‘In order to become a successful entrepreneur, it is essential to go through extensive further education, culminating in an MBA from a prestigious university,’ - said no actual entrepreneur, ever.
In fact, many of the most famously successful entrepreneurs we know of abandoned higher education to pursue their ventures: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg. They all dropped out of school, and this does not seem to have hindered their success in any way.
And when the Nobel prize-winning Professor Mohamed Yunus, who pioneered the concept of microfinance, launched the new CIU brand and School of Business and Applied Technology, he made a point of saying that entrepreneurs need not go to university to become successful. This may seem like a strange statement to make at the launch of a new business school, but Professor Yunus has a Nobel Prize for his work in social entrepreneurism; he is a hard man to argue with. And I for one agree. It is not necessary, and some education systems can actually be detrimental to the entrepreneurial mindset.
An entrepreneur needs to be imaginative, innovative, creative, to think outside of the box, to look at a problem and turn it into an opportunity. In actuality, education often does the opposite. It tells us what the ‘right’ way to approach a problem is and trains us to regurgitate this response to that particular problem. But when a new problem arises, our abilities to solve it have been squashed.
So what is the point of education? Is it pointless for an aspiring entrepreneur to go to school? Of course not. While it is not hard to find entrepreneurs who have dropped out of higher education, it is hard to find examples that have had no education. Clearly a basic grasp of fundamental skills is needed in reading, writing, and arithmetic. But what about beyond this? Well, that depends on the approach of the educator. Most entrepreneurs have acquired their opportunities during their higher education and found quickly that once tackling that opportunity they outgrew their university or college. That being the case, I would consider the university or college to have done its job well. One way or another they have introduced an opportunity to that entrepreneur.
However, if your business school presents a singular and formulaic approach to entrepreneurial success, I would suggest you drop out immediately and that you are better off on your own. There is no one solution to a business problem.
But what if there was another way for higher education?
What if your program gave real-life case studies from real-life entrepreneurs that you could meet and interrogate for yourself?
What if it gave you actual practical skills that are applicable in your chosen business field?
What if it gave you opportunities to practice those skills in a real-life context?
What if it challenged you to be more innovative?
And what if the core values of that University and School of business were the same as those necessary for a successful entrepreneur: to lead, to innovate, and ultimately to transform.
You can probably see where I am going with this. Let me summarize by reiterating what Professor Yunnus said at the launch of our School of Business and Technology: you don’t have to go to University to be a successful entrepreneur. But if you want the best possible chance of success, CIU and SoBAT will be a partner to give you the practical skills you need, to equip you with experience - not academic notions - and to create opportunities for entrepreneurship. We value the very core fundamentals of entrepreneurship.
Sean Clarke, CEO of Clarke Group Education.
Lead, Innovate, Transform.
Kampala, Uganda, 4th of November 2019- The Somali Ambassador in Uganda his excellence Ali. M .Mohamud invited Dr. Rose Clarke Nanyonga , Vice-Chancellor Clarke International University (CIU) and her delegation to the Somali embassy in Kampala where they discussed collaborations with Somali Universities, improving the Somali student experience in Uganda, and supporting Somali scholars through available scholarships.
The Somali Student Association at CIU is one of the biggest on-campus student organizations, with the majority of the students majoring in the field of Public Health. The Ambassador discussed the need to have partnerships with Universities in Somalia, to provide students with affordable and quality postgraduate opportunities at home, as well as tracking the impact of education Somali Nationals have obtained from Ugandan Universities.
The Ambassador also praised CIU for having some of the best-placed graduates in their fields of study. Many CIU graduates are health workers, teachers and some have progressed as far as politics in their home country.
Clarke International University has an international student population of over 30 percent of the student body. CIU recognizes that culture is an important aspect of society. We are constantly building strong strategic relationships and making our campus more diverse.
On 4th December 2019, CIU organized a career planning and professional development class that was facilitated by our Vice-Chancellor Dr. Rose Clarke Nanyonga. This training was designed as an exit package for CIU graduating students and any other interested individuals.
The idea was birthed out of the need to train students how to embrace the work environment and to give them basic knowledge about what employers look out for during the recruitment process.
Some of the areas focused on were general guidance on career choices, venturing into the job market, interview skills, networking, role modelling, and job applications.Dr. Rose Clarke Nanyonga, the lead trainer demonstrated the career mapping process using the example of the butterfly cycle to show participants the necessary stages of career growth and what they need to focus on at each stage.
Over 50 participants turned up and they were taken through the importance of networking, career mapping and negotiating the offer. Every participant walked away with a copy of the Logic Die book titled How to be successful by Stanley J. Reynolds.
The participants requested that the training should be done at least twice a year to enable other students who missed be part of it. At CIU, we put emphasis on graduating students who are well prepared to compete globally and take on leadership positions.
The future of Uganda will increasingly be defined by Ugandans who can lead, innovate and transform the current and future industries so that Uganda can continue to compete in the global markets. As an institution of higher learning, we aim to contribute meaningfully to this demand and need.