economic climate, people need the following entrepreneurial attributes, knowledge and skills:

v      The ability to create new and revolutionary products, concepts and services.  (A higher degree of creativity and innovation have therefore become key success attributes).

v      Success will also be a function of abilities to develop local and international networks.

v      Successful people will be those who understand the mechanisms of the national and international economies.

v      People need to re-learn how to motivate themselves, take risks and live with uncertainty.

v      People need to learn how to identify and how to utilise new business opportunities.  Successful participants in the new economy need to know how to un-learn and how to shift old paradigms.

v      The over-emphasis on memory needs to be replaced by a much stronger focus on intuition and creative insights.

v      Old paradigms regarding scarcity need to be replaced by new abundance mindsets.

v      Advanced and applicable knowledge regarding the mechanics of the human mind has now become critical.

v      Business acumen and business management skills are not only for businessmen, but have become life skills for all people wishing to excel in the new economy.

The new economy is providing us with numerous brand new problems, which means many new potential solutions.  We now have the opportunity to utilise more of our natural and God-given talents and brain capacity.  Many more people will be able to break out of their current boring work lives and will be able to achieve higher forms of self-actualisation.

It is therefore also a reality that the attributes and skills, needed to succeed in the industrial and related economic phases, are not relevant any more.  What is really needed now, are entrepreneurial mindsets, knowledge, skills and attributes.

As a first step, we need to master basic economic principles in order to understand the new rules of the game and the new dimensions of the playing field.  We also need to realise that prosperity is a function of the human mind (the ability the human brain has to solve problems for one another).  We need to realise that we all have different talents and every single normal person is brilliant in his or her own specific field.  We need to look beyond the current and actually limited fields of occupation.  These fields were relevant during the industrial phase, but we now need much more in order to face the challenges of the new economy.  We must stop to brand people, who do not excel in the traditional study fields, as not so clever. They could have other talents, which are outside the current occupational boxes, we know about.  Besides, we are only using between 5 – 10% of our brain capacity – how on earth could any person be labelled as not brilliant?

We urgently need to develop entrepreneurial mindsets, which include our natural creative and innovative abilities, and which are currently severely depressed by traditional education.  People’s mindsets need to change from that of job seeking, towards that of opportunity seeking.  People, who are caught in job seeking paradigms, will not be able to see new business opportunities. Business opportunities, needless to say, simply boil down to solving problems.  It could be new solutions to old problems, or solutions to new problems.  We need to understand that solutions are relative – there is always room for improvement.  Prosperity is not a scarce article; it can never be, because it is a function of entrepreneurship on the one hand, and solving problems on the other hand.  Problems and their solutions are not only relative; problems do have the tendency to multiply as our standard of living increases.  Therefore, as we move up the ladder of economic prosperity, problems, which were not perceived as problems before, are now becoming problems.  Things you did yourself in the past, suddenly become hassles; like getting your car washed and cleaned, for example.

The economy has emerged out of the industrial and into the new and exciting entrepreneurial phase.

This is now the time to create a culture from where “new” Isaac Newton’s can emerge.  Newton, the founder of many scientific principles we are boasting with today, formulated his theories in sixteen hundred already.  The other super brain, Albert Einstein, was also born 150 years ago.

The realities of the entrepreneurial phase will also cause a new mindset, where we will rediscover that wealth is not a scarce resource – it is in fact available in abundance.  We will also discover that the wonderful principle of “the more you give, the more you’ll receive” is also a key factor for personal and general economic success.

People will start to realise that problems we are facing, are in fact potential opportunities when solved.  This phase therefore demands a total attitudinal makeover.  We need to realise that success is not going to be a function of demanding or taking, but success is the result of providing solutions to problems. The human mind always had, and still has, the ability to solve any problem it can conceptualise and formulise. If we can manage to vest these principles as part of our culture, the world will take the quantum leap towards the love and peace we are surely all striving for.

The critical importance of advanced entrepreneurship training as a pre-condition for effective tertiary education is also strongly enhanced by The Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, Columbus, Ohio.  The following statement, made by them, underwrite the statement above:

When we think about the challenges of downsizing by big businesses as well as in government, the wise person asks where the jobs of the future are going to be.  Fear of failure is a mentality that leads to loss of opportunity.  For those advising youth about their future it is essential that we see entrepreneurial thinking as an opportunity rather than a risk”. The Ohio Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education also found that school leavers, who had entrepreneurship education, all had one advantage in common.  They are motivated to prepare for their careers via a specialised route – all their training are built on the foundation of entrepreneurship.  This Education Consortium feels strongly that a critical component of entrepreneurship development is a mindset, not only wanted to learn about “what is”, but to think of “what can be”.  Education worldwide does very little about “what can be”, even though our future depends entirely on this aspect”.  What a vital statement this is: “Our future depends entirely on what can be”.  The present standard of living, relative safety, security and peace we are enjoying today, were made possible by our abilities to innovate, create and implement.  If we do not develop these attributes, we will never be able to face the challenges of tomorrow.

Entrepreneurship education in the new economy should be the foundation of knowledge provision.  Entrepreneurship education in SA is, sadly to say, not viewed to be the foundation, but only as a little outside building, not even part of the house of education.  The result of this mindset is clearly reflected by the latest GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) report. SA is slipping further behind and is now rated 22nd out of 31 countries, has 5.4% entrepreneurs versus the average of 9.4% of the countries who participated.  The average for developing countries is 21%.  This figure is even a better benchmark because SA is also a developing country.  The effects of the above non-entrepreneurial culture are also reflected in the high unemployment and high crime rates in our country.  Most South Africans are looking for jobs, which are becoming scarcer and scarcer each year.  We are generally blind for the numerous business opportunities, begging to be utilised.  We need to create a culture where entrepreneurship education becomes the house of education, with other study fields, the rooms in this house.  We need to realise that we are far behind the rest of the world and have to catch up fast.  School leavers, as well as graduates from other tertiary institutions need to catch up on entrepreneurial skills.  An entrepreneurship-training course has become of critical importance for young people before embarking on a career path, which will probably lead to nowhere.  The reality is that only 1 out of every 10 university graduates are finding employment in SA today.  Big organisations are still downsizing and employees are loosing jobs on a continuous basis.  Thousands of school leavers go abroad for a year or two; come back and can’t find employment.  Very few South Africans are entrepreneurs who create jobs – most of us are skilled in something, but are job seekers.  We drastically need to turn the situation around.  We need a situation where a critical mass of South Africans emerges to the status of job creators (entrepreneurs).  The solution to this critical problem is, without a doubt, in effective entrepreneurship education.  Entrepreneurship education needs to be viewed as the highest possible priority in our country.  South Africans also need to realise that entrepreneurship education is not a once-off affair, but a continuous process.  We also need to understand that there are no limits in developing our entrepreneurial skills.  The more we apply and practice, the better we will get.  The future is there for us to shape.  What we do today, at this point in time, will determine what the future will be like.

We also need to realise that prosperity and peace are created by the human mind.  The more we stretch our minds and develop entrepreneurial attributes, the more the solutions to problems will follow.  Effective entrepreneurial education, as a pre-condition to tertiary education, is urgently needed to shift the old paradigm away from only learning about “what is” towards learning and thinking of “what can be”.

It is also very interesting that 74% of the GDP of the United States is contributed by small companies with less than 50 employees.  The importance of entrepreneurship education, “the new area of education” as it is known in the USA, can never be over-emphasised in the new economic climate we found ourselves today.  We are not only behind the rest of the world regarding the percentage of entrepreneurs in SA; we are also behind in realising the critical importance of such education.  School leavers should all attend a year program in entrepreneurial development before they choose a technical course or university degree in a specific field.  American research suggests that students with a solid entrepreneurship foundation are not only likely to become entrepreneurs – they are also better students.  This is probably because they now study with the major aim of acquiring knowledge, and not only to get a piece of paper (a qualification).

In an article in Die Burger a few years ago, it was clearly spelled out that so-called highly talented young people in South Africa couldn’t find employment. This situation is in fact currently not any better!  These so-called talented people include those who had many “A” symbols in matric and achieved university degrees, Technikon, as well as college diplomas and certificates.

The importance of entrepreneurship training for the new economy in South Africa also goes beyond empowering people wishing to start their own businesses.  Entrepreneurship education has become a critical element in the armament of people wanting to succeed financially.  It has also become critical important to people who want to follow the so-called professional routes, like becoming doctors, lawyers, accountants and engineers.  The financially successful professionals in the new economy will have to be entrepreneurs as well.

The corporate world, as well as smaller business employers, is also looking for people with entrepreneurial skills and attributes.  The specific name of “Intrapreneur” has been created for entrepreneurial-minded corporate employees.  It is now of growing importance for big businesses, as well as semi-government and government organisations, to become entrepreneurial-minded.

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2 Responses

  1. ryno jacobs says:

    i was also on the course but transport made it imposible for me to finnish the course,me and a close friend opened a construction company and i was so greatfull when the opertunity came to study at e.b.s im trying to sort out my transport problems seeing im wheelchair bound and where i come from they dont have transport for disable people its hard but im going to start over this year just hope i can finnish it so that i can run my construction company and manage it properly i just hope and pray that they have courses this comeing year in stellenbosch if its posible can anyone tell me when there courses start for 2011

    • minnaarpieters says:

      Thanks for your comment – we will send you the course info shortly

      Transport is not a problem!

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