Can Entrepreneurial Skills Be Learned?

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In today’s world, entrepreneurship has become an essential part of economic and social development. Many people are interested in starting their own business, but they often wonder if entrepreneurial skills are inherent or acquired. According to Peter Drucker, a renowned management consultant, entrepreneurship is a discipline that can be learned. This article will explore the skills that are required to become a successful entrepreneur and how they can be acquired.

The Skills Required to Become an entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is more than just taking risks; it involves various skills that are critical to success. These skills include decision-making, planning, strategizing, problem-solving, and creativity. A study conducted in 2014 identified four broad categories of entrepreneurial skills: cognitive, technical, social, and business management skills.

Cognitive skills enable entrepreneurs to think, make decisions, take initiative, and solve problems. For instance, if a pandemic has affected your product sales, you need to start a new line of products that adapt to the new situation.

Management skills involve knowledge about strategies, planning, goal setting, and decision-making. If you were to chalk out a plan to sell 800 face masks in a day, you would need to find potential customers with a high need for masks in a day, such as pharmacy shops and health clinics.

Social skills, including written and oral communication, are essential for meaningful interactions with stakeholders. Communicating effectively is key for an entrepreneur because everyone around you could be a potential consumer, employee, or investor.

Finally, in the 21st century, technical skills have become the core of many entrepreneurial ventures. Depending on the venture and industry, an entrepreneur can have these core skills in varying proportions. For instance, when working in the retail industry, one might require more cognitive and social skills rather than technical skills.

How Can You Acquire Entrepreneurial Skills?

There are several ways to acquire entrepreneurial skills, including formal education, learning by doing, and self-learning through online courses. Schools teaching entrepreneurial skills need not be limited to students of commerce and economics; it could be designed to go beyond the narrow context of setting up business activities.

Entrepreneurship education curricula can be focused on honing one’s existing capabilities and gaining new skills. Such teaching could be done well through interactive teaching sessions that go beyond the classroom. It can be approached through case studies, game simulation, and role play, multi-disciplinary subjects, extensive use of digital tools, interviews with entrepreneurs, and learning labs.

Other Actors’ Responsibility to Create an Entrepreneurial Culture

While education plays a key role, the responsibility to create an entrepreneurial culture also rests on other actors. Governments can create policies that promote entrepreneurship, schools and universities can enable the teaching and learning of entrepreneurial skills, and companies can encourage an entrepreneurial culture that fosters creativity and innovation.

According to Jose Souza, in her research, these entities need to work together for the development of an entrepreneurial culture that is key to driving economic development and social growth.

Food for Thought

Entrepreneurial skills are not inherent but can be acquired. The skills required for entrepreneurship include cognitive, technical, social, and business management skills. One can acquire these skills through formal education, learning by doing, and self-learning through online courses.

Creating an entrepreneurial culture requires the collaboration of governments, schools and universities, and companies. By working together, they can promote entrepreneurship and foster creativity and innovation, which is key to driving economic development and social

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