Teaching High School Students Entrepreneurship Drives Jobs and Economic Growth

Posted comments today on Washington Post article today “Trade Geometry Class for Entrepreneurship” http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-innovations/whats-the-big-idea-replace-high-school-geometry-with-entrepreneurship/2011/10/24/gIQAhYfSCM_story.html

We do need more entrepreneurs driving innovation, job creation and economic growth, and high school is a great place to start, but we also need engineers and scientists. Here are my posted comments:

Teaching High School Students Entrepreneurship Drives Jobs and Economic Growth

Promoting entrepreneurship among high school students is an excellent idea, but not at the expense of geometry and sciences- we need more engineers and scientists, not less.

Rather than a one time single course, what is needed and would work is a 2 to 4 course entrepreneurship program that provides students with an introduction to entrepreneurship, shows sample business models, provides background on the business planning process-what is it is, how it works, how to prepare a plan, and an overview of financials- how to do a forecast, develop a budget and forecasts. One entrepreneurship teaching technique I have used is to break up classes into teams of 5 students and during the semester each team creates a new venture business plan using tools and templates learned in the course. Typically you also review several case studies of real businesses (Mrs. Fields Cookies is a good one), and key concepts such as ethics, financing, legal and related issues covered as you work through the new venture development process.

These programs really create what I define as ‘entrepreneurial thinking’ which empowers students to be creative, to “think out of the room” as I define it, and help create our next generation of entrepreneurs and in-company entrepreneurs (or “Intrapreneurs”).

What I find most exciting is targeting these programs to address inner-city students to promote job creation and economic growth – a new Entrepreneurial Empowerment Program (“EEP”) I am involved with, integrating both government and private sector business resources, addresses this opportunity- I foresee real opportunity here to spur job creation and economic growth.

Keep in mind teaching entrepreneurship at the high school level is not a new concept. The University at Buffalo School of Management, Babson College, Lehigh University and many other institutions are all developing and exploring high school entrepreneurship programs.

What is needed is a more pro-active national, structured program with clearly defined objectives, standards, metrics, and courses – our high school students are a valuable, untapped resource to help us create our next generation of entrepreneurs who will help drive innovation, create jobs and spur economic growth.


This entry was posted in Business, Entrepreneurship, startup, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.