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Top 5 Reasons Entrepreneurship is so important for students

January 17, 2021

Today’s students face a new landscape laden with complex social, global, and environmental challenges. While the pandemic has altered many aspects of the high school experience, it has also served as a valuable episode for students to see challenges as opportunities and to take action and support those around them, which is the mindset of an entrepreneur.  The current landscape has also provided students with opportunities to acquire other entrepreneurial skills such as agility and creative problem-solving, which are skills that are invaluable for success in a student’s journey not only in education and self-development but in many potential career paths of their futures.  Here are five ways that entrepreneurship is important for students for preparing for building skills and preparing for their futures.

1) Entrepreneurship helps students prepare for an uncertain future

The pandemic rocket-launched us to a new normal – a normal that continues to evolve. As new challenges present themselves, and the world becomes more globalized, an entrepreneur must be able to adapt and artfully navigate amidst uncertainty. It requires a willingness to try new things and acclimate continuously. Today’s generation of students is faced with an age of unprecedented potential for transforming the way one approaches a career or acquires work. The current job market is rife with change. The stats below showcase this revolution.

  • According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs survey , half of today’s work activities may be automated by 2055, generating completely new roles, responsibilities, and challenges for the future workforce.
  • Eighty-five percent of jobs that will exist in 2030 have not yet been invented.
  • 50% of US workers will be freelancing. Given the current pace of growth, the Freelancers Union predicts that over half of US workers will be freelancing by 2027.

Empowering students with an entrepreneurial mindset will serve them regardless of career path, or economic status, whether choosing to work freelance, full-time, or embarking upon a startup launch. There is no similar comparison for a real-world experience than by learning entrepreneurial skills, with which students can set themselves up for long-term success in any professional position in life.

2) Starting a company builds confidence and critical thinking

In the traditional classroom setting, students are taught not to fail, and strive towards answering questions perfectly, which is not always practical. In entrepreneurship courses, students have to find both the problem and several innovative approaches to solve complex problems that lack a definitive answer. The ideas and skills instilled in entrepreneurship training, such as creating and testing a new business concept, help students gain confidence as they continue to explore their education, as well as possible future career paths. It encourages exploration and a growth mindset, and aligns the objectives of the startup with how projects tend to work in the real world, keeping students intrinsicly excited about the process.

Students discover how to collect and analyze data to make accurate risk calculations, learn from business professionals and assess their feedback to see how well it aligns with their mission, plus deliver multiple startup pitches. High school is a time when students are beginning to develop their world views and philosophy of life, setting the tone for their mindset, while also having been raised with the latest technology which has prepared them to be able to problem solve well. Entrepreneurship education teaches students to have a growth mindset, no matter their differences in world view, by encouraging the idea that skills and intelligence are improved through time and effort, rather than being fixed.

3) The entrepreneurial process helps you find your purpose

In traditional education, students often ask: “Why is this subject matter important?” or “Will I use this later in life?” and famously, “Will this be on the test?” In entrepreneurial education, on the other hand, students learn to create value from their interests. Students are taught to ask themselves, “What can I do with my time, education, and resources that are important (to me, and others)?” By exploring interests and seeking to create something of value for others, the purpose is revealed, leading to a clear intention in life. By having a solid purpose, students can approach the learning process with far more flexibility, freedom, and fun. Knowing their business could have an impact in the world fosters an approach to acquiring knowledge that is more sustainable than learning material just to earn a good grade.
The following are four key ways students benefit from establishing purpose in both their business and education:

  1. Discovering a purpose helps students to persevere when the inevitable challenges of business, or life, arise.
  2. Keeping a purpose in mind aids in all stages of decision-making.
  3. Aspiring entrepreneurs can see firsthand how projects aligned with purpose, then turn into viable career paths.
  4. Students who choose to do so will enter college with a clear focus and plan of action for their course load, saving time and money.

4) Entrepreneurship enhances leadership and collaboration skills

Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. More graduates than ever before are trading in the traditional corporate path and opting to start their own companies instead.
Forming teams in entrepreneurship education programs like LaunchX helps students to identify and develop leadership roles among the group. Leadership is sometimes referred to as setting shared goals and inspiring or motivating people to work together towards achieving them. Notable writer David Foster Wallace defined “real leaders” as people who “help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better, harder things than we can get ourselves to do on our own.”

Collaboration and working within a team allows students to become aware of different ways of critical thinking, develop effective communication skills, and identify the strengths and roles of themself and their teammates. Creativity is required when faced with the important responsibility of negotiating differences in opinions, ideas, and personalities among the team. Without this essential executive function, a company would either fail to realize each individual’s full potential or likely, fail altogether. Most startups fail based on teaming issues, and anyone who has worked in a company knows the importance of good leadership and teamwork. Within a startup, where everyone coming together has a lot of experience and previous leadership experience, there is no specified leader. Everyone has the propensity of leadership, and everyone must find ways to trust each other, collaborate, communicate, and cooperate. All it takes is one person undermining the collaborative spirit to make for a poor dynamic, and all it can take is one person to help rectify it through great leadership.

5) Entrepreneurship allows you to make a real impact in the world!

According to Online Schools Center, 41 percent of middle and high school students plan to start their own businesses and 45 percent say that they will invent something world-changing. It follows that 42 out of 50 states have K-12 proficiencies in entrepreneurial education, which is a significant increase from 19 in 2009. In learning to understand business internals and the product development cycle, students gain an early competitive advantage in life. These individuals will be the ones equipped with the knowledge necessary to launch their future success story. By participating in entrepreneurship programs, students are not simply preparing for their futures — they become ready to change our world’s future. In our current landscape of pivotal political and socio-economic change, it’s more important than ever for teens to inherit the skills that entrepreneurship enlightens. Naturally curious, tech-savvy, and cognizant of diversity and inclusion, teen entrepreneurs have the potential to affect a lasting impact on our planet.

It’s through startups that some of the most significant impact on job growth, economic growth, and innovation comes about.  Startups often create more revenue with the same amount of capital inputs than older companies, while also opening up new markets since they create new technologies.  Whatever your reason for launching a startup, whether it be innovating, helping customers, financial independence, or being the boss – there is still a lot of great opportunity and impact to be made, and now is a great time to be doing it.

Sources:
1. https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/07/14/85-of-jobs-that-will-exist-in-2030-haven-t-been-invented-yet-d_a_23030098/
2. https://www.marlborough.org/news/~board/stem/post/five-benefits-of-entrepreneurship-education-to-students
3. https://www.asuprepdigital.org/7-courses-future-entrepreneurs-take-high-school/
4. https://www.workmarket.com/blog/15-awesome-stats-workforce-of-the-future
5. https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorikozlowski/2014/02/12/millennials-kairos-society-and-why-entrepreneurs-keep-getting-younger/?sh=578b46fc69c9
6. https://hbr.org/2020/04/real-leaders-are-forged-in-crisis

7. https://medium.com/@ericcorl/how-startups-drive-the-economy-69b73cfbae1

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