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Student Entrepreneurs



Kirjoittanut: Jignaben Patel - tiimistä Kaaos.

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Student Entrepreneurs

 By Manpreet Kaur and Jignaben Patel

Student Entrepreneurs

Education is generally adapted as a long-term solution to economic growth, a strong driver of innovation, a tool to strengthen institutions and their foundation in society, and its ability to foster social cohesion among its members. From this, it is evident that a vital part of education’s impact is the value it accords the student during their learning period. Beyond individuals studying to develop careers, some people start and successfully run their businesses while still pursuing their education in institutions they’re actively enrolled in, be it college, high school, or even university. These individuals are referred to as student entrepreneurs, and this business practice is student entrepreneurship (Bergmann et al., 2016). Such businesses take up many forms, from launching various start-ups, starting a service business or even a social enterprise. This paper analyses student entrepreneurship, its motivations, and its significance.

Motivations of Being a student entrepreneur

Students can explore their interest in entrepreneurship for a variety of reasons, mainly backed by the need to solve a problem. These motivations create a key foundation for the success of the business. Before the business itself is created, however, the first and most significant aspect of student entrepreneurship is entrepreneurship education, which creates the desire for innovation and creativity and risk-taking, to provide solutions in various areas by teaching skills necessary to explore entrepreneurship (Miço & Cungu, 2023). This is significant because it allows students to appreciate their talents and abilities in creating solutions that can help themselves and society, as well as taking a front-line investment in the solution-seeking process and being responsible for the outcomes. It also makes students highly aware of other career options they can explore, such as self-employment and then gives them the skills to start their ventures of interest (Miço & Cungu, 2023).

Armed with these skills, the first motivation is the desire to be a problem solver and make money out of it. Profit and money are often a motivation to do various things, especially for students seeking financial independence. Recognising a problem that other students are facing and then seeking to solve it while making money out of it is one of the most idolised motivations for becoming a student entrepreneur (Gutoi & Abbas, 2021). This can be from a hobby one enjoys or a passion one has, and decides to explore it while making a profit.

Another motivation is the need to create employment for oneself or others and kick-start the career journey one prefers. Entrepreneurship education teaches the student the need to look beyond formal employment and open themselves up to the idea of self-employment, and for some, this can serve as their reason to open a business while in school (Gutoi & Abbas, 2021). The need to derive satisfaction from something that interests them while also helping others find their footing in the business world while still learning plays a significant role in the interest.

Barriers to student entrepreneurship

Despite the motivation and drive towards investing in personal business start-ups as a student, some challenges often are faced, some preventing students from seeking out the venture together, others limiting their ability to run successful businesses. One such barrier is time limitations. Students with more free time in learning institutions are more likely to be student entrepreneurs than those with limited free time because these businesses can be demanding and limiting in terms of time one has for personal activities (Rembiasz, 2017). Balancing between the business and classes can prove problematic to either or both ventures.

Another barrier is the need for funding and the inability to raise it for the business. Having support and funding is one of the basic necessities for any entrepreneur, and this is not an exception. Most businesses that are not service-based but product-based often require funding to start and run successfully (Rembiasz, 2017). Some students often rely on loans for their academic pursuits, so starting a business can be a limited endeavour.

Other limitations include the lack of a reliable idea and environment in which a student entrepreneur would thrive, the legal ramifications of running a business such as meeting the minimum wage in case of an employee scenario, paying taxes, and lack of knowledge on how to start and run a business (Rembiasz, 2017). All these barriers further validate the significance of student entrepreneurship in academic institutions.

Significance of student entrepreneurship

Student entrepreneurship is often motivated by various reasons, especially because it is not an easy path to pursue. The motivations, as seen above, can range from a desire to pursue a passion, an interest in creating something new, the need to solve a problem, or even all three. While the motivation for this may vary, as seen above, the outcome is often very informed and skilled students, with the ability to handle challenges such as time management, sourcing of resources, and figuring out the legalities of the business as well (Gutoi & Abbas, 2021). These businesses play a significant role that makes it a worthy venture for the students, the institution, and the society.

The first sign of student entrepreneurship is promoting innovation and the development of innovative talents among students. One of education’s main interests, especially entrepreneurship education, is to help students explore their business mindset and interest in profitable outcomes for society. One thing that has proven profitable is the ability to develop new or refined products that meet the market needs in the specific era in which they exist. Student entrepreneurs are best placed with the most creative and phenomenal minds, surrounded by the most interesting needs. These interactions result in developing solutions that meet the needs of the user in that period while providing a solution. An example is how Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook while at Harvard by recognising the students’ need to communicate with each other easily. This innovative solution has grown to be one of the most used social platforms today.

Another significance of student entrepreneurship is that it facilitates economic growth and serves as an entrepreneurial education tool for the institution, the students, and even the community (Rembiasz, 2017). This kind of entrepreneurship ensures that the revenue streams that are being created, or any jobs that may arise from the start-up, are available for other students to use. This then serves as an entrepreneurial opportunity for the students to learn while also earning income. Research further shows that often, these ideas crafted and set up innovatively in school can end up being adopted in other areas of the communities, which become an innovative solution for the community to explore, solving various problems and cultivating an opportunity for extended economic growth even for those outside the institution (Rembiasz, 2017). Entrepreneurial education is also often focused on enhancing the learners’ ability to create opportunities for themselves and others outside the confines of formal employment. Through this, the intended goal of that education is achieved.

Academic entrepreneurship creates an entrepreneurial culture in institutions, which is important in inspiring other students, creating a teamwork culture, and laying the groundwork for other start-ups. Starting a business is not easy, especially as a student, because this comes with a lot of responsibilities on the avenues one needs to balance between school and business (Bergmann et al., 2016). When institutions support this, and students are able to explore their entrepreneurial interests while in school, they set the foundation for progressive yet continuous interests in others being student entrepreneurs. This creates a culture where the school education, mainly on entrepreneurship, is easier to practice by working or associating with the businesses set up or starting one of their own. It creates room for learners to grow, interested and passionate young entrepreneurs to explore their talents, and is a source of networking opportunities for the students as a whole.

Conclusion

There are a lot of opportunities in the business world to explore, and students are not limited to those that can explore these opportunities. Academic institutions strive to create the best professionals on different merits, and entrepreneurship is one of them. Through this education, students learn the significance of exploring different personal qualities and talents to expand their business mindset and the business skills necessary for new ventures, and it creates awareness in students of self-employment as an alternate career option. There are various reasons why students can be motivated to pursue this, including financial independence, the need to be a problem solver, create employment, or even motivate others. Ultimately, student entrepreneurs play a significant role in innovation, promoting economic growth and building entrepreneurial cultures in institutions.

 

 

References

Bergmann, H., Hundt, C., & Sternberg, R. (2016). What makes student entrepreneurs? On the relevance (and irrelevance) of the university and the regional context for student start-ups. Small business economics, 47, 53-76.

Gutoi, P. A., & Abbas, I. (2021). Student entrepreneurship in Sweden: Motivation & Challenges. https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1565701/FULLTEXT01.pdf

Miço, H., & Cungu, J. (2023). Entrepreneurship Education, a Challenging Learning Process towards Entrepreneurial Competence in Education. Administrative Sciences, 13(1), 22. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3387/13/1/22 https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3387/13/1/22

Rembiasz, M. (2017). Student entrepreneurship–research on development. MATEC Web of Conferences, 121, 12015. https://www.matec-conferences.org/articles/matecconf/pdf/2017/35/matecconf_mse2017_12015.pdf

 

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