Why the future depends on entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs and teachers can be some of the most important people when it comes to world peace, according to Dan Shechtman. Many people who get degrees in Business Administration or MBAs dream of starting their own businesses. What they might not realize is that their dream could also make the world a better place.

At the end of the 2016-2017 academic year Shechtman, a Nobel Laureate, came to University of New York in Prague to speak about the importance of entrepreneurs for the future. Thanks to urbanization and women’s education, Shechtman says, many developed nations, including the Czech Republic and the United States, are seeing their populations grow older while they aren’t reproducing as many children.

However, the opposite is true of developing countries. In order for a country to maintain steady growth in population, the birth rate must be an average of 2.1 children for every woman. The Czech Republic has a birth rate of 1.5. Places like Niger have a birth rate of 6.8. Shechtman points out that most of the countries with a high birth rate also have unstable economies and political regimes. "If you look at all these countries that have some kind of inner strife, they have one thing in common: poverty," Schechtman says.

To combat poverty and the turmoil that could come with it, Schechtman says encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit is key to stimulating these countries’ future economies. Startups can transform communities and bring big business to many regions where there was none.

One thing required for this to happen is basic education for all with an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education, he says. In addition, degrees in Business Administration and MBAs can be vital, since it floods the field with skilled managers who can help new companies grow. "Teachers are the most important people of all because they carry the future of the country in their hands,” Shechtman says.

Shechtman should know. He is a distinguished Professor Emeritus at Technion–Israel Institute of Technology. There, he tells his class how their skills as entrepreneurs can help bring stability to the world. "I want to make sure everyone is infected with the bug of entrepreneurship," he says.

Follow us

Go to top