HOW SHOULD WE TEACH AND STUDY ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP?

1.

As I understand, in recent years, there is a situation that anything from big to small in Vietnam has been turned into a “movement” and contests are held at all levels. Recently, when “The Industrial Revolution 4.0” is emerging, there are some spectacular claims such as: “The Vietnamese are great at launching an all-people movement”, which is a advantage, or “By 2050, the Vietnamese economy will raise up to better than Korea ” and “Ho Chi Minh City will have the Nobel Medicine Prize”. Everyone doesn’t take responsibility for their own claims.

2.

Not all movements are bad, but it is bad to turn anything into movement. There are so many kinds of movement in our normal life, from cultural movement to educational one, from traffic movement to socio-economy ones, etc. And now, the next thing that is being movement-lized is “Entrepreneurship”. But it is impossible for Vietnam to be a “Startup Nation” just by shouting out loud in conferences and seminars. Getting a startup, especially innovative one in the digital era, just can not be that simple movement.

To me, people could launch entrepreneurship movements within students at universities and Youth Union organizations. Those movements will raise awareness, build up the spirit of entrepreneurship, the spirit of innovation, and…just that. If there is no following step, everything will end and entrepreneurship activities can not be developed. In other words, we must regulate the way we do entrepreneurship activities. We will not get any results with the current noisy “trending” method along with show-off claims, which are spreading widely in our community.

In order to make entrepreneurship activities in the digital era really work, we can do them slowly but stably. To get specific results and take startups to be one of the pillars of the Vietnamese economy, we must have more methodic activities. Those must contain: building up the spirit of entrepreneurship for youth patiently and enduringly; enhancing students’ knowledge and skills about getting a startup by practical training in education; mobilizing groups of pioneer investors and entrepreneurs helping with both experiences and capital. Enacting policies about governmental and local support for startups is also one of those methods.

In this article, I only want to emphasize how entrepreneurship training should be.

According to the current goals and current practical startup activities. We need to concentrate on core problems in entrepreneurship training:

Firstly, we must initially train students at universities and vocational schools, especially those in educational branches. So the government’s advocacy is that everyone who is studying not only in economic schools but also in every post-high-school educational institution will be trained about special subjects of entrepreneurship and business administration. Other ways, just like major branches, to avoid being doctrinaire in schools, there need to be some social startup support centers which will organize training programs to educate both students and workers about practical startup skills. From here, there will be harmony between teaching entrepreneurship theory and training practical skills with the aim of adapting to the social practice.

Mr.Vo Duy Khuong – Da Nang Business Incubator (DNES) release the curriculum at SURF 2017

Secondly, There are many curriculums for entrepreneurship training from other countries that have been translated into Vietnamese. There needs to be more study, however, so as to find suitable special subjects; to compose more those will work well with the practical situation in Vietnam and to build up more entrepreneurship training programs as well as curriculums which are adapted to Vietnamese conditions. Those programs’ content could concentrate on following groups of subjects:

●  Building up spirit of entrepreneurship;

●  Designing the creative thinking;

●  Business managing skills, product developing skills and market expanding skills

●  Processes to build a startup company

●  These things are helpful content and analyzing tools for young people joining entrepreneurship activities. Programs that are mentioned above should be neat and practical.

Finally, build up models to practice starting a business. This is the most difficult part of teaching and studying about entrepreneurship. Training programs need practical models which are basic processes for founders to apply to their own business. Of course, they are just very basic pieces of the puzzle such as formatting product ideas, building up a team, capital mobilization skills, market expanding skills and business planning. In each startup company, these processes can be operated in different orders and some can be inserted or removed depending on specific conditions.

The training program at Finc – Incubation department at DNES.

The more plentiful these practicing models are, the more practical skills passionate students could get. They will be less awkward when implementing activities for their startups. There is an upset fact that most start-up projects along with an enthusiastic team, after the period of formatting ideas, will be shattered due to initial troubles. People in those teams are often students( both graduate and undergraduate) and don’t have foundation knowledge about a startup business model and operation.

Teaching about startups is brand new in Vietnam where we do not have much experience. Moreover, studying from other advanced countries is not easy because of some problems such as the philosophy of education, business tradition and the integration ability of each country. But if we do not start, we will never be up to results and new experiences, including failures. Accept failures and consider them as the fee to learn. That is entrepreneurship.

Final thing to remember: entrepreneurship training is absolutely not a trend which is so exciting and cheerful at first then “throws in the towel” when “the honeymoon is over”.

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