TED Conversations

Brant Scheifler

Founder & Chief Encourager, Whiteboard Entrepreneur.com

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Does formal education play a significant role in the success of entrepreneurs and the outcomes of their business activities?

The foreground of such debate is perhaps seen in this debate: Are leaders born or made? With multiple TED (and Tedx) talks discussing entrepreneurship, I was curious what the community thought about the role that education plays in the success of the entrepreneur. (*please don't just say, it depends.)

Topics: Entrepreneurs

Closing Statement from Brant Scheifler

Thanks all for your thoughts and comments. It's clear that most commentators don't view education as being vital to the success of the entrepreneur. In fact, many feel it can be a hindrance. With that said, many pointed out that education is what you make of it and that it can be utilized as a tool, even if that tool is context/perspective. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

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  • Mar 17 2012: One more thing - schools need more project based activities, both long and short term, so that children have something to show for their work and understand how rise/run builds stairs and a strong grasp of art and language helps you to express yourself better and, therefore, to be understood (which is a base desire for most humans).
    Also, these are quick, off the cuff responses and I am aware that the answers are barely outlined, but they do exist and I have seen, been involved with or created many solutions to the educational problems. One little classroom, even one little rural school, is hardly a force to change the educational landscape, but ripples do make waves when they touch the shore!
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      Mar 18 2012: I can tell this is a subject you are passionate about! It seems you have put some thought into it as well. You might be interested in Seth Godin's new manifesto on education if reform is something you feel drawn into. Regarding entrepreneurship, I definitely agree that the current system is not built to develop those interests. However, it's kind of challenging because entrepreneur's likely make up a small % of the population. These educational questions are personally relevant to me as we are considering them in light of our children.

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