Across the globe, youth face high unemployment and technical innovations that change workforce dynamics. Publications from Forbes Magazine to Time recognize the unique challenges facing young people and offer a simple solution: entrepreneurship. The most readily available entrepreneur training can be found at colleges and universities. But youth entrepreneur programs aimed at elementary aged children are gaining in popularity and importance.
Kids benefit from learning about business and enterprise.
Regardless of age, children benefit from entrepreneurship education. The earlier it is introduced, the better and more lasting the influence. Though parents and educators might suspect such programs would be unpopular with kids, nothing could be further from the truth. Entrepreneurship training prepares kids for their own stated goals. Almost 70 percent of high school students say they want to own their own business one day.
The advantages of entrepreneurship education for kids between the ages of five and eleven are numerous. Participation in business education programs, like Lemonade Day, boosts grades and attendance. Kids with early entrepreneurship training score higher on standardized tests and show better behavior. Some studies even suggest that entrepreneurial education at this age can improve communities and give students an improved sense of self.
Beginning in middle school, students develop an awareness of the importance of business and entrepreneurship. At this age, kids are starting to develop higher level math abilities necessary for business success. Entrepreneurship education improves academic performance by giving students a tangible reason to learn. Enrollment in entrepreneurship programs also increases interest in college among middle schoolers by as much as 32 percent, according to one study.
By the time students reach high school, they fully understand the need for business education and training. Unfortunately, they often feel their desire for entrepreneurship training is ignored. An astonishing 85 percent of students in one study say they have been taught little to nothing about business. Nationally, less than 30 percent of students have taken an entrepreneur or business class.
When high schoolers do receive entrepreneurship education, they attend college and start businesses at increased rates. Nearly 80 percent of businesses are started by people between 18 and 34 years old. High school is one of the last opportunities educators to provide future business leaders with sound fundamentals.