Resource:How to collaborate with your state government to expand youth entrepreneurship
Many students have dreams and desires for their future. However not everyone knows their potential impacts towards society. From a young age, children may dream about how we can help the world become a better place. As the youth grow older, that vision of global-impact may sometimes fade or become minimized since the norm of society does not encourage entrepreneurship at a young age.
Entrepreneurs mostly consist of visionaries because they can value opporunity and take the risk to turn their vision into reality. Almost all successful companies are founded by visionaries following their dream. As children grow old, their determination is strengthened and they become a matured version of their former self.
The Importance of Youth Entrepreneurship
Youth entrpreneurship feeds the innovation ecosystem and helps impact the future of economic growth. When a child is influenced to think like an entrepreneur, their thought process is ehanced compared other children. As children are applauded for their creativity, little do they know that using creativity in the right aspect can impact their peers and further their vision into an actual product.
Teaching children about entrepreneurial skills prepares them for the business world in the future. The problem is that the youth are not receiving entrepreneurship as a career option during any time of their childhood. Until students get into college, they are almost never taught about how to start their own business, see opportunity in design, deal with financial matters, learn about patents, or even introduced to the thought that their ideas could potential impact the world.
Youth entrepreneurship is important for the future of economic growth as it seeks to prepare people, particularly youth, to be responsible, enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers by immersing them in real life learning experiences where they can take risks, manage the results, and learn from the outcomes. In addition, it helps create more careers for people in the future.
Advocating for Youth Entrepreneurship
It is important to advocate for youth entrepreneurship in a proper way. Primarily, attention must be leveraged from many student voices, existing youth entrepreneurs, staff and teachers in support of entrepreneurship, and other visionaries. For example, surveys can be given to students so that they can voice their opinions about entrepreneurship. The staff from schools can also help by signing a petition in support of educating their students of entrepreneurship. Additionally, the media should be involved to portray a vision with the purpose of entrepreneurship to serve everyone, and not just cater to entrepreneurs themselves. It is important for public to see that entrepreneurship is an option that allows everyone to put more value towards innovation, not just founders of successful companies.
Hosting Innovative Events at Schools
Reaching out to schools with innovative events such as maker movements, hackathons, 3-day workshops, and company presentations can be extremely inspirational towards the youth and trigger their creative mindself. For example, maker movements would expose students to the technical aspects of turning an idea into reality. Hackathons would allows students 48 to 72 hours to compete with other fellow innovators. The 3-day workshops would provide youth the insights of various skills sets to create a product such as programming languages, technical skills, hardware skills, machining skills, etc.The best form of innovation is by combining design with technology to create revolutionary products. Students should be able to spend more hours interacting with design in addition to their course curriculum. Students should be able to receive extra credit, or community hours for completing entrepreneuerial projects that could benefit society.
Partnering with schools to create events and clubs that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship is a great way to inspire students to create their own inventions and products which will allow them to truly find their passion. Although talents are native, passion is usually found by doing. By having school support for such innovative events, students would have the chance to learn from each other and from experts in the industry. This will create a foundation and a community that can be expanded to higher levels of sponsorship.
Creating an Initiative with State Government
According to Keaton Wadzinski, creating an initiative with the state government allows them to get involved with the needs of the foundation established for innovation and entrepreneurship. In collaboration with the state government, students can better voice their opinions and be heard so that more schools can have proper and fulfilling standards for entrepreneurial readiness.
Moreover, dedicated to the entrepreneurship cause should be able to bring together different schools. For example, Keaton mentioned that his school faculty were able to bring together different departments such as the school of public policy, school of social entrepreneurship, school of commerce, and the engineering school. These departments worked together with the state government and met together as an innovation summit that proposed a trandisciplinary minor for innovation and entrepreneurship.
While it may seem easy to involve state government, much consideration has to be done before proposing an idea that may take too long to achieve. For example, reimbursements of time and money may be scarce, as well as the support for integrating entrepreneurship in academics can be difficult.
With all being said, many things can still be done to enhance youth entrepreneurship and bring it to more schools in your area, starting with furthering innovation in education.
Written by: [Dominick Lee] and [Vignesha Bhamidi]