In our work with over 10,000 entrepreneurs globally in over 60 countries and in hundreds of organizations, we’ve learned some things about entrepreneurship education you may find interesting.
One of them is the difference between facilitation, teaching, and lecturing.
Many organizations have been surprised by our approach: we assume the entrepreneurs know the answers to the questions we ask. We correct their thinking if needed, then move on.
One facilitation skill that has been a home run with the entrepreneurs is the approach of not speaking more than 2–5 minutes before we get them engaged, whether by asking a question, starting small group discussions, or jumping right in to a large, open discussion.
We’ve come to understand that even that approach needs to change up now and then. For example, if we ask them to take five minutes for a small group discussion, the following five needs to be an open group discussion, and then perhaps the next five given to individual work.
In other words, you have to keep things moving.
BEFORE YOU GO:
We see our blogs as opportunities for dialogue. Please share your thoughts as comments.
1. What facilitation skills have you used to engage entrepreneurs?
2. What do you think is the difference between teaching, lecturing, and facilitating?
3. What other tools have you used to engage in entrepreneurial education?
Faris Alami is Founder and CEO of International Strategic Management, Inc. (ISM). He works internationally, presenting Exploring Entrepreneurship Workshops and other entrepreneurial ecosystem — related ventures.