Iheanyi, Enterprise Officer, explains why enterprise is not just about start-ups but also an employability boost.
The term ‘enterprise’ can be an enigma sometimes, even for those in the sector. Numerous definitions out there often relate it to a business or company. While this is not wrong, it is the process itself (i.e. being enterprising) that I find more interesting.
Like the term ‘enterprise’, the term ‘being enterprising’ also has a few definitions and all of them in one way or the other loosely define it as ‘having or showing initiative and resourcefulness’. Other descriptive words for the term include imaginative, ingenious, inventive, creative, and many more.
Many people assume that enterprising means starting a business or enterprise, but it actually is just one of a set of features or characteristics of someone doing that.
If being enterprising means spotting opportunities and exploiting it in a meaningful manner, then enterprise and being enterprising has been around ever since humans have been engaging with each other. You can take this back as far back as you want from the use of fire to the development of modern day technology.
It is very easy and almost natural to apply enterprise and being enterprising to just business start-ups. I feel this is because starting a business is a very good avenue for exploiting an opportunity in a commercially viable way. But there is way more to enterprise than that. You can argue that an entrepreneur is an enterprising person, but in the same light and employee can also be an enterprising person.
Enterprise has become such an important subject area when it comes to employability and the workplace. Governments across the world are working to close the gap between education and the workplace, enabling people to progress from one to the other, support economic growth, and navigate changes in working practices.
The employability market like most are constantly changing and employers are constantly looking for employees with sound commercial awareness and understanding of how businesses work. For young people, attaining enterprise skills is yet another important tool to prepare them for the labour market. Starting a business will never be for everyone, but understanding what is required to keep one successful is a definite advantage if you are an employee.
I guess, the real question is – How do you go about becoming an enterprising employee?
The simple answer is by developing the right skills. We all develop skills from numerous areas (through our life experiences, work experiences, inspiration from others, formal training and actively up-skilling yourself).
One effective way to achieve relevant skills is to learn by doing. The Enterprise & Start-up team at Cardiff University provides a range of opportunities to help our students acquire a range of skills to boost their enterprise skill. This includes:
- Interactive workshops to help students gain new information and practical skills
- Personal development workshops to help boost the skills of students for the workplace and
- Start-up workshops to enhance knowledge and understanding of businesses
If you are a student or recent graduate with interest in giving yourself an added edge for the labour market, get involved with extra-curricular activities provided by your Careers department.
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Iheanyi, Enterprise Officer
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