Driving Job Creation

ILR programs support entrepreneurial education and growth
ILR programs support entrepreneurial education and growth
Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Helping entrepreneurs be successful is a key factor in a sustainable economy.

It's also an increasingly important focus for the ILR School.

"Globally, it seems that most economic growth is coming from startups and small businesses, while larger organizations have been retrenching in size. Job creation seems tightly linked to startups and small businesses," says ILR faculty member Dan Cohen.

Cohen, who teaches entrepreneurship and is ILR's entrepreneur-in-residence, is part of an ILR professional education program for Kuwaiti professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The program, "Kuwait Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation" was designed and delivered by ILR's New York City-based Human Capital Development group and aligns with the Entrepreneurship@Cornell program. It wraps up this week during National Entrepreneurship Month. National Entrepreneurs Day is Friday.

Michael Serino, executive director, Human Capital Development, says the group's experience with entrepreneurship programs in the Middle East has shown there is a "deep desire to understand the thinking and processes vital to creating sustainable businesses."

"The creation of jobs and opportunities are tangible benefits of the effective application of entrepreneurial skill. The economic and social constructs that entrepreneurs work within are complex, and we address capability building with a focus on these environmental factors," Serino says.

Thirty Kuwaiti professionals have been attending the Human Capital Development program on campus for two weeks. Some plan to launch or further develop their startups, others will apply what they're learning to drive innovation and growth within established companies.

Human Capital Development has been delivering education programs in Kuwait during the past four years. Programs have been nationally recognized in Kuwait and designed in support of the country's development plan. ILR and Cornell faculty provide instruction for the programs.

Gwyneth Dobson, director, Human Capital Development, said: "We see global interest in entrepreneurship education, and we expect this trend to continue. In this year's program, we repurposed traditional business skills for the entrepreneur."

Globally, demand for entrepreneurial careers seems to be at an all-time high, according to Cohen, director of Cornell's eLab, which supports undergraduate entrepreneurs in developing business concepts.

"Students that I talk to want to be fully engaged with work, and many think that a more traditional path of working for a larger organization will not offer that intense engagement," he says.

Serino agrees that interest in entrepreneurship is growing. "The founders of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram -- young people see them as the rock stars of their generation. As the job market becomes more crowded, you're seeing more ambitious graduates saying, 'if I can't find a job, I'll make a job.'"

To learn more about Human Capital Development programs at ILR, go to http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/hcd/. Read more about entrepreneurship programs, research and expertise at Cornell ILR at http://advance.epubxp.com/t/54129.