While social innovation, our K-12 schools are still stagnant. As a result, they have not cultivated the frontier doers, creators, and thinkers the world needs. Of course, some public and private schools are modernizing, allowing students to work in groups to solve problems, learn online, and combine science and art. But most institutions do not teach the basic content of contemporary education: Entrepreneurship requires not only entrepreneurial skills but also creative and ambitious thinking skills.
Pulitzer Prize Winner Thomas Friedman advocates inspiring young people to start businesses and provide long-term employment for the nation’s citizens. Since the jobs that Friedman’s 61-year-old generation relied on are no longer available, he advocates that high school graduates “be ready for innovation,” which means that they gain critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills at work to help them start their own business.
Entrepreneurship education benefits students of all socio-economic backgrounds by teaching children to think outside the box and cultivate non-traditional talents and skills. In addition, it creates opportunities, ensures social justice, instills confidence, and stimulates the economy.
Schools do not need to teach these skills themselves. They can contact countless organizations that help teachers teach entrepreneurship in low-income areas or use initiatives that pair children of all ages with science and engineering experts from all over the country so they can participate in hands-on projects.
Because entrepreneurship can and should promote economic opportunity, it can act as an agent of social justice. Julian Young, 29, is a drug dealer, and when a mentor tells him he is an entrepreneur, he will face 15 years in prison. Many years later, Young became the founder and CEO of the Entrepreneurship Center, an Omaha-based organization that aims to help women and minorities start businesses.
Just as Yang’s entrepreneurial instinct helped him shed the school-to-prison conduit and become a successful entrepreneur, he can also help other at-risk youths harness their unrealized talents. The nonprofit Prison Entrepreneurship Program connects inmates with the best mentors on the course to turn them into entrepreneurs.
The program’s recidivism rate of less than 10% proves the argument that gaining business acumen will reduce the likelihood that prisoners will eventually be sent back to prison.
Additionally, entrepreneurship has always inspired minorities, women, and immigrants to create a better life for themselves and their families. Today, ethnic minorities own 15% of all American businesses, with revenues of $ 591 billion. The speed of women’s entrepreneurship is one and a half times the national average, and they currently own 40% of all businesses and generate nearly $ 1.3 trillion in revenue.
Immigration is another inspiring example. Considering that members of this group own 18% of the businesses and generate more than $ 775 billion in revenue, Friedman advises young entrepreneurs to imagine themselves as immigrants because “new immigrants are paranoid optimists.”
Although entrepreneurial immigrants know they can fail, they have nothing to lose, Friedman notes. They are risk-takers and persistent people, both of which are important characteristics of entrepreneurs.
Because entrepreneurship cultivates these types of personality traits, it is expected to benefit all students, not just low-income students. According to Paul Tough’s book How Children Succeed: The Hidden Power of Courage, Curiosity, and Character, students in private schools will not change the world. The reason: these schools provide wealthy parents with “a high probability of not failing.”
In other words, wealthy backgrounds often discourage children from taking risks and making mistakes, which are necessary to cultivate originality. Maybe if students learn to start a business, they will be forced to think outside the box, fail, and persevere-these experiences will motivate them to become creative, creative, and innovative.
In addition, entrepreneurship includes talents and skills that teachers in mainstream classrooms may punish. “Entrepreneurs are abnormal; they are inappropriate,” Young said. He said that they may not be “smart and smart,” but they will thrive if they have the opportunity to use their employees’ wisdom and adventurous skills. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, is a good example. Branson often remembers that he is a bad student. Serial entrepreneur Bo Peabody also pointed out that entrepreneurs are often B-level students: good at all kinds of things, but not good at certain things. Peabody said that it is this ability to think broadly that enables these young people to complete the various tasks required for entrepreneurship.
Anthony Pensiero, president of Pennwood Technology Group echoed the famous venture capitalist’s view that the entrepreneur’s attention span is limited. He said he suffers from attention deficit disorder, and because he has never taken medication, he can put a lot of energy into hard work to make him succeed. In contrast, the prescription of the ADHD drug Ritalin put Yang on a destructive path until he met a mentor who told him he was an entrepreneur.
Other reasons for entrepreneurship education include its potential to promote social and emotional well-being. According to a 2012 study of 11,000 MBA graduates by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, entrepreneurship may even be more related to happiness than other types of business activities.
There’s more good news here: Entrepreneurship education is entering some schools because of forward-thinking individuals and organizations. Some programs have encouraged students to start their own businesses from high school; Some schools are working with venture capitalists and angel investors to provide funds for children’s start-ups. Other schools have adopted entrepreneurship courses as graduation requirements.
As Albert Einstein once said: “If you always do what you have been doing, you will get what you have always had.”
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