According to USLegal.com, a US based directory for all US legal terms, business education can be defined as, “programs designed to provide students with the basic theories of management and production. The main goal, being, “…to teach the process of decision making: the philosophy, theory, and psychology of management; practical applications; and business startup and operational procedures.”
Two Nigerian lecturers at the department of Business Education, College of Education Abuja, Suleiman Gidado and Philo Akaeze, in their international journal submission at HRMARS, stated that business education can help a startup in the following ways:
- It can help founders identify the viability of a business opportunity.
- It equips founders with the requisite skills towards managing their financials.
- It provides insight to better understanding of marketing and how it works in different markets.
- It helps founders under human resources and how to better apply it to business management.
- Using tools such like projected cash-flow, founders are able to identify risks and put mitigation plans to check or minimize exposure to such risk risks.
Now let’s take a look at the concept of entrepreneurship for just a second, which is often likened to an undertaking that would require more of the application of “street smarts” than “book smarts.” Paul Hudson, an entrepreneur, philosopher and writer argues that; “for an entrepreneur, having book smarts is important, yet not quite as important as street smarts” because “…entrepreneurs must have a great understanding of the environment they are working in. They must understand their business, the country they are doing business in, their customers, the market, and whatever else might affect their business”. In summary, “you have to always be in kill mode. You have to always be looking out for yourself and your interests.”
While Paul’s portrayal of the business world could be termed “animalistic” if not outrightly “cannibalistic”, where exactly does business education come in? Where do we draw a line as to the importance of business education in creating a startup and what role exactly does it play in the success of any business?
There are empirical evidences supporting Paul’s claim, looking at the likes of successful entrepreneurs like the founders of Jobberman and chairman Eleganza groups – Rasaq Okoya, it could, then be easy to over look the likes of Main One founder – Funke Opeke whose business and entrepreneurial bolt emerged from her academic research but all the time in the world would not suffice if this debate of business education versus street smarts is allowed to ensue.
However, one thing we can all take home is that at the point where a business needs to scale or expand to new markets, the role of business education is undeniably indispensable. Generally, education equips a person with relevant knowledge and skills to perform better in any chosen career.
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