“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” — Farrah Gray
One hardly sees the word entrepreneurship in the same sentence as children. Conventional perception tells us certain subjects are off-limits to young kids. Usher in the age of accelerated maturity brought on by the advent of the internet and you will easily think why not business for beginners, right?
Parents who care to give their kids a head start to get ahead of the curve believe that one is never too young to learn essential life skills. Anyone looking to train their children in problem-solving will very likely invest in entrepreneurship. It is a life skill to be honed; a muscle to be flexed into function as early as possible.
There are certain characteristics and motivations that entrepreneurship programs aim to develop in children and they are in fact best developed in early childhood. Critical personal characteristics developed in entrepreneurial education go beyond the business venture. Let’s discuss them, shall we?
But first, let us define entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a business. In its French origin, it simply means “to undertake.” Note that it is an action word at its core. Entrepreneurial education aims to provide students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to engage in productive endeavors.
Why should we train them to develop an entrepreneurial mindset? Here are some of the benefits:
There are more than a few returns to be gained from an investment in financial literacy. These include:
- Triggers curiosity and cultivates creative design thinking: A child learns to find problems and devise a solution. Products and services are but concrete answers to a perceived need.
- Teaches planning: Every business starts with a plan of action. Strategic mapping encourages the habit of preparedness.
- Targets action: Children learn to go out and do something to work through problems. They consider such questions as, “How can I improve the product or service that is currently out there? What product would solve the problem? Where can I get the resources I need?” Entrepreneurship challenges children not merely to problem-find but problem-solve.
- Trains communication: Entrepreneurs do not live in isolation. They are compelled to communicate effectively, seek answers, hustle and negotiate. The entrepreneurial training fosters collaboration and social skills development.
- Tackles the value of money and the necessity of hard work: Children are introduced to economic realities, values, and interactions beyond the scale and extent of their limited experience. They learn that money, unlike apples, don’t grow on trees.
- Triggers leadership: Instead of following the mold; kidpreneurs tend to dream beyond what they could see and chart new paths.
- Tracks flexibility and resilience: Children learn to prepare for an unstructured future and embrace the unexpected.
Entrepreneurs are often regarded as the fuel, life force of economic and social activity. They are the writers of innovation. According to a recent report published by the World Economic Forum, 97% of all jobs in emerging economies are sourced by small and medium-sized enterprises.
At a time when job security is increasingly threatened by automation, entrepreneurship offers a window of opportunity to define one’s work. It is a way to influence the future. Let us face it: it is a science-backed fact that entrepreneurship is everyone’s business.