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World Economic Forum Calls for Entrepreneurship Education

Mark Marich

The World Economic Forum has issued a call to action—to globally catalyze entrepreneurship through education--in a new report “Educating the Next Wave of Entrepreneurs.” The report analyzes entrepreneurship education practices around the world, focusing on everything from youth, to higher education and social inclusion. This is the first attempt to systematically focus on the data linking entrepreneurship education and success, and develop effective approaches for advancing and implementing programs.

Karen Wilson, a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation, was one of the leading authors of the report which was written as part of the Forum's Global Education Initiative. The report highlights the importance of entrepreneurship education for developing the skills, attitudes and behaviors necessary to create jobs, generate economic growth, advance human welfare and stimulate innovation to address global challenges. It offers specific recommendations for the academic, public, private and non-profit sectors to collaborate in supporting entrepreneurship ecosystems. These include transforming the education system to include cross-disciplinary approaches and interactive teaching methods, building an entrepreneurial ecosystem that engages multiple stakeholders, striving for better data collection of outcomes and impact, and leveraging technology as an enabler of entrepreneurship education.

The report includes a compelling chapter on "Entrepreneurship Education for Youth" by Steve Mariotti and Daniel Rabuzzi from the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. They offer a number of specific recommendations, including requiring entrepreneurship education (“ownership literacy”) in public schools, or, at the very least, making entrepreneurship education available as an option for all students.

The report also includes interesting chapters on Higher Education by Christine Volkmann from the Bergische Universität Wuppertal and Social Inclusion by Shailendra Vyakarnam from the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, University of Cambridge.

While offering recommendations, the report encourages education decision-makers to apply the ideas within their region’s context. To facilitate this implementation, the Forum will hold workshops during the regional summits this year in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and India. 

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