Let’s start off with a little exercise: try to analyse your life for a few minutes and identify the learning opportunities available in your environment. Try to think of the number of people that are or have been acting as mentors, the inspiration you can find in your surroundings and the number of supporters that help you through the steps you take in your day-to-day activities. How many did you count? For most of you, I am guessing quite a few.
We are surrounded by several support systems. We live in an age where technology moulds our activities on a daily basis, as the trends change, so do we. If we fall behind, then the world will progress miles ahead of where we are. With a pool of knowledge surrounding our every activity, I consider it as a time of education.
Students understand the value of education, and most entrepreneurs that come from an academic background appreciate those years they spent in the examination rooms. But are students only students when placed with a pen and paper in front of them? I would like to think not. Aren’t we all a part of an academic life cycle which teaches us lessons on a continual basis? Technology provides us with the world’s largest library on our fingertips and we have successful businesses running amongst our lives from whom we can learn from. Education calls out to those of us striving for business knowledge consistently, yet there are people spread all over the world that are unable to benefit from this pool.
A concerning fact is that there are millions of businessmen living on the streets of developing cities who spend hours maintaining their household income in narrow streets of their villages. They leave their families at home early in the morning to find the best spot in the marketplace to sell their products. Once they locate the optimal location, they put together their stall using planks of wood and use the flat surface to line up their merchandise. The wait then begins for shoppers to pass by their stall and notice their products. The only sales strategy they have going for them is the loud sales pitch they are giving to prospect customers complemented with their strong bargaining skills. Once the sun begins to set, they break down their stalls and head home to their wife and children to place the one meal for the day on the dining table.
Explaining economic decline is quite simple after the illustration I just gave you. These businessmen make enough income to get their families through individual days let alone weeks. Their productivity levels remain fairly constant for long periods of time despite the opportunity for tremendous growth. This, of course, means that though the streets are lined up with millions of businesses, the number that has a positive impact on the economy is very minute. The prevalent problem is how these businesses can contribute to economic growth and at the same time, provide a better life for the households of the owners.
University societies spend a large quantity of their time and efforts in encouraging students to engage in positive projects in developing countries all around the world. There is plentiful work being done with education in mind. Including business into the study plan alongside the subject of mathematics, English and science when taking the role of a teacher could be the solution. Teaching the basics of running a business would lead to exceptional results. Providing children with the confidence that they need, would create a generation of inspired entrepreneurs that could tap into creativity leading to the introduction of innovative products that can help fill market gaps. Demand would have to be present for the gap to be fulfilled, which ultimately would lead to market growth. Decreased unemployment and increased productivity would almost instantly lead to an upward spike in the economy.
Education is, in my opinion, the most beautiful gift you can give to someone. As students, we value this gift, especially once we step out into the real world where we are required to apply what we spent years learning. These businessmen are thriving for education and guidance. They need to be given the confidence to innovate and solve economic problems that impact their lives. As a creative and entrepreneur-filled community, it almost becomes imperative that we educate the future generations of those villages on how best to utilise entrepreneurship to provide for their families.