At its most basic level, a startup is a learning machine—one that helps its founders understand and serve the real world in a manner that enables itself to continuously gather information and grow. If it doesn’t learn and adjust, a startup ends.
We’re not surprised, then, to see a proliferation of startup and entrepreneurial programs springing up in and around K-12 schools. What’s more, an entrepreneurial culture, carefully scaffolded, can help schools transform and unlock learning in ways that more traditional coursework cannot.
What follows is a tour through some programs that offer students the chance to engage in entrepreneurial thinking before they enter college. Like a startup, developing a sustainable entrepreneurial program in your school begins with an impulse to make something new, and succeeds or fails based on your team’s ability to support the venture as it iterates, pivots and grows.
The Veale Venture Challenge is an open program for high school students. Through a series of steps—including the development of a business plan and a presentation to investors—it aims to help students start a business while they are still in the school.In terms of entrepreneurial programming, Louisville Collegiate may be best known for its wide-ranging Upper School offerings. One program, which is embedded in a quarter-long course taken by all juniors, connects students directly to local businesses and entrepreneurs, culminating in a pitch event where students present to CEOs and executives solutions to local problems.
Entrepreneurial programs should not expose students to startup culture because we expect students to build the next Facebook; rather, these opportunities offer students a valuable way to learn about teamwork, problem-solving, iteration, resilience, and how to leverage their networks to make things, solve dilemmas, fix irritants, unblock blockages, and work harder than they ever have before.
Read the full article about entrepreneurship skills in education by Reshan Richards and Stephen J. Valentine at EdSurge.
Social Enterprise is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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