13 Ideas to Make Classrooms More Entrepreneurial

What would you add to a secondary school curriculum to help breed more entrepreneurs (or entrepreneurial workers) at a younger age?

Phil Frost1. Basic Sales Skills

“The most important skill in business is sales and it’s missing from our school curriculum. It’s obviously critical for every entrepreneur to understand how to sell their product or service. But it’s also important for anyone entering the workforce to know how to sell their own unique abilities to get a good job. ”

Phil Frost, Main Street ROI

peter minton

2. Programming

“Every startup needs someone who can fulfill its technological requirements, and there simply are not enough good programmers to fill this demand. Moreover, chief technical officer is a fantastic position from which a future entrepreneur can learn what it means to run a new business.”

Peter Minton, Minton Law Group, P.C.

ben rubenstein

3. “How to Make 100 Bucks” Class

“Kids sell candy or wrapping paper to support school programs but don’t connect what they’re doing to the idea of running a business. Add a class to the curriculum that teaches fundamentals on how to start a small business. Teach kids to think about how much materials cost and how prices of goods are set. Title the class ‘How to Make 100 Bucks’ so kids want to attend. ”

Ben Rubenstein, Yodle

Andrew Schrage

4. Classed in Creativity

“I would introduce a class on how to develop creativity. Many small business owners achieved success by being able to think outside the box and coming up with creative solutions to consumer needs. Much of the mainstream educational system actually fosters non-creativity. The cycle of  ’read, study, memorize, and regurgitate’ doesn’t do much to get kids to think on their own.”

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

Elizabeth Saunders

5. Entrepreneurial Career Counseling

“I think it would help if guidance counselors  talked to students not only about what it takes to get into college but also what it would take to start a business. For some students, that may mean seeking out a university with an entrepreneurship program, while for others, choosing a college where they could run a business on the side, and for the final group, it could be taking a year off to start up.”

Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®

Darrah Brustein

6. Financial Literacy

“In order to breed more entrepreneurs from a young age, basic financial education is important. These building blocks can spark the initiative in kids to recognize that if they want to take control of their financial futures, becoming an entrepreneur is a great way to do so! Speak to kids in ways that are engaging to them, like storybooks infused with these lessons. ”

Darrah Brustein, Finance Whiz Kids | Equitable Payments

Charles Gaudet

7. Run A Lemonade Stand

“I would have children create a lemonade stand. They’d learn about location, basic accounting, customer service, product creation, simple marketing, and money management. Organizations like LemonadeDay.org are beginning to put this into action.”

Charles Gaudet, Predictable Profits

Abby Ross

8. Problem-Solving Skills

“Critical thinking and problem-solving are extremely important skills that should be mastered at a young age. You can always learn design, development, finance, or a specific skill–-but a common thread in entrepreneurs is the ability to solve problems at the macro and micro levels. This skill will also mature as you do.”

Abby Ross, Blueye Creative

Eric Corl

9. A Startup History Lesson

“I would add a class that studied the great entrepreneurs of our time. Doing so would open their eyes to the fact that entrepreneurs have created the companies they admire ”

Eric Corl, Fundable LLC

Nicolas Gremion

10. Entrepreneurship Coursework

“The obvious solution is a class dedicated to entrepreneurship. This would be a course that covered the fundamentals not present in all business classes, such as business set-ups, initial-stage materials and presentations, fundraising, hiring, and so forth.”

Nicolas Gremion, Free-Ebooks.net

David Ehrenberg

11. Accounting 101

“High schools should cover basic accounting. This knowledge would enable kids to read financial statements so they can understand the basic ways of looking at a business. If secondary schools incorporated basic finance into the curriculum, students would graduate with the building blocks essential for successful entrepreneurship. ”

David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services

Aaron Schwartz

12. Read Stories That Inspire

“The lowest-hanging fruit to influence young entrepreneurs is to encourage reading about successful startups. Books like Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston or The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki are filled with fascinating anecdotes of how companies have started, and lessons for what individuals can do to create their own startups. Reading about startups lets kids see possibility.”

Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

Brant Bukowsky

13. Invite Entrepreneurs to Class!

“It’s amazing how little exposure most kids get to the idea of starting their own businesses. It’s vital that entrepreneurs seek opportunities to get involved with their local schools to talk about their experiences. People need to know that entrepreneurship is a legitimate career choice, just like being an engineer, doctor, lawyer, or teacher.”

Brant Bukowsky, Veterans United Home Loans

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