How Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught in School
We hear the word ‘Entrepreneurship’ very often in the millennial age, so let’s start with understanding the definition of it ‘Entrepreneurship’ is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which is often initially a small business. The people who create these businesses are called ‘entrepreneurs’. More modern definitions of ‘Entrepreneurship’ are also about transforming the world by solving big problems. Like initiating social change, creating an innovative product or presenting a new life-changing solution.
As per experts, millennial’s will opt to start their own businesses and collaborate with big corporations in the near future. In fact, this trend has already started and will slowly become the norm. We are also aware that the jobs that are most sought after today, may not exist in the near future, as technology starts taking over jobs which can be automated; the only jobs that will be sought after are the ones that will require human interaction. In order to equip children to be ready for what awaits them, schools need to focus on inculcating Habits of the mind and entrepreneurial traits in children.
Some traits of an entrepreneur are:
1. Creativity / Innovativeness
2. Communication/ story-telling
3. Persistence & Grit
7. Decision-making ability
Research suggests that children make the maximum synaptic connection from 0-6 years of age. To evolve and prepare children for the uncertain future, it is essential we start right from the beginning. To develop these traits and skills in children from a young age, schools should work towards having a process incorporated in their curriculum.
Some of the different things a school can introduce are:
1. Form TED-ED clubs in the school that will work on something that students are passionate about. The TED-Ed project offers an official program that supports students from all over the world by joining a formal TED-Ed club at school. In TED-Ed Clubs, students work in groups to discuss, innovate, and build upon creative ideas. Club leaders receive TED-Ed's curriculum so they can guide their school's projects, and inspire young minds to share their ideas on the TED Platform. The official site brings students together from all over the world, connecting them to present and share their ideas.
2. Make a space dedicated to creation: In your school designate a space that you can call ‘The Creation Lab’ where children can brainstorm and create innovative products or services and develop prototypes of the idea. This helps children in applying theory and creating a physical product. This product once tested internally can eventually be sold to big corporations if they want.
3. Pitching Cell ‘Your very own Junior Shark Tank’: Shark Tank is a great concept, have viewing session in school, discuss the episodes with children. Encourage them to brainstorm how it could have been pitched better. Form a cell that can help children pitch their product to the right audience or network. Encourage children to think of things they would like to create. Introduce your version of Shark tank for children.
4. I stumbled upon a book called the ‘Genius Hour’: the book encourages children to pick one activity they are passionate about and spend at least one hour every day in enhancing their skill or creating something they aspire to. For example, a child is passionate about the environment and particularly wants to clean the sea and has an idea of a product that can help do that. Every day the child must spend time, researching, making discussing and coming up with ideas on how to create it with experts. This helps the child in developing various life skills.
5. Solution Experts: Children always have complaints. Help children find solutions to these complaints as well. Make a Complain and Suggestion Box. Where children can write their complaints and on regular basis children check the complaints received and come up with suggestions to solve the issues expressed. This activity will help children in becoming problem solvers.
There are many ways schools can encourage children from a young age to become creators rather than just consumers of available good and services. What I have mentioned above is just the tip of the iceberg. Technology is making things very easy, use it to your advantage. Also, schools that adopt these practices at the advent of this change will help their children in surviving the uncertain future that is ready to welcome them with open arms.