Founder, Prepared 4 Life
Education reform advocates frequently argue that improving our schools is vital to keeping America competitive with the rest of the world in math, science, and technology. I’d add another field to that list: entrepreneurship.
The link between education and entrepreneurship might be unclear to some, especially given famous tales of dropouts-turned-billionaires in our culture. Yet the truth is that for every future Steve Jobs out there, there are thousands of other young Americans who might one day contribute greatly to our society and economy if they were only provided with some basic education about business.
There are many ways we can educate our youth about business. For young children, it could be with a lemonade stand or bake sale, where they learn essential principles around product development, expenses, sales, and of course, profit. That’s why I started a nationwide movement called Lemonade Day
, which began with me trying to teach my 10 year-old daughter some basic entrepreneurial lessons instead of just giving her money for a new pet turtle. Lemonade Day has now developed into a program for 200,000 youth in 31 cities across America and Canada.
It is programs like Lemonade Day that teach our children from an early age how to set a goal, make a plan, work hard implementing that plan and achieve their dreams. As our children get older, we can teach them even more beneficial lessons, such as what a start-up is, how markets work, and how they can participate. With a few exceptions, these topics are sorely lacking from most school curriculums in this country. Indeed, there are many highly-educated American students who graduate from prestigious high schools and colleges with acclaim, yet have not received even a cursory education about business and entrepreneurship. It is free enterprise that has built our great nation; don’t we have an obligation to pass it on to our children?
To teach your child about entrepreneurship, find your city
and register for Lemonade Day 2012.