If America Doesn’t Have Enough Entrepreneurs, It’s Because Society Has Failed

Originally Featured on Business Insider

Carl Schramm, the former long-time president of the Kauffman Foundation, isn’t satisfied with the state of American entrepreneurship. It’s not because people aren’t getting into it — it’s because they’re not being taught correctly.

And it’s society’s fault, he says.

“The world needs more entrepreneurs: They make innovation real and advance what Brink Lindsey, of the Kauffman Foundation, has called the ‘frontier economy,’ he wrote in a recent column at Harvard Business Review.

If their ranks are too thin, it is a failure of society—particularly because the knowledge and skills of a successful entrepreneur can be taught.”

Schramm’s theory is that leaving the education of entrepreneurs to schoolteachers is “inherently weak.” Why? Because their choice of profession shows that they don’t take risks — at least not economic ones. Plus, the material tought in college-level courses doesn’t fit with what entrepreneurs need to succeed. You don’t learn what it really takes the get a business started.

“The need is particularly acute in the United States,” he writes. “Much economic success in the rest of the world has occurred through “catch-up growth” that leverages innovations hatched by U.S. entrepreneurs. If America falters in this, its economic advantage withers—and the rest of the world suffers, too.”

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