high school

5 Problems With High School Entrepreneurship Classes

5 Problems With High School Entrepreneurship Classes

Another school year is ending, and with it comes an abundance of local news reports of students from local high schools presenting business plans to a group of judges. Students, judges, and audiences all participating in a mock version of Shark Tank, the highly popular television show. From the perspective of both educators, parents, and community businesses, this is a win-win for all concerned. Business plan competitions captures an optimism about the community thriving in a hub of local startups.

2 Pathway Schools Who Do Entrepreneurship Right

2 Pathway Schools Who Do Entrepreneurship Right

We’ve already highlighted some great entrepreneurship programs at schools on the Entrepreneur Pathways, Inc. blog. Today we are introducing two more programs geared toward innovative high-school and middle-schoolers receiving a hands-on education.

4 Reasons Entrepreneurship Should be Taught in School

Entrepreneurship courses are becoming more common in K-12 schools across the country, and the benefits are clear. Whether it’s for students who have a strong passion for entrepreneurship and wish to create their own businesses, or students who show a lack of passion in any school subjects… here are a few reasons why teaching entrepreneurship could shape their lives for the better.

Entrepreneurship nurtures unconventional talents and skills

Entrepreneurship often takes skills and intuition that might otherwise not be encouraged in a traditional classroom. According to Entrepreneur, founder of Renzell and other businesses Bo Peabody mentions how entrepreneurs tend to be B students. They are perfectly good at doing many things, but do not excel at one certain subject.

However, the ability to think about and do a broad variety of tasks is one of the skills it takes to start and run a business.

Entrepreneurship helps people create better lives for themselves

Entrepreneurship has helped minorities and women create better lives for themselves and their families.

Fortune discusses how from 1997 to 2015, the number of businesses owned by African American woman increased 322 percent, making them the fastest growing entrepreneurial group in the US. The number of businesses owned by women increased by 74 percent between 1997 and 2015.

Entrepreneurship is for those who are persistent risk-takers, no matter who you are.

Entrepreneurship prepares students for 21st century work skills

Even if students don’t plan to be entrepreneurs or have a career in business, according to The National Business Education Association, studying business helps students prepare for college and their career.

Within business education, students learn about accounting, business law, communication (such as networking), marketing, personal finance, and more. These skills are all important for a person’s career.

Entrepreneurship promotes social and mental well-being

According to a study done at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, there is a strong correlation between entrepreneurship and happiness. 11,000 graduates of Wharton’s MBA program were asked to rate their happiness with their overall career, current job, and work-life balance. While only about 20 percent of these graduates were running their own businesses, this 20 percent ranked themselves happier than all other professions regardless of how much money was made.

This study helped show that, despite the risks that can come with starting a business, there can also be some huge rewards.

The 5 Skills of Entrepreneurship – Networking

This is one part of an ongoing series on www.entpathways.com. In this article, we're discussing the skill of networking.

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Our program, Entrepreneur Journey, focuses on teaching high school students how to become entrepreneurs. Part of this is learning the skills of an entrepreneur, including networking. Networking is the ability to establish relationships with others, which can lead entrepreneurs to solutions or critical resources to build their business.

Think of the movie Six Degrees of Separation. It’s based on the sociological study where researchers wanted to know how closely individuals in the US were connected to each other. They created letters, placed them in envelopes, and addressed them to certain residents.

The researchers then asked other residents to “deliver” the envelope by sending it to someone they know, who, in turn, had to deliver the envelope to someone they know. They found it took about six exchanges before the envelope reached the final address.

The person sitting next to you now may not have much to offer for building a business. But in five years, they may be exactly who you need. Good entrepreneurs maintain a network of experts whom they can call to get specific answers or resources.

Everyone Has A Key To Your Future

With technology, we may be connected by less than six degrees today. Therefore anyone you run into today could have the next solution to your problem. If you focus on sharing your vision and selling your problem, this allows others to become a part of your network and help you.

Questions Are Free And Welcome

The best way to learn about someone is to ask them questions.

  • What do they do over the weekend?
  • Which sports team is their favorite?
  • What are their interests?

This could lead to two different things: the person will provide clues about how they can help you, or you will still leave a positive impression from showing interest in this person and their life.

You Get What You Are

If you come across as unreliable, you will connect with unreliable people. If you come across as immature, you will connect with immature people.

Networking is more than just seeing what other people can offer. Networking is also about pursuing and maintaining real relationships. It’s important to be genuine and care about others, rather than simply taking from them.

Give as much as you take to build mutually beneficial relationships.

Birds Of A Feather Flock Together

Think about your group of friends. What do you all have in common? What do you all want from life? People with similar approaches to life find each other.

If you want to connect with people who invest in companies, find out where they hang out. If you want to be an NFL football player, make friends with other students who aim to be NFL football players. If you want to be a criminal, hang out with successful criminals.

In order to develop a network to achieve your goals, understand and seek out the type of people who will shape the person you want to be.

Networking Tools

Sometimes networking tools are mistaken for networking. Networking tools help entrepreneurs reach out to others and organize information and resources. However, these tools can’t take the place of networking.

For example, think of the business card. Your business card can look amazing and communicate clearly, but it won’t help you at all if 1,000 business cards stay in your desk drawer and never see the daylight. However, if you talk to people and hand your card out, the cards are a tool used to support your networking.

Conferences/Workshops

Conferences and workshops exist in many areas. These are usually great learning experiences and easy ways to network.

Identify the best place to build your network and your purpose for networking. Are you looking for others who are just starting their business? Or are you looking for experts in the field?

Conferences and workshops can be expensive or require travel, but if you do your research, they are great networking tools.

Leroy Greene Academy Prepares its Students for Their Futures Through Pathways

Career-focused pathways are emerging around the country for high school students who want to direct their focus of studies, and one of the common pathways is business and entrepreneurship. One school that is following suit with success is Leroy Greene Academy in Sacramento.

Leroy Greene is a dependent charter school open for 6th to 12th grades. The school consists of two innovative programs – Visual Arts & Technology and Business & Entrepreneurship.

Beginning in the 2016 school year, Leroy Greene introduced two new entrepreneurship courses: Entrepreneur Journey and INCubatoredu. These courses are additions to the school’s Entrepreneur Pathway, which prepares students for college and a career.

At Leroy Greene, Entrepreneur Journey gives 11th grade students with an understanding of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. It builds knowledge and practical skills for students by applying the tools of the entrepreneur. The curricula also provides students with the methods to evaluate ideas for potential for success in the market.

Entrepreneur Journey prepares the student for the 12th grade INCubatoredu course where students launch a business. Both of these courses emphasize “Learn by Doing” and involve community and business leaders.

With its Business & Entrepreneur program (as well as Visual Arts & Technology), Leroy Greene uses “pathways” to lead students to their college and career goals. The pathway system is becoming more popular in schools across the nation, including the esteemed Academies of Nashville.

In the Academies of Nashville, the students choose what and how they want to learn in a field that interests them, ranging from engineering to healthcare. The goal is to prepare students for college and ultimately their dream jobs. The pathway system comes into play as they are on the path to their dream jobs, whether they’re in the Broadcasting pathway, Culinary Arts pathway, or Business Leadership pathway.

Leroy Greene principal Leslie Sargent got the opportunity to visit the Academies of Nashville to learn about how education was shaped in the different programs.

“It was great to visit the schools while they were in session and see what was going on,” Sargent said, “We visited three different schools to learn about the academy and see the nuances and how they were functioning.”

Through this experience, Sargent learned how to refine Leroy Greene’s business pathway and make it more viable through different courses and areas of studies. Most importantly, the opportunity helped her and other education leaders study the structure of the schools to help make their own schools the best places possible for kids.

“Our main goal is to make sure our kids graduate and are college and career ready,” Sargent said, “We want to make sure we’re setting students up for success for their future.”