TED Conversations

Brant Scheifler

Founder & Chief Encourager, Whiteboard Entrepreneur.com

This conversation is closed.

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
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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 18 2012: Hello Brant !! Interesting question, I recently attended to an TEDx event at Phx. And on my way back home Mexico, I was thinking about all the wave -entrepreneurship- . I have been working with kids and teens at schools and private practice and my opinion is that there is a big adventage for a kid when he goes to the school to become a leader, besides the knowledge,discipline, structure an the tranning f cognitive skills, like planning, analysisi etc. there is an other main factor,(thta can even change the path of a low performance stundet into a leader), the factor is the role model of teachers, when they really work and project their passion, inject hope... hellp to find differets ways to jump the obstacles, and promotes apply all this knowlaedge otside the school´s walls. I think that leaders born and are sometime became... becasue they only need to be awaken by an inspiring, innovative soul who speaks the different languages of the multiple intelligences = ) . Gracias
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      Mar 19 2012: Veronica, I agree. I have worked with youth in the past and my goal was to help them see themselves as leaders as well. Perhaps that's an interesting way to approach this conversation on entrepreneurship/education, that is, calling it leadership preparation. At the heart, entrepreneurs are really leaders. Conversely, the educational system produces followers in many respects. If we wish to encourage the entrepreneurial qualities in our youth (and adults if they remain open), we probably need to encourage leadership. The TED community encourages thought leadership, which is a powerful start. Beyond that, action leadership is more powerful still. I think if we can see education begin to produce more leaders, those with either for profit or non profit entrepreneurial aspirations, youth will receive empowerment to nurture and pursue their goals. gracias a ti!

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