From education to employment

Global Entrepreneurship Week: Expert comment and stories

brain and light bulb

Dr Anoosheh Rostamkalaei is a lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Kent Business School, University of Kent. Her research covers entrepreneurial finance and inclusive entrepreneurship. Anoosheh is interested in understanding the interaction of entrepreneurship and the well-being of different groups of society. 

Dr Rostamkalaei explains: ‘The nature of entrepreneurship is that it generates income but also a way of feeling part of the community and an acceptance by those around you. Regardless of the economic outcome of these entrepreneurial attempts, research has found that entrepreneurship improves individuals’ self-efficacy, confidence, pride, and dignity.   

‘However, the systems in place within society are, in their very making, a barrier to success for some marginalised groups. Refugees and migrants enter the UK with discounted education and work experience, leaving them at a disadvantage in society through no fault of their own. Entrepreneurship may allow them to rise out of this situation.  

‘To use entrepreneurship to empower marginalized groups and promote their inclusion in our societies, I believe, first, we should recognize the unique characteristics of each group. The needs of each group differ and therefore, the barriers they face differ. The first step in promoting support for incisive entrepreneurship, I think, is recognizing these differences and offering tailored and targeted support.’

Jo Pullen is a business owner and expert in agile delivery user research, who works as the Entrepreneurs in Residence at ASPIRE within Kent Business School. Outside of this role she advises business’s, public and private sector organisations on innovative ways to tackle and solve problems spanning areas like digital transformation, health and health inequalities and maternity. Jo believes that teaching young people an entrepreneurial education could bring the transformational thinking needed in the modern world. 

She explains: ‘We are living in a time where students have only known a backdrop of chaos. An entrepreneurial education isn’t the answer to society’s issues, but the confidence that comes with an ability to problem solve can only help improve wellbeing of people in uncertain times, in an unpredictable world. If that mindset is developed in the way we mould other skills – like Maths– we could generate a future workforce ready to tackle challenges modern working environments often pose – now more than ever with issues like climate change, cost-of-living crisis and global pandemics.’

Mwinza Mpoha is an International Business Student. He is from Zambia and took his course with a ‘Selfie Year’ (Self Employed Year in Industry) that he began in September to launch a subscription-based grocery delivery service that he describes as the ‘Netflix’ for food and drink. He saw the Selfie Year as a unique opportunity to receive support and guidance to run my own venture as part of my degree.

He says: ‘I see the business like a personal chef and nutritionist who preps meals fully and delivers to you based on your specific requirements – body type, age, your goals and the like. You pay once a month and get everything you need including all the chopping and preparing. I feel I have a great unique USP, particularly in my home country of Zambia, where there is little competition.

Things haven’t been easy, but the challenge is welcome. I’ve learned so much already and am really looking forward to what the rest of the year may bring.’

Related Articles