Everyone isn’t cut out to be a businessperson, just as not all kids are going to be rock stars, doctors, novelists, or astronauts. Still, there is a tremendous amount of value in teaching children about entrepreneurship, even if they won’t be running their own company in the future. Here are a number of reasons why:
Reason #1: It helps keep kids in school
Like adults, kids are motivated to make money so that they can buy what they want. Interestingly, entrepreneurship can help children stay in school, particularly the disadvantaged students, because it makes school relevant and important to them.
School holds no value to underprivileged and apathetic students. But if you can prove to them how writing a business plan can be helpful, or how learning math (which is vital to entrepreneurship) is going to help them make money, they’ll realize why they need to stay.
Reason #2: It teaches key life skills
Educating children about entrepreneurship also teaches them a variety of important life skills such as:
Simply put, financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works (i.e. how to earn, manage, invest money). This knowledge will help kids make more informed decisions and motivate them to manage their money more responsibly.
Children need to learn how to solve problems by themselves. Entrepreneurship teaches them how to identify and observe problems, search for possible solutions, hone critical thinking skills, carry out their decisions, and monitoring the outcome.
Entrepreneurship exposes children to people other than their peers. Such experiences improve their communication skills. It’s even more necessary in this age of social media as children have become reliant on text messaging and social networks to connect with others.
Everyone, including kids and teens, is in the sales business. Whether it’s asking someone out, negotiating one’s allowance, or starting a lemonade stand, everyone needs to know how to sell themselves. Entrepreneurship can teach children how to be better at sales.
Children have opportunities to lead in school and in clubs, but it’s usually limited to achievers and not everyone else. Entrepreneurship, however, allows them to figure things out by themselves. These kinds of situations help children develop leadership skills.
Reason #3: It helps build and manage careers
Not all children who learn about entrepreneurship would necessarily end up as businesspeople; others will eventually be part of the workforce and pursue their own careers. This, however, doesn’t mean that what they learned wouldn’t be put into good use. In fact, learning about entrepreneurship would help children in creating and managing their future careers.
How? Like careers, entrepreneurship isn’t about dedicating yourself to one line of work; we switch jobs all the time. You may specialize in one business, but to succeed, it’s necessary to branch out into other areas. Teaching entrepreneurship to children instills a mindset that they should develop themselves further by learning additional skills that will make them more indispensable in their line of work.
Reason #4: It fights youth unemployment
the unemployed in the country are aged 15 to 24. What makes youth unemployment more dangerous than “regular” joblessness is its damaging effect on the economy (e.g. adults take longer to buy homes) and the individual (e.g. loss of skills).
One effective way to fight youth unemployment is by instilling an entrepreneur mentality in kids and teens. Having this outlook teaches the youth to be self-sufficient and independent. When young entrepreneurs start their own businesses, they help create jobs in the process.
Reason #5: It bridges wealth inequality
Australia’s economic growth during the past two decades has led to higher income for households throughout the country. This propelled Australia to have the second-best average income increase among OECD countries during the past 20 years.
Teaching entrepreneurship to kids and teens, however, can help bridge income and wealth inequality because it will produce more businesspeople, create more jobs, and increase homeownership.