How can entrepreneurial skills prepare you for the 21st century?

compass in hand

The future is shaped by the creators and innovators. If so, do we possess the skills to create or innovate? Do the skills that entrepreneurship offer enable us to do better and be better? 

As we continue to strive for peace, to end poverty, achieve equality, fight climate change, and make more conscious and sustainable decisions, it’s important that we not only learn how to make things better, but that we learn how to make better things (something our Founder Aape would always say and has guided our work at Funzi since its’ inception). Entrepreneurship education can teach us the skills and mindset that enable us to do better in the 21st century. 

Growth mindset

“I don’t know, but I can and will learn” is the kind of attitude and mindset entrepreneurship education develops. Growth mindset is the belief that we can develop our intelligence, which leads to a desire to learn, according to psychologist Carol Dweck. She further explores how this way of thinking can affect how we view challenges and obstacles, as well as approach the journey to success. People with a desire to learn have a tendency to embrace challenges and to persist even in the face of setbacks. They understand that success takes work and each mistake or failure is not a loss, but a learning experience. She also highlights their propensity to celebrate others’ wins, find inspiration and lessons from their successes.

Starting a business comes with a lot of questions and uncertainty that will require a growth mindset to succeed. You’ll most likely learn that you don’t have the answer to everything, but what you do have, is the choice to see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. And this mindset is exactly what entrepreneurship cultivates and rewards.

The only constant in life is change, so we need to have the skills and attitude that enables us to adapt and grow.

Diversified set of skills

Entrepreneurship education takes you through the ABCs of starting a business. That means you learn a varied set of skills: from specific business skills including marketing, accounting, sales, finance, etc., to soft-skills such as communication, problem solving, empathy, and creativity. These are skills that can be applied to any industry, any company, anywhere. As we head towards the 4th industrial revolution where extraordinary technological advances are reshaping the way we work, live, and interact with one another, we believe that one of the best ways we can seize these new opportunities is by being willing to learn.

The reason that Amazon hires for culture fit and learning agility is because they understand that what you’re hired to do may change in a matter of months. 

Companies need people who are able to adapt, learn, un-learn, and re-learn.

The mindset and skills you gain by studying entrepreneurship will prepare you for the future of work. You may even find that exploring different areas and learning various skills can help you identify your passion. 

Take on challenges and embrace failure

One of the many awesome lessons we can learn from entrepreneurs is their courage to pursue challenges and take on risks. But more importantly, it’s their ability to embrace failure and learn from them. Entrepreneurship helps you see that failure is not final, it is an opportunity to learn and try again. Because goals and dreams are not achieved without perseverance. 

A few years back, we created a mini podcast series where we talked to serial entrepreneurs to ask how they handle failure in both their careers and personal lives. Listen or read the recap to learn from their experiences!

Community development

Entrepreneurship has the ability to transform communities. It can help communities thrive by creating new jobs, bringing hope, prosperity, and drive change through innovation. In places like Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi and Promise Hub in Uganda, people have taken our Entrepreneurship program Founder 101 into use and it has sparked their confidence to become entrepreneurs, start new businesses, and offer people in their communities new opportunities. 

Take a look at the amazing hubs and places around the world where our entrepreneurship program has been implemented, and the impact it has had on these communities by clicking on the links to blog posts above, or then check out our livelihood project cases here

Are you interested in learning about entrepreneurship? Visit our website to start learning now for free!

We also want to hear your thoughts, do you think that entrepreneurial skills are important for the 21st century? Can it help us prepare for the future of work? Is it the solution to unemployment? Let us know in the comments below!