What entrepreneurship education really teaches us

It’s been 100 years since Harvard Business School began using the case study method. Beyond teaching specific subject matter, the case study method excels in instilling meta-skills in students. This article explains the importance of seven such skills: preparation, discernment, bias recognition, judgement, collaboration, curiosity, and self-confidence.

Now, project based learning has emerged as another experiential learning model.

Some educators define meta-skills as a group of long-lasting abilities that allow someone to learn new things more quickly. 

I have been teaching biomedical and clinical innovation and entrepreneurship for several years now and my students have told me they learned much more than how to start a company or launch an organizational initiative, In fact, we start every course with defining entrepreneurship as the pursuit of opportunity under volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous conditions (VUCA) with the goal of creating stakeholder defined value through the deployment of innovation using a VAST business model to achieve the quintuple aims.

Knowledge is what you know. Skills are things you learn how to do. Abilities are your natural talents. Competencies are what you need to know how to do to accomplish a given goal. Meta-KSAs are the things that you know, learn and do that are transferable.

Here is a list entrepreneurial virtues and competencies.

Other entrepreneurial meta-KSAs you will learn about are:

  1. Failure
  2. Selling things, including yourself
  3. Stories
  4. Fear
  5. Emotions
  6. Empathy
  7. Pattern recognition
  8. Testing and experimenting
  9. Data generation and analysis
  10. Resilience and perseverance
  11. Mindset
  12. Questioning

Entrepreneurship education and training is more about learning life skills that are used to create value, not just companies. We should start teaching it in pre-school. The longer we wait, the harder it is to learn and apply the meta-KSAs. It is unlikely that the Facebook version of Meta will be as helpful.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs