By Lani deGuia, Guest Blogger and Curriki Member
Almost three-quarters of high school students want to eventually start their own businesses, studies show — and 61% expect to become entrepreneurs right out of college!. Corporate America is now considered a back-up for many of today’s students. Others who hope to enter the nonprofit world might be considered social entrepreneurs.
Either way, we can no longer assume students are going to enter the traditional work force. The climate has shifted, and many are coming up with creative ideas and pursuing their own vision of work or societal contribution.
K-12 education needs to step up to meet these demands of these young entrepreneurs. How can we help them develop the agility they need to succeed?
GettingSmart.com outlines some strategies for making education more entrepreneurial. And here are some Curriki resources that can help!
- Can I Be An Entrepreneur? – In this series of activities, students do self-assessments and evaluate their own attributes and personality characteristics to se if an entrepreneurial career is for them.
- Are Entrepreneurs Modern-Day Heroes? – Law professor Donna Matias defines an entrepreneur as someone able to identify and provide for an unmet need. In short, entrepreneurs are both problem solvers and wealth creators. Extremely successful entrepreneurs, therefore, are not evil. Rather, they are modern day heroes who have managed to effectively fulfill the needs of their consumers.
- What Makes An Entrepreneur? – This middle school activity has students list characteristics associated with an entrepreneur, which will be used to create a definition.
- U.S. History: Inventors and Entrepreneurs – Students learn the difference between inventors and entrepreneurs. They are encouraged to talk with adults to learn some of the benefits inventors and entrepreneurs have provided for society.
- I Can Be an Entrepreneur – This activity for elementary and middle school students starts as learners are given advice on how they can earn extra money by becoming entrepreneurs. After investigating several web pages that offer examples of what other people their age have done to earn money, students identify three money-making ideas for themselves using criteria such as considering what they would enjoy doing, what they do well, what people are willing to buy, pricing and safety.
- Changing the World: Social Entrepreneurs Part I – This lesson addresses the role of social entrepreneurs in effecting positive social change around the world, and introduces students to the concept of social entrepreneurship through research and a graphic organizing activity. Part II can be found here).
- Be All That You Can Dream This workshop guides participants through decision making, writing and hands-on activities to experience the operation of a small business. Teams of students choose a business they believe will be successful, determine their target market, figure pricing policies, and “sell” their business ideas to a panel of judges.
Use these activities as a way to create the next generation of informed, inspired business leaders.
Lani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology.