Did you know that 72% of high school students have considered starting their own business, yet 62% are never offered a course in entrepreneurship? High school students are our most underutilized creative resource – if we can successfully engage their talents, we’ll unlock innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. So, how can we better encourage their entrepreneurial ambitions than to offer an entrepreneurship class?
Your Light Will Stay On
One thing that is unique for high school students is your access to resources. During high school, all students have access to their school and community resources that will help them launch their ideas. From computer labs to access to target markets, students have the ability to access tools many adults don’t have. Students don’t have the burden of paying rent for their office space or technology. With access to a classroom, teachers, and community resources, high school students have a distinct opportunity to risk.
Failure is Key to Innovation
The formula is a no-brainer: the sooner you start, the sooner you succeed. Currently, high school students are only rewarded when they get something right. Students need a place to make assumptions, test those assumptions, and learn from their trial and error. The Case Foundation explains that failure is an incredibly important tool in every innovator’s toolbox.
Becoming familiar with failure at an early age makes students more confident when faced with obstacles. Rather than being discouraged from trying again, entrepreneurship teaches students resilience and determination. This high school entrepreneurship program discusses failure in a way that acknowledges frustration and doubt while celebrating the entrepreneurial tenacity that helps in overcoming difficulty.
Learn the Value of a Handshake
For the full year that students analyze and interact with their community, they are put into situations that require professionalism. They meet with mentors, context experts, and respected community members that help to validate their ideas and solutions. While this may seem overwhelming at first, students rise to the challenge and begin shaking hands with confidence. This growth phase culminates with students pitching their venture on-stage in front of hundreds of people, preparing them for fulfilling college and career experiences.
In fact, many of our high school alumni become CEOs and business owners. Exposing high school students to entrepreneurship deepens their critical thinking skills, boosts their resumes, and provides them with the hands-on learning to succeed in their personal and professional lives. But society also benefits from the innovative knowledge and #DreamBig attitudes young students bring to the table. Now’s the time to transform students into leaders of the future.
Each month we open our classroom to a member from our local business community to join us for a discussion over lunch.