This article supports that entrepreneurship is not an occupation but a mindset and school education can greatly contribute to nurturing this entrepreneurial mindset in children from an early age, starting from primary school to the University level. Do you want to raise entrepreneurial kids in your school? Then do this
In the past, life after school was pretty predictable and straightforward. All you had to do as a youngster was work hard in school, get good grades, go to a university and a good job in a good company will be waiting for you once you graduate. Of course, this is no longer the case. Things have really changed.
Parents and the school administration can no longer assume that if you raise a studious child, he or she will be able to succeed in life and live comfortably.
In order to make it in today’s competitive world, you need to have courage, determination, intelligence, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
Teaching children to embrace an entrepreneurial mindset from an early age will give them a strong advantage in life in years to come. Schools and parents have an essential role to play in instilling these values and building a good future for children.
For schools, starting from kindergarten to college, raising entrepreneur kids in your school means building students that are smart, knowledgeable, resourceful, self-confident, resilient, innovative, value-oriented, and confident in making decisions and taking initiative without fear of failure.
Entrepreneur kids are creative learners and critical thinkers that can profer solutions to problems.
The critical questions this article answers are – how can schools nurture an entrepreneurial culture? Why is developing an entrepreneurial mindset important in the primary and secondary school systems at all? All these questions and more will be looked at in detail below.
How you can raise entrepreneur kids in your school?
Schools can partner with parents in nurturing entrepreneurship mindset in children at a very young age. Here are a few ways schools can teach their students to embrace an entrepreneurial mindset.
The school leadership
It all starts with the school leaders. Your school management, administrators, and headteachers should have leadership and entrepreneurial qualities. The truth is in order to create a school culture that fosters an entrepreneurship mindset, your leaders must possess those qualities themselves. Are your school leaders’ visionaries? Are they problem solvers? Do they love and embrace change and actively seek out new trends? Are your leaders innovative? The whole staff of your school must also be trained in entrepreneurship education.
Your curriculum must foster entrepreneurship education
Your school curriculum must support new and active ways of learning and new interactions between the teacher and the student. Here are some of the ways you can achieve that:
- Enhance student engagement with technology such as interactive whiteboards, learning support platforms, educational games, video, virtual reality, etc. Technology fosters student engagement, individualized and personal learning, critical thinking, as well as an entrepreneurial mindset.
- Have your students work on real-life, hands-on projects, which could include school projects and community projects. They should be encouraged to think creatively and build products that meet a real need and solve a real problem. As a school, you should provide the tools, resources, and the support they need.
- Use your school curriculum to expose your students to platforms and safe online communities that would nurture their entrepreneurship spirit. Platforms such as blogs, vlogs, podcasts, etc. Examples of online communities include those for programmers.
- Your school curriculum must encourage creativity in your students.
- Your curriculum should encourage practical knowledge. Create situations where your students can put into practice independently and collaboratively what they have learned in the classroom. This would teach the students how to handle issues in real-life.
Learning, in general, should be linked to real life and the real world.
Teach your students critical life skills
There are five(5) basic life skills that are crucial to cultivate in children early, in order for them to have a better and more productive life. These skills should be instilled in them during their education and nurtured throughout life.
Instead of schools focusing only on industry-specific skills, they should focus also on building these life skills which are; decision making and problem-solving skills, creative thinking and critical thinking, communication, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence.
These skills will equip the child for the challenges and responsibilities of entrepreneurship and life in general.
Equip students with computer skills
Equip your school children with computer skills and programming skills. Let children understand how the internet works and how they can use it safely.
As much as it is good to equip students with computer knowledge, it is also germane that they are guided through on how to effectively utilize the computer for acquiring knowledge. Guiding students is vital because a vast majority of teenagers operating the phone prefer to use it for other purposes that take their time and hinder them from reading.
Encourage your students’ curiosity
Encourage your students to ask questions in class. Take all their ideas, suggestions and opinions seriously.
As a class teacher, you shouldn’t discourage your students or get impatient with them. Do not ridicule any idea. Celebrate their curiosity and their eagerness to understand some of the fundamental truths around them.
This step will aid the school in building a solid entrepreneurial foundation for its students.
Discover your students’ talents and encourage their passion
You need to understand the fact that ‘no child is a dullard.’ Every child has as a gift, a talent, something they are good at and passionate about; support it and encourage it.
Some children are studious, some have oral prowess, and some excel in activities outside their academics. If you have students that perform better in other areas, do not discourage them. Instead, help them grow that talent and make sure their academics are not taken lightly.
Some schools organize periodic talent shows where students can showcase their talents.
Organize regular career and entrepreneurship talks
The school management should regularly organize career/entrepreneurship talks for their students especially those at the secondary school level. At these programs, business owners and professionals from all works of life should be invited to speak to these children about their career and entrepreneurial journey.
Let the students interact with these invited guests and ask them questions.
Encourage student partipation in extracurricular activities.
Extracurricular activities are those activities that are outside the regular educational modules. You do these activities outside of class. Examples are playing a particular sport, taking an online coding class, learning to play a musical instrument, etc.
Extracurricular activities require the student to put in a reasonable time, accountability and responsibility. These would enable them to explore their passion and interests in productive ways.
Participating in extracurricular activities would also boost their self-esteem and social skills. Other skills that would be developed are goal-setting, teamwork, time management, analytical thinking and leadership skills.
These activities outside their regular school work will also teach these students independence, competitiveness, and perseverance.
All these skills gained from being engaged in activities outside school will help build an entrepreneurial spirit in the child.
Imbibe life values in your students
Teach them the value of money, hard work, and responsibility. Teach them to learn from their failures; teach them that choices have consequences. Teach them to have goals, a purpose, and a vision.
Developing an entrepreneurial mindset in children at an early age is essential because it is a key to financially liberating people, motivating and empowering them to seize the opportunities the future has and developing creative solutions to its problems.
Schools should partner with parents in nurturing entrepreneurship at a very young age.
While the theory of entrepreneurship can be taught in school, the entrepreneurial spirit must be nurtured in the early years of a child in order for it to take hold.