Imagine a world where your kids are not just followers but leaders, not just dreamers but doers. That’s the magic of teaching entrepreneurial skills from day one. From toddlerhood to those tricky teenage years, we’re here to tell you why it’s a big deal and how to get started on this incredible journey of nurturing young entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurial skills: the significance
According to World Economic Forum’s report, nearly half of the work we do right now will be automated by 2055, resulting in the creation of new job roles and opportunities that require creativity and critical thinking. In this rapidly changing world where traditional career paths are constantly evolving, equipping our children with entrepreneurial skills has never been more critical.
Entrepreneurial skills encompass creativity, critical thinking, communication, adaptability, and financial literacy, which are crucial for success in both traditional and non-traditional career paths. These skills enable individuals to identify opportunities, manage risks, and turn ideas into reality, ultimately fostering self-reliance and innovation. Perhaps it even means that your child will want to create a role for him/herself instead of fit into a position built by someone else.
When we talk about teaching entrepreneurship in education, people have different ideas. Some think it means encouraging students to start their own businesses, while others believe it’s about making students more creative, proactive, and innovative.
The latter view of entrepreneurship applies to all aspects of life, not just business, which Martin Lackéus, from Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship, explains in his report, Entrepreneurship in Education What, Why, When, How: “All students can and should train their ability and willingness to create value for other people. This is at the core of entrepreneurship and is also a competence that all citizens increasingly need to have in today’s society, regardless of career choice.”
Why are these skills so important?
Teaching entrepreneurial skills is integral to personal and professional success for several reasons:
Adaptability: According to Maya Spikes from Rising Innovator: “Teaching entrepreneurial skills can help students handle, and sometimes even welcome, the changes happening in technology, business, and society in general.” Think of adaptability as the superpower of the future – the ability to pivot, roll with the punches, and embrace change with a grin is something every entrepreneur has in their back pocket. In a world where technology is doing the cha-cha, adaptability is the key to staying relevant and ahead of the game.
Critical thinking: Entrepreneurial kids are like Sherlock Holmes meets MacGyver – they can solve problems, spot opportunities, and dream up innovative solutions. An article published by Marlborough school explains it well: “In the real world, problems can only be solved when they have been properly identified and described. Entrepreneurship education teaches children to identify problems they have never encountered before — a skill that will be very useful in tomorrow’s world.”
Creativity: In a world where automation is on the rise, creativity is a uniquely human trait. It’s the driving force behind innovation and product development. The SA Institute of Entrepreneurship elaborates: “Entrepreneurship education encourages students to think in unique ways and develop their creativity and critical thinking skills by solving practical problems.”
Financial smarts: Entrepreneurship teaches you how to manage money responsibly, which is an important life skill, says My Biz Kid: “Financial literacy is required because it will help you to manage your money wisely. And with its absence, you will lack a strong foundation and decision regarding savings and investments. Financial knowledge not only helps in managing and understanding financial concepts but also helps in effective money management. To achieve financial stability person should know what it is.”
Self-reliance: Entrepreneurial children learn to take initiative, setting goals and working towards them independently, says Leon Lategan from School of Entrepreneurship:
“Education is the foundation of a bright and prosperous future, and every child deserves a comprehensive education that includes entrepreneurship and helps them develop the mindset and skills they need to become self-sufficient and succeed in life.”
How to nurture entrepreneurship
Now that we’ve got the “why” covered, let’s move on to the “how.” How can you encourage these skills in your kiddos?
- Encourage curiosity: Kids are natural explorers. Encourage their curiosity, let them ask questions, and explore their interests. Curiosity is the launchpad for creativity.
- Support creativity: Give them the freedom to think outside the box. Art, music, and creative play are all fuel for their imaginative fire.
- Teach problem solving: When they face a problem, let them try to solve it on their own first. Be their guide, not their solution machine.
- Introduce financial concepts: Money doesn’t have to be a mystery. Teach them about savings, spending, and the value of a Rand. Money smarts are life smarts.
- Set goals together: Goal setting is a crucial skill. Help them set goals for school, hobbies, or personal projects, and celebrate their successes along the way.