Should we all be entrepreneurs in the digital age?

Originally featured on Fresh Business Thinking.


A recent report lists the seven key skills you will need in the job market of the future. It is odd, because actually you could sum up those skills with one word: entrepreneurial. As we approach the third decade of the 21st Century, we all need to be like entrepreneurs.

News straight in, the world is changing – okay that may not come as news to you. Robots, automation, big data, 3D printing, and the biggie, AI are set to wreak havoc upon all that cannot adapt.

Someone who enters the labour force today, may have several careers before they retire – so that means that to flourish rather than flounder in the age that is descending upon us, you need to be flexible.

According to Singularity Hub, there are seven critical skills  you need:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Initiative and entrepreneurship
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Assessing and analysing information
  • Curiosity and imagination

Now it is hard to argue with those points. Maybe then that is what schools need to teach.

It is odd that the list includes the word ‘entrepreneurship’ – obviously entrepreneurs need that, in much the same way as a right-handed person needs a right hand. Or tall people need height. But what is entrepreneurship?  Maybe it is, in fact, the sum of all those other skills.

A successful entrepreneur may not need all of those skills but it is hard to imagine them achieving success without most of them.

Perhaps, you can add to the list that the entrepreneur needs vision, self-belief and above all, determination.  Well, not many people get on without those attributes, especially the last one on the list.

Maybe, to create a work-force fit for the 2020s, 2030s and beyond, schools need to focus on creating an entrepreneurial mindset –  not everyone will end up creating a business, but a lot more people may have the skills they need.

Oh yes, maybe you can add coding to that list.

The UK is emerging an entrepreneurial success story – but more needs to be done, and one way to achieve this is to shine the media spotlight on entrepreneurs, their challenges, their failures and of course their successes.

The NatWestGreat British Entrepreneur Awards are currently open for applications, and entrants can apply here.