In the last 20 years, the knowledge industry has skyrocketed. Mostly established online, the e-learning business has become an alternative both to teaching and learning. Those who know the value of their knowledge and consider they can have a financial outcome become entrepreneurs, while learners of any age and social or educational background reach the knowledge business in search of courses to suit their needs.
Since the online world offers both those who want to teach and those who want to learn the chance to meet halfway regardless of time and space limits, most courses take place through dedicated platforms suitable for both sides involved in the process.
In recent years, the word "edupreneur" has frequently appeared to refer to entrepreneurs with a background in education. But what does this word refer to exactly?
What’s an edupreneur?
First of all, we need to clarify one aspect. Although it seems that the word "edupreneur" refers to a teacher who has a business, the underlying meaning encompasses more than just one connotation.
An edupreneur can be a teacher who starts a business and makes a profit from creating courses, opening private education institutions, or developing apps, tools, games, and resources to support the educational system.
To better understand what an edupreneur is, we need to compare and contrast it with a teacher and check the similarities and differences between the two:
How edupreneurs are similar to teachers
- If we consider edupreneur instructors who deliver their knowledge through online courses, then we can say that both teachers and edupreneurs contribute to the development of skills and competencies through the knowledge they share with their learners.
- The purpose of edupreneurs and teachers is the same. They want to educate learners and help them reach their desired goals.
- Until the pandemic, there was a difference in delivering knowledge. Entrepreneurs worked mostly online while teachers in face-to-face contexts. Today, though, both entrepreneurs and teachers alike reach their students online.
- Both teachers and edupreneurs have to reach students with various learning needs, which they have to consider when preparing their content and assignments for their lessons.
How edupreneurs are different than teachers
When comparing teachers and edupreneurs, we can analyze four criteria:
- Profit. Teachers don't consider this aspect a part of their career because, in general, it has nothing to do with reality. On the other hand, edupreneurs have a mindset focused on a modern approach to teaching and learning, which is set to offer quality education for the benefit of both the provider of knowledge and the learners, in a win-win environment.
- Scope. The difference in the scope of the jobs a teacher and an edupreneur have to do is the most obvious one. Teachers teach, but edupreneurs have to create a business, to develop a system of education (using an LMS, for instance) and sell their knowledge.
- Instruction. Teachers are instructors. Their job is to teach. When it comes to instruction, an edupreneur does not even have to teach. This aspect can be outsourced. Moreover, an edupreneur can create education-related tools, not necessarily teach or train.
- Expertise. Teachers go through classical teaching training stages. In contrast, edupreneurs need to know aspects from various domains to have a successful business. Edupreneurs have to learn things like niche, SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, content creation, marketing funnels, sales, creating leads, maintaining a website or a blog, generating traffic, etc.
There are many more differences between edupreneurs and teachers than similarities. An edupreneur goes through an entire transformational process to enter the business world.
Branching out of being a teacher
To become an edupreneur, you have to value your knowledge. After this change of mindset, you’ll transform your intangible knowledge and expertise into a tangible product. If you can produce valuable content, it will almost sell itself. Seeing the finality of your knowledge, you’ll go through a process of reinforcement, increase your self-esteem and confidence while also increasing your self-efficacy.
Once you start a business and sell your knowledge, you can set yourself as an expert in your field. From that position, you can be invited to speak at conferences and other events, which changes your status within the industry.
With gained edupreneur credibility, you become an authority in your field, which will eventually be beneficial because you’ll be able to be widely exposed to a worldwide market and scale your online course business.
If you wonder why teachers choose to leave their branch and become an edupreneur, the answer is easier than the transition. Teachers want to be financially rewarded for their work, to measure their hard work and dedication. Let's face it, vocation only does not put food on the table.
Moreover, teachers want to leave a legacy and contribute to society through sustainable change from a social and economic perspective. They shape minds, they develop skills, but they also open jobs, and this shows that there's no end to where edupreneurship can go and how many people it can reach.
Read more: Debunking 5 myths about being an online entrepreneur
Edupreneurship offers teachers, instructors, trainers, and developers a prospective career that can have a positive impact on society. With dedicated content, tools, or instruction, edupreneurs shape their learners to reach the highest outcomes and to eventually put their newly acquired skills into good use in their communities.
According to Forbes, "there are over 100k establishments in the private Education Service Industry, almost 200k including local, state, and federal government institutions. The industry employs over 3.5 million people." This means that the impact edupreneurs have on the educational environment and society, in general, is not to be taken lightly.