ENTFEST UK, the Peter Jones Enterprise festival, entrepreneurship for young students.

I had the pleasure the other week to be in the UK and to visit the ENTFEST event organised by the Peter Jones Foundation. In the UK Peter Jones is a very well known Entrepreneur through his appearances on a UK program called Dragons Den. The mission of the foundation states:

"The Peter Jones Foundation for Enterprise (FFE) exists to improve the socio-economic outcomes for young people by equipping them with enterprise skills that will improve their life chances, whatever path they choose. We do this through encouraging, educating and empowering the young people we serve"

Anne Tham, CEO of AceEdventure Malaysia, Peter Jones, Professor Nigel Adams, Programme Director Business Enterprise course, University of Buckingham, and yours truly, looking at the wrong camera !!

The event was held at the University of Buckingham which is a wonderful traditional english market town, into which is woven the University buildings.

In the world we are now living in young people certainly need to develop and learn new skills and behaviours that will and are required for the world of today. Its been well documented that the existing traditional education approach is not delivering these skills or behaviours, so this is creating a problem both for students in the system and the companies who need the new skills and behaviours that are difficult to find today.

In Asia (if not at a global level) Anne Tham, pictured above, has been addressing this issue for sometime, and she was the first to create and open a school that focuses on developing the Entrepreneurial mind set in students, this goes from primary to secondary. You can find out more about this school, it's called Dwi Emas International school and is located in Kuala Lumpur.

There was a speed dating style session with students and entrepreneurs where the entrepreneurs had an opportunity to share experiences and thoughts, and the students had the opportunity to express their own view and hopes and concerns about the future.

I had the opportunity to sit in a sessions listening to top entrepreneurs from the UK talk about their less successful ventures, and how these failures became part of their learning journey. Interestingly, out of the five entrepreneurs sharing, no two failures were the same, but each failure had been used to provide more drive and focus.

In education especially Asia, we see failure as something to be avoided at all costs, and in the majority of cases failure and success is only related to grades, meaning we use grades to measure all aspects of educational success or failure. And yet a grade is not a measure of the whole person, but its treated this way. In all cases the failures mentioned by the entrepreneurs related to soft skill issues, something not covered in the standard curriculum of most schooling systems. But something that is needed in terms of teaching behaviour and skills to overcome failure, and to see it as part of the journey to success.

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