25Founders: Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught?

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In the September 2012 edition of the 25Founders series, a collective of top New York entrepreneurs, members in this month’s NY Enterprise Report magazine talk about whether or not entrepreneurship can be taught.

When asked “can entrepreneurship be taught? Why or why not?” Edward Solomon, Net at Work co-founder replied: On businessdictionary.com, entrepreneurship is defined as, “the capacity and willingness to undertake conception, organization, and management of a productive venture with all attendant risks, while seeking profit as a reward.” This definition treats entrepreneurship as a state of mind rather than a set of academically learned skills.

The challenges faced by entrepreneurs are myriad and unpredictable. There are so many factors that can jeopardize the success of the entrepreneurial venture, and just as many creative ways to deal with these factors. When starting a new business, the entrepreneur is often the CEO, CFO, CTO, CMO, head of HR and “chief bottle washer.” What can be taught are the tools that will help develop the organizational and management skills needed to perform these required tasks successfully. I would argue that developing these skills is critical to success. What is inherent and not able to be taught is the willingness to risk it all and face these challenges over and over again.

Visit the New York Enterprise Report for answers by other top NY Entrepreneurs and 25Founders members.