Young Upstarts

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[ADV] Does The Singapore Education System Stifle Entrepreneurship?

In Singapore, there are a lot of resources available for aspiring entrepreneurs. There are entrepreneurial bodies within universities, government institutions that support start-ups and a hefty number of workshops and networking events to foster the art of going into business. Still, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor lists Singapore as one of the least entrepreneurial societies in the developed world, averaging 5.7 per cent in Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA). Does our education system really stifle entrepreneurship?

In an interview shown in Razor.tv about whether our education system stifles original thinking, some entrepreneurs shared their views and we summarized it to these:

1.         What we are taught in school greatly affects our choices (in life).

2.         There is indeed a need for more risk-tolerant graduates.

3.         The education system is so safe that there’s no need to create something new. We rely on what our mentors teach us and when given a new task, we are not very flexible.

4.         Students are given scholarships and in return, they go for the prestigious companies they aim for.

5.         We have just started adapting a project-based curriculum, peer to peer and collaborative method of learning.

When you are afraid to make mistakes, you grow up to be an individual who’s afraid of taking risks, thus making you incapable of starting new ventures. “At school, students are generally afraid of being incorrect or being wrong because they have the chance to be put into an embarrassing position,” said Dan in his crazieivan.com blog. This certainly affects how students think and is being adapted in other areas of life as well, like business. As creativity expert Ken Robinson put it in his TED Talk, creativity is as important as intellectuality and educators should treat it with the same status. Mark Zuckerberg may not do well in academics but he certainly has that passion for web development. That puts him on top of the world.

The word stifle has been overused in many aspects relating to entrepreneurship. Look it up online and you’ll find out that many have written about how a system stifles a particular something. Is it the government, the system of teaching, or is it the culture? Yaron Brook, President and Executive Director of Ayn Rand Institute said in an interview about objectivism, “If someone has an idea better than a certain company, somebody will fund it, and you can compete. Regulations and laws that restrict the ability to think and create stifle entrepreneurship.”

In this note, we achieved a conclusion that there are many factors affecting the growth and spread of entrepreneurial spirit among the youth. We cannot solely consider one factor in particular. It may be our conservative culture, family influence, education system, modern trend and other factors we are yet to identify. Whatever it is, what we are sure of is that our government has been putting much effort in encouraging young Singaporeans to take a plunge into the growing world market.

Are you ready to take the plunge? We are encouraging all business-minded youth to join ideas.inc Business Challenge. Not only do you get significant funding for your business idea, you also get mentorship and access to workshops. To top it all off, you will earn exposure and quality network. Join ideas.inc Business Challenge today and become one of Singapore’s best entrepreneurs. We can’t wait to see you as our very own Mark Zuckerberg!

Ideas.Inc. Business Challenge 2010 is an advertising partner of Young Upstarts.


This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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