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Forest Entrepreneurship: An Alternative Profession for Forestry Graduates

Forest entrepreneurship is generally known to harm the environment. According to Reforestamos (2021), the traditional views have limited innovations and entrepreneurship talents among young foresters. The typical paradigm is community forest enterprise, or forest-dependent community creates opportunities to do forestry business and left the forests environment with negative impact and unsustainable harvesting of timber and non-timber forest products.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1998 advocates that education at a higher level embeds entrepreneurship skills. According to Maurao and Martinho (2020), significant forestry challenges are the employment opportunity and the economic dynamic in the forestry sector. Thus, the Faculty of Forestry has worked the significant shortcoming to training the young forestry graduates by not becoming job seekers. Bachelor of Forestry Science graduates is completed with entrepreneurial skills throughout their study and to become future vulnerable graduates.

The implementation of the General Studies Subject by the Ministry of Higher Education in 2018 highlighted entrepreneurship skills as the compulsory learning outcome in a program offered by the Public Universities. From the previous curriculum structure of Bachelor of Forestry Science, a survey conducted on graduates who graduated in the 2016/2017 session shows they have no interest in entrepreneurship. Thus, the curriculum review for the 2017/2018 sessions aims to include a soft skill of entrepreneurial elements so that students can gain their knowledge and meet their expectations in entrepreneurship. The revised curriculum structure then has entrepreneurship skills in the University and the program's core courses. In the 2020/2021 survey, 80.4% (54 graduates) agreed that the current curriculum structure exposed them to entrepreneurial skills. In the next revised Bachelor of Forestry Science curriculum, improvements will be made to strengthen these entrepreneurship skills for graduates.

Siegner et al. (2021) and Schmitusen et al. (2016) argue that forest-dependent communities develop business skills from what they have from the forests for their living. Since they are dependent on the forest, they will design their business to benefit their society, economy, and environment. Meanwhile, Reforestamos (2021) suggested that young foresters who learn to protect and conserve forests and understand the dependency of humans and forests will make significant sustainable forest business goods and products. Thus, it is a good alternative for forestry graduates to invest in forest entrepreneurship. This pathway provides them with a good living through a profit from their business. At the same time, their professionalism of ethics, lifelong learning and leadership in forestry will help protect the forestry as a great treasure.
References
Mourao, P. R., & Martinho, V. D. (2020). Forest entrepreneurship: A bibliometric analysis and a discussion about the co-authorship networks of an emerging scientific field. Journal of Cleaner Production, 256, 120413.

Reforestamos. (2021). Guide to forestry-based entrepreneurship. EU Agenda. https://euagenda.eu/upload/publications/guide-to-forestry-based-entrepreneurship.pdf. Retrieved on 25 February 2022.

Siegner, M., Panwar, R., & Kozak, R. (2021). Community forest enterprises and social enterprises: the confluence of two streams of literatures for sustainable natural resource management. Social Enterprise Journal.

Schmithüsen, F., Kaiser, B., Schmidhauser, A., Mellinghoff, S., Perchthaler, K., & Kammerhofer, A. (2015). Entrepreneurship and management in forestry and wood processing: principles of business economics and management processes. Routledge.

Tarikh Input: 29/09/2022 | Kemaskini: 29/09/2022 | masridien

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