Teaching Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century

March 21, 2016 by Crescerance

Here’s a number for you… 543,000.

That’s the number of new businesses that get started each month! At this pace, in 2016 we’re expecting over 6.5 million new businesses to open their doors. With the easy access to technology and the rise of STEM educational initiatives, there is no wonder that the students in our classrooms are destined to one day either open their own business, or work for a tech startup.

In fact, since 1990, small businesses (including startups) account for over 65% of all new jobs created in the United States. Entrepreneurship, like science and technology, is becoming a must-teach subject area in classrooms across America.

But, how do you teach entrepreneurship?

The cool thing about teaching entrepreneurship is that there is no “one size fits all” approach. It begins with encouraging students to consider the problems, challenges, or issues in their world, and think of ways to solve them. Whether it’s creating a mobile app to store recipes, or an innovative website to buy and sell class notes, the sky’s the limit. The best part about teaching entrepreneurship is it fosters opportunity, ensures social justice, instills confidence in students of all ages regardless of their socioeconomic background.

To get you started, here are the top 3 recommendations that you can use to help boost your students’ entrepreneurial skills.

  • Make time for idea sharing. Have you ever came up with a great idea after brainstorming with a friend, or hearing someone talk through their idea? That’s the whole concept behind information and idea sharing. With social media, we are surrounded by so many different, interesting topics and ideas everyday. We just have to take the time out to read, listen, and brainstorm. Find ways to bring these ideas (including social media) into the classroom and get your students talking, thinking, and innovating.
  • Welcome failure into the classroom. No one likes to fail, but it is part of any learning process. Encouraging students to explore their ideas, try new things, and to not be afraid to scrap an idea and start over, are key principles that must be taught. Various online interfaces like the MAD-learn platform allow students to play around with different ideas, see what works, discover what doesn’t, all in a  safe learning environment. 

Think big, lean, and global. The old ways of teaching entrepreneurship prepared students for small businesses. This generation of students, needs to learn how to take a business idea, build replicable business models, and scale businesses to reach global consumers. Mobile businesses are a great example of this.  91% of us own a mobile device. As long as there are smartphones, there will be a large, global mobile app market.