Role of education in women’s entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship is a journey from innovation to experimentation to final implementation. It is the power of possibility and the product of perseverance. Throughout the ages, women to have embarked on this journey of discovery by quietly applying the skill set they have developed, learned, or inherited to support their lives and those of their families.
Women who work are instantly entrepreneurial, we see it in their home run kitchens, in the tuition they take after school, and in the flower vendors on the streets, we see women entrepreneurs everywhere, although sadly rarely acknowledge them.
How often is this spirit of entrepreneurship backed by an education? Has the process of acquiring knowledge through a degree been a prerequisite in the establishment of an enterprise in women specifically?
Historically professions have demanded prior learning and qualifications, whereas entrepreneurship is founded on ideas, with learning being a byproduct of the journey. It must also be noted that women in the workforce have always been a minority, communities generally do not encourage women to work and in situations where women were permitted to work they largely were in the professional sector (doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers etc). This was primarily because it offered job security and a standardized salary.
The idea of business building is considered at high risk of loss, however, small-scale skill-based avenues have been encouraged (cooking, tailoring etc). It has for the last 20 years we have seen a monumental shift in perception in how women are looked upon in the workforce. With the entry of women into all levels and all fields of work, there has been an equal rise in female entrepreneurs. While a basic education has been a commonly recognized trait, few have been associated with specific higher educational qualifications.
The reason perhaps lies in the qualities needed to be an entrepreneur (male or female). Core qualities like courage, grit, patience, perseverance, etc is what is needed to be a successful entrepreneur. This inadvertently highlights that business success is based less on qualifications and more on core mental qualities and character.