Education system failing to foster entrepreneurs, SMEs say

MYOB's monthly SME Snapshot survey today revealed that the current education system is failing to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

Some 58 per cent of the SMEs surveyed said the education system isn't providing the skills students need to be entrepreneurial and innovative in their future.

The monthly survey by leading cloud accounting provider, MYOB, quizzed more than 400 of their SME customers around education, and its connection to the current success of Australian small businesses.

Two thirds of those surveyed said that when it came to running a small business in particular, the current education system does not give students the skills they need. Similarly, 43 per cent felt that their own education had not helped them in running their small business today.

"There is much more we can do support innovation across the country. The results show that if we are going to foster innovation and entrepreneurialism, it needs to start with the education system. We need to start developing these skills early, so we can tap the creative potential of the next generation of business leaders," explains MYOB CTO, Simon Raik-Allen.

"This future focus on entrepreneurship is crucial to Australia's economic success, yet roughly more than 40 per cent of SMEs are at risk of failing in the first few years due to poor business management. We need to future-proof our students and ensure they have the skills and confidence they need to not only start their own business, but flourish earlier on in their career."

University education and SMEs

The survey also looked at SME views around university degrees. An overwhelming 78 per cent of respondents said that you didn't need a university degree to run a small business. A further 76 per cent disagreed that running a business is 'simple'.

Raik-Allen suggests this reveals that "our business people are learning on the job, and that we could fast-track our entrepreneurship if we started teaching more of the skills needed in schools, TAFE, private colleges and universities.

"This shows a yawning gap that we could quickly address, to put business ownership within reach, and making it a desirable goal.

"Our hope is that in the future, there will be more children wanting to be an entrepreneur, alongside a teacher, a firefighter or a lawyer."