How To Develop Entrepreneurship
Published on 13/10/16
There are many debates regarding whether entrepreneurship can be taught in a classroom setting, or whether it is an innate quality that is with us from birth and you either have it or you don't. The most accurate answer to this question, annoyingly, is - it depends.
In the same way you cannot directly teach creativity but you can develop particular habits, behaviours and strategies associated with creativity in a classroom (as mentioned in one of our previous posts "How To Encourage Creativity Within Your School") - it's not possible to directly teach entrepreneurship. What you can do, is teach its components and principles in order to encourage entrepreneurial-like behaviour.
A huge part of being an entrepreneur is having the ability to take measured risks and for many people - this is definitely easier said than done. Just as some people can gamble and others won't risk it.
Entrepreneurialism definitely has a gambling aspect, which simply cannot be taught. That being said, entrepreneurial attributes such as persuasion, negotiation, timing, identifying opportunities, and mitigating risks aren't necessarily developed through theory or within the classroom - but they should be.
Schools should be making the effort to find and identify the kids who possess entrepreneurial traits and to develop them.
During their time at school, children are often asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" - to which you will, in most instances, obtain a response of a well-known career path.
However, more kids are beginning to see beyond this deck of options and answer with "I want to be a YouTuber" or "I want to be a blogger" - this is precisely the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that should be developed, encouraged and moulded into something actionable.
If they want to be a YouTuber, provide them with video editing workshops and help them find their niche. If they want to be a blogger, teach them skills in creative writing and help them to identify their audience segment.
How about asking "If you were to start your own business - what would you do?" or "If you had £10,000 - how would you invest it?" These are the kinds of questions that could help to broaden their minds and expand their horizons of possibility.
"Entrepreneurs are people who have these ideas or these passions - and see the need in the world and decide to stand up and do it. And they put everything on the line to make that stuff happen." - Cameron Herold, "Let's raise kids to be entrepreneurs"
The definition of an entrepreneur is a person who organises, operates and assumes the risk of a business venture. There are so many valuable skills that are considered to be entrepreneurial, which can be learned over time.
Some people may have greater strengths in each area, but there are so many ways in which schools can encourage a child to think differently.
Visionary & Innovative
Although this can arguably be considered to be something accredited to nature rather than nurture - by putting kids in situations where they have to think and see "outside of the box" you can build upon and develop these skills. This can be done by prompting students to creatively solve problems in any number of subjects.
Passion, Energy & Enthusiasm
Although this certainly cannot be taught; no matter how hard you try and make fractions exciting, to someone who hates maths, you will probably never succeed. However, you can translate anything into something that relatable to each individual. By allowing students to mould certain projects and making them about something they are truly interested in, you are bound to get better results.
Communication & Confidence
There are always going to be people who shrill at the thought of public speaking - however, in many instances, the fear of public speaking can be distinguished entirely through proper coaching and mentoring. By teaching your students about how to engage with an audience and how to present effectively, you will - no doubt - see a huge change in the quality of their presentations.
PechaKucha is a presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each. This fast-paced and concise method of presenting is not only extremely engaging for the audience, but also teaches the kids how to stick to a time frame and practice public speaking. At first things might get a little jumbled and stuttered, but as they practice more, you will begin to see astounding results in their presentation skills, and most of all - their confidence.
Calculated & Logical
An absolutely necessary skill for entrepreneurs is to take calculated risks. By informing any decisions with data and research, you will leave less room for error. Teaching this to students isn't only valuable for during lessons. but also if they decide to start a venture of their own one day.
Patient & Perserverant
You know the old saying "If at first you don't succeed..." well kids need to learn that they're not going to hit the nail on the head first time, every time. This is an important lesson for any child to learn throughout their school life to help them in almost any situation - particularly if they ever start their own venture.
Think about what you can do to help encourage entrepreneurial behaviour in your classroom or school and get your students thinking differently about the possibilities in their future.