Teaching entrepreneurship to kids is not just a good idea, I believe it should form a part of the school curriculum. This is because it teaches children essential life skills, and the earlier they are introduced to the world of business, the bigger the impact they can make. Julian Hall from Ultra Education LTD investigates.
Exposure to the world of business and entrepreneurship helps children to develop their confidence across the board. In order to pursue an entrepreneurial endeavour, it is essential to be able to confidently ‘sell’ yourself, your product or your service. When learning about entrepreneurship, children are taught how to express themselves to people and how to get their points across well in order to close a deal.
Additionally, teaching entrepreneurship often involves communicating with people who a child may not necessarily have come across in any other circumstances. Development of good communication skills is integral to business.
An example of this can be found in feedback I received from a parent whose child has been learning about entrepreneurship. She attributed her child’s newfound awareness and exposure to entrepreneurship as a defining factor when they recently took a trip to their local supermarket. The child, upon seeing that there were lengthy queues forming at the checkout queues took the initiative to let a manager know that they needed to open more!
What’s more, entrepreneurship gives a practical application to numeracy skills learned in school. As we know, the foundation of business is financial transactions, and at some point, during the process of learning about entrepreneurship or developing a business idea children will need to handle money. Addition, subtraction, division and multiplication skills are all developed and children may also delve into more complex ideas such as Profit and Loss, profit margins and so on.
Business is social in a number of ways. Children become more aware of social impact when learning about entrepreneurship and how business ideas form part of a wider ecosystem. The notions of environmental impact, sustainability, political ideas, corporate responsibility, charity and more are explored. Within the global context of business these ideas are all vital to making business a success.
A significant aspect of business and entrepreneurship is the ability to be creative and develop ideas. Ultra Education believes that everyone should ‘do what they love’ and in teaching entrepreneurship, we use this concept as the basis of their business idea development. Being able to think imaginatively and beyond what is seen at face value is therefore important – teaching entrepreneurship helps a child think without limits and unlock their potential.
Any concept or passion can be leveraged for business. Say a child enjoys playing video games, they can become a YouTube vlogger and review games, they can broadcast their gameplay sessions or even organise gaming tournaments – the possibilities are endless.
All these skills and more ultimately come under the umbrella of helping children to be more work ready and stand out in a highly competitive world and job market. Entrepreneurial skills are not only applicable to business, but are useful in life and in the workplace. Children learn how to take initiative, be proactive as well as reactive and find solutions to problems.
The modern world has changed and enterprise forms a key part of many of our day-to-day activities on an ever-increasing basis. Helping children to be aware of this and grasp key aspects of these practices will put them in good stead for the future.
Julian Hall is a best selling author, and the founder of UltraKids, a company that runs entrepreneurship classes for children. Julian has run a number of businesses. You can see more about UltraKids here: www.ultra.education