If you are teaching entrepreneurship or thinking about it, you most likely already have an idea of how it can empower kids to use their unique talents to solve problems and make not only their world better but also the world overall. But one thing that often is overlooked is the lifelong skills kids learn through entrepreneurship. During their journey of starting a business kids will learn more than just how to start a business. They will learn a series of skills that are invaluable to their future. Whatever career path they choose, entrepreneurship will help them prepare for whatever the world throws at them.
Here are 7 lifelong skills that kids learn through entrepreneurship.
- Problem Solving: Starting from the beginning of their businesses they have been observing the world. They most likely saw or felt the lack of something and began to see it as an opportunity. They were able to see a problem and look at how they could solve it. Problem solving is a lifelong skill that entrepreneurs deal with on almost every day! Every time a new challenge pops up, they have to solve it. Every time they are told no, they find a way. In life we have many things come up that we need to figure out how to tackle. No matter what is thrown at these young entrepreneurs they will be able to use their lifelong skill of problem solving to find a solution.
- Finances/Budgeting: A major problem that entrepreneurs face is how will they finance their new company and then how to keep the cash flowing so that the business can survive and thrive. They have to figure out where they will get the money and to understand how far it will go. To set your young entrepreneurs up for life it is important to teach them about finances. Entrepreneurship will teach how to budget for both expected and unexpected expenses. They will learn about cash reserves and the costs it takes to run a business. They can then use those skills to understand how much it costs them to live the way they want each month. Entrepreneurship education on budgeting could be what keeps many kids out of debt in the future.
- Communication: Communication of a business idea, the problem they are solving and the benefits is so important to the success of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship education teaches kids how communicate these things in a way that their customers, partners, stakeholders and prospects will understand in order to achieve their goal. Whether it is vendors they need new materials from or how to educate customers about their products? Quality communication is a skill that can lead today’s young entrepreneurs to tomorrows leaders.
- Leadership: Leadership is an invaluable skill that young entrepreneurs learn. They may not become a leader of a large team or company; however, it is very important for them to all understand what it takes to be a good leader. Through entrepreneurship education they first learn how to lead their self by showing the discipline it takes to start and run their own business. They learn how to work with others and how to keep track, understand and present information. As their business grows, they learn about how to lead a team and also how to become a good team player. Leadership is one of the lifelong skills that entrepreneurship education can help develop.
- Adaptability: Entrepreneurs can adapt to almost any situation. You might think of them as a chameleon that changes to their surroundings. In our world, there are changes every day. The economy changes, the climate is changing, policies and laws even change. There are new needs from people and so new products and services need to be created to serve the everchanging needs. Young Entrepreneurs are always looking for opportunities so they become adaptable to the changes and to different situations as they create the solutions that will help make our world better. Businesses that are able to adapt tend to survive so by teaching our young entrepreneurs how to adapt will help them have greater success in the future.
- Resiliency: In addition to adaptability, resiliency is another lifelong skill kids learn through entrepreneurship. One of the best ways to learn as an entrepreneur is by failure. But failure does not mean the end, it means learning! It is how we grow as an individual so learning that failure is okay is so important as a lifelong skill. Many businesses fail in their first time out, many prospects may say no, many ideas may not work the way it was originally intended. Learning from these failures will help them in everything they do.
- Self-Motivation and Dedication: Successful entrepreneurs are self-motivated and dedicated to their idea. As we stated in resiliency, most successful entrepreneurs had to try over and over again to make their business or product a success. No boss is telling when you have to be there and what you need to do so as an entrepreneur, self-motivation is so important. Creating a plan and sticking with it is crucial to their success. Teaching young entrepreneurs about passion and self-motivation will help them stay dedicated to their goals. Helping young entrepreneurs tap into what they care about, understanding their goals can help them stay motivated and take them to the next level.
These are just 7 lifelong skills that we touched on. There are so many lifelong skills kids learn though entrepreneurship. By starting young we are able to instill lifelong skills for a successful future. You are able to cultivate today’s youth for a positive tomorrow. Keep encouraging entrepreneurship in your students so they can become successful people.
Julie Wood is the owner and chief cultivator of E-seedling, LLC. She has been working with young entrepreneurs since 2008. Her youth entrepreneur curriculum is being used in over 30 states and 12 countries. If you would like to learn more about Julie and how you can use the E-seedling curriculum in your program or school, visit eseedling.com.