Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught?


If you were to ask me what is entrepreneurship, I’d say it is making something from nothing. This question came up recently in Philosophy of Entrepreneurship taught at CU by Brad Feld, Brad Bernthal, and Phil Weiser. I was surprised when Brad Feld’s answer to the question was exactly the same as mine.

Entrepreneurship is creation. I love the line in Genisis 1:31, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” I imagine that is the same feeling I had as a child when I drew a house and showed it to my mom or when I made up a song on the guitar and played it for a friend. I also imagine it is the same feeling I get when I look at or

I’m writing a paper right now on the best practices of entrepreneurship education throughout the world. At the end of the paper I’ll make recommendations for CU’s entrepreneurial program. In my research I keep bumping into the question of whether entrepreneurship can be taught.

I still remember the first time I was confronted with this question. I was sitting at a Defrag 2012 dinner with Jim Franklin, the CEO of Sendgrid, and a couple other people. After hearing that I was studying entrepreneurship, one of the people at the table challenged the idea that it could be taught and asked my opinion. At the time I had never thought about it and didn’t have a good answer. Since that dinner I’ve thought about it on and off and I don’t know if I have the best answer yet, but here are some thoughts.

I’ve been an entrepreneur ever since I can remember, but I don’t remember learning to be one. There was never a moment when I decided to be an entrepreneur, I just started doing stuff. I sold lemonade, golf balls, collected cans, and sold trinkets out of a magazine. I was motivated by Nintendo games and Ninja Turtles.

So, if entrepreneurship is creating something from nothing, then it doesn’t need to be taught. We don’t need to be taught to create, we’ve all been creating ever since we were born. We started creating coherent thoughts, then words, and then sand castles. The ability to create is one of the greatest rights and privileges we have as human beings.

So my answer to whether it can be taught is no, but it doesn’t need to be. We are all born entrepreneurs, the trick is to believe it. Being an entrepreneur is more of a mind set than anything else. It needs to be adopted rather than learned.

That said, I’ve learned many skills over the years that make me a better entrepreneur and I’m way thankful that I came to CU, which has turned out to be the best school in the country to learn these skills in practice.

About The Author

Ben currently works as a senior developer and technical business consultant outside of Boulder, Colorado.

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About Buink

Buink Web Development is a development shop founded in 2009 by Ben Buie. For years, Ben built and modified web assets for clients in Utah. In 2011, he moved the company to Colorado and in 2015 he started taking on new clients full-time.

Buink’s Core Values:

  • Cost effective technology (with business strategy in mind)
  • Eloquent, maintainable code
  • Responsive and transparent communication

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Dru M.
Dru M.
15:41 25 Mar 21
Ben’s a super responsive, thoughtful, sharp and all around great guy to work with. Excellent with his trade. I’d recommend him to anyone. Thanks Ben!
Seth L.
Seth L.
21:36 29 Jun 19
Ben and team are incredible to work with. They are reliable and proficient. I'd highly recommend hiring them for web development work. SethVOLTAGE
Craig A.
Craig A.
20:50 18 Jun 19
It was a pleasure to work with Ben and his team. It is rare to find such attention to high standards of coding and devops.
Lexi S.
Lexi S.
15:36 18 Jun 19
Grateful to have Ben and his team as such a capable, reliable partner for completing client work!
Tom S.
Tom S.
13:18 14 Jun 19
I reached out to Buink after finding Ben’s name in a local developer/consultant listing in 2017, and I have to say, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with Buink. Ben consistently understands not just the development task laid in front of him but the business application behind the task. I’ve... never felt more comfortable with a development team than I do with Buink. I truly feel Ben and his team are integral partners in the success of my more
Marilyn F.
Marilyn F.
22:47 13 May 19
I could not recommend Buink Web Development more highly. Ben and his team have recently developed a budgeting app for me (both web and IOS). I have had the opportunity of working with them for over a year and I am extremely happy with the results.I would say that the biggest plus for me is that I... trust Ben completely. From the very first, Ben has helped me make decisions that were in the best interest of my company. I have never felt like he is taking advantage of me. Ben does his best to keep the whole process very open and upfront. I have really appreciated that.I tell people all the time that I love my developers. And I do. I'm very happy that I chose to use Buink to develop my apps. It was the best business decision I could have made.If you are looking for someone to develop a website or app, I strongly suggest choosing Buink Web Development. They are fantastic!Marilyn Ference, President, Defend Your Money, LLCread more
James Landon B.
James Landon B.
01:33 28 Aug 18
Great company to help with all your web design needs!
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