Sunday, June 3, 2012

Young Entrepreneurs Step Up

Source: ASIDE, 2012
We have written several posts about raising entrepreneurs and believe that when students are exposed to the idea of becoming an entrepreneur, they rise to the occasion. Our students did just that when they presented their work at the Entrepreneur Fair in May. These fifth graders worked at coming up with a product or service and taking it from its inception to completion.

To get to the point where they were ready to present their ideas to the school community required hard work and perseverance. They realized, too, that it's not that easy. They spent a good deal of time discussing the pros and cons of working as a sole proprietor or in a partnership, weighing the benefits and costs of each.

Source: ASIDE, 2012
Throughout the process, they struggled with the trials and tribulations of how to work together, or to make the decision to go it alone without a partner. This was tough sometimes, because they had to separate friendship from business, a life skill that could someday come in handy. They learned a lot about themselves, and it was not always easy to make decisions. Sometimes it made them uncomfortable to speak up about what they wanted and find their own voices.

Without a doubt the multiple layers of learning in the process of taking an idea to its fruition far exceeded our expectations as teachers. The decision-making process alone required them to continually revise their ideas, update their business plans, and think of ways to cut costs to increase profits. The other facet to the project included advertising and marketing their wares. One way they did this was to produce jingles to go along with their products.

Source: ASIDE, 2012
All in all, this was an amazing experience and no doubt one they will not forget. The concept of teaching entrepreneurship is one that we believe should not wait until they enter college classes. It is elementary and definitely promotes the idea of creating innovators.

Many of them never thought they could do something like this, and they were surprised by their successes. It was a win on all fronts, but most importantly for them. We want to raise entrepreneurs, develop confidence, and believe in our power as educators that we can create a new generation of innovators. When given the opportunity to make or design their own learning, they connect with the ideas we try to instill in them through the process.

Entrepreneurship is a forward-thinking approach to melding together a number of literacies. The ultimate goal is to get kids to think creatively, no matter how far-fetched. The act of making is the art of connecting. The more we aid in this process, the better the result.


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