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Can You Learn to Start a Business?

In a word, yes. But if you're at all serious about entrepreneurship, you'll learn there's much more to start-up than classrooms and homework.

This story appears in the December 2001 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Teachers go to college for four years to train for their profession. Doctors go to college, then medical school for an additional four years. But there has never been such a tidy map to becoming an entrepreneur. There is no one school, no one skill, no one way into entrepreneurship-just ask the millions of business owners out there. Some people start with no formal training, while others spend years in prestigious MBA programs. But is a formal entrepreneurial education the inside track to business success? Can you learn to be an entrepreneur? Or are you better off jumping in feet-first and learning as you go? Or is it even possible to answer that question?

The consensus seems to be, yes, you can learn the art and science of entrepreneurship. In fact, it would almost seem necessary, as hardly anyone knows instinctively what to do from the start. (Well, maybe there are a few know-it-alls out there-but for the rest of us mere mortals, knowledge must be gained.) But entrepreneurial learning doesn't only have to come from a schoolhouse.

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