What exactly is an Entrepreneur?
As a design teacher, where Entrepreneurship is a part of our syllabus, the concept has always been taught to me as the capacity for a person to grow their own business, be financially independent, innovate, and create products that the person can sell and make money from. After all, the purpose of design is to sell things right?
The image of an entrepreneur in society is in line with this….who do we think of when we think of Entrepreneurs – the startups – the Mark Zuckerbergs, the Bill Gates, the Warren Buffets…mostly wearing polo shirts and jeans (and mostly men)….creating products that sell. Sometimes products we don’t even know that we need until they are there (hmmm….facebook?)
I now think about the concept of entrepreneurship as more personal and more purposeful…great entrepreneurs create opportunities. They know themselves, their strengths and how they can use those to solve problems. At St Luke’s, Mr Greg Miller, our principal talks about the three HSC Questions…
- Who am I?
- What can I do?
- What problems do I want to solve?
Then, of course, 3a – What problems would God want you to solve? As humans, these solutions and opportunities should have an impact on others. The positive impact that we have on others is where we can truly flourish. This is the real purpose of design – to impact positively on humanity.
Entrepreneurship involves a skillset and conceptual understanding that we can teach students that they might own their own learning and therefore fulfil their potential, create their own opportunities and have an impact outside of just themselves.
I have been so impressed this year with the start of my HSC Design class – a small accelerated class of our first year 10 students starting HSC Design and Technology this year. I’m overawed by what they have identified as their needs – all have an impact, but theres some that really fit in with question 3b…back problems for the homeless, mental health, refugee camps, grief, lockdown returns and student anxiety, even a student doing game coaching. These are kids that get that design is about what problems God would want you to solve.
As we start to develop the School of Entrepreneurs at St Luke’s – I hope that we can focus on the 3(4) questions as the core of what it is to be an Entrepreneur – to make opportunities, not money.