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Entrepreneurship for Children

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

Entrepreneurs are not born in a day. Years of conscious and subconscious conditioning makes them what they become.

This process of conditioning human beings from an early age is called Entrepreneurial Mind-set Priming.

Other than the obvious risk-taking trait inculcation, it also teaches young minds to be adaptive of inevitable changes in the near and distant futures.

Most of the fundamental values of tomorrow’s society are formed today, in childhood. Entrepreneurship is one such value.

Promotion of entrepreneurship is even a part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. These goals aim at providing independent livelihoods to all people on earth without compromising the independence of the future generations. As more and more people are being drawn towards entrepreneurship every day, it is imperative that their moulding starts early.

Let’s read on to know what factors come into play in shaping a child of today into an entrepreneur of tomorrow.

1. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

ESD in Early Childhood works wonders in shaping a child’s mind. These are several sub-factors that play a role in aiding ESD.

a. Financial literacy-

An important part of being a self-sustained business owner is knowing the value of money. An immaculate knowledge of every penny that comes and goes is a more a habit than a trait. It is possible to be successful without being thrifty, but impossible to be rich without being thrifty. Entrepreneurship, besides having other goals, aims mostly at compounding money. Being thrifty helps achieve that.

b. Creativity and the Freedom to fail-

They need to be given the space to come up with their own ideas. Some of them will be good, most of them bad, driven by a child’s whims. But as they explore their ideas, they will also learn to filter out the good ones from the bad ones.

Success is not exclusive of failure. Like Einstein said,

I have failed 99 times, and succeeded only the 100th time”.

Children need to know that failure is not something they should be afraid of. Failing and recuperating at a young age will raise confident adults who take chances and persevere when it gets tough. They will learn to analyze what factors led to their failure and how they can prevent them in the future.

c. Communication skills-

Entrepreneurs are perhaps the only people whose success heavily depends on their communication skills. They will need investors; they will need to pitch their ideas to clients, and a million other activities that require them to be honed communicators.

d. Observational skills-

Children must be taught to be mindful. They need to be taught to observe, everything ranging from human behaviour to promotional billboards- Why food companies use red while healthcare providers use blue and green. What catches their attention and what doesn’t? These observations will help them make the right choices in a few years when they market their products.

2. Parental Entrepreneurship

Parental Entrepreneurship is the strongest factor that determines entrepreneurship qualities in children.

It is not a debate between nature and nurture. Is it a study of the intergenerational relationship that plays a pivotal role in determining the child’s future career choices.

The chance that a child of entrepreneurial parents will become an entrepreneur is 60%.

3. Education about impending tragedies-

Rather than handing children the antidotes to the problems they will face as entrepreneurs, they should be taught about the kinds of glitches that may come their way. They should find solutions of their own. This empowers children to actively face or dodge any potential obstacles.

4. Passive Complicity-

An entrepreneur needs to be someone who can take charge, when others are hesitant. Jean Baptiste Say, the French economist who coined the term in the 19th century, said that entrepreneurs were people who shifted economy from a lower level to a higher level. With the ability to recognize the right opportunities, they add value.

Young children have been shown to have a moral complexity, and are untouched by the biases of the adult world. Passive complicity is the act of not actively working towards something that is inherently wrong. They need to be taught that that is not something an entrepreneur should do.

5. Active participant learning (APL)-

A tried and tested method in the West, this approach needs to be adapted by all communities. Children must be encouraged to execute little businesses of their own, either individually or in a group. Something as simple as a lemonade stand also works. They can keep the money they earn as pocket money for themselves or may donate it for a cause. Either way, they will be learning at least one important lesson, saving, or giving back to the society.

The transformative potential of valuable early childhood teachings is underrated.

Entrepreneurs are the drivers of tomorrow’s economy. With rapid privatization of various government sectors, start-ups are the new ‘employment opportunity’ the youth is looking forward to.

Not only it aids in the youth being self-sufficient, being their own bosses, it also paves ways for newer ideas.

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