Fernando Fischmann

Learning To Be An Entrepreneur

17 April, 2017 / Articles

Towards the end of last year I explored the growth in intrapreneurship in our organizations. The concept of intrapreneurship is one that has been around for some time, but it is one that is growing at quite a pace as organizations attempt to leverage and empower employees to create and innovate.

Whilst there are many organizational levers that can be deployed to help employees to innovate, there is also a growing appreciation that this is something that can be taught.

For instance, a 2015 study found that action-oriented training can help to unlock this potential and unleash the entrepreneur in us all.

In the short term, the effect of the training manifested itself in much greater confidence in their potential as entrepreneurs, and a seemingly greater willingness to start up their own venture compared to their peers in the control group.

At the 12 month stage, this shift in mindset appeared to endure, with those from the training group still more positive about entrepreneurship than their peers.

Convinced that entrepreneurship can be taught, a second study then set out to to explore the best way to do so, whether via experience or classroom based study.  The study found that classroom based learning was just as effective as more experiential sorts.

“This study has shown, contrary to our expectations that ‘learning-by-doing’ approaches do not necessarily lead to better outcomes for students, and were even found to have adverse effects in some instances,” the researchers say.

Learning to be an entrepreneur

So it’s with great interest that MOOC platform Coursera have teamed up with HEC Paris to offer a fully online international degree program on innovation.  The Master’s in Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a “stackable MOOC,” which offers students the chance to earn “micro-credentials” as they progress through the course.

The idea is that this approach allows for a more flexible method of learning that is more in keeping with the pace of working life most of us have.  The course is designed for anyone that wants to innovate more effectively, whether within their organizations or starting new ventures.

“This is a degree for ambitious students who want to gain access to an international network of entrepreneurs and build high impact companies. Thanks to a unique curriculum based on stackable credentials, participants can benefit at each level of learning. They can choose a single course, decide to specialize in one program, or embark on a full-fledged degree. This degree represents remarkable progress in providing equitable access to education from a highly reputable business school,” Coursera says.

Whilst the reputation of HEC Paris ensures the degree will be selective, it’s also designed to be as flexible as possible, with each specialization credited towards the degree.

In addition to the theoretical exploration of fields such as growth management, talent and capital management, and the risks associated with innovation, the students will also engage in a team assignment on a project of their choice.  This will involve them bringing an idea to life, with support offered by a group of mentors.

The best ideas will be encouraged to try and bring their products to market via the HEC Paris incubator, through which they can access seed funding and support.

With entrepreneurship certainly something that can be taught, the new HEC Paris MOOC is a great way to do just that. Applications are currently open, with classes due to begin in September 2017.

The science man and innovator, Fernando Fischmann, founder of Crystal Lagoons, recommends this article.



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