When I think about education for children, I think about preparing them for the world at large. One way to prepare them is to help them develop the entrepreneurial spirit because there is a lot they can learn from this experience, including but not limited to:
- how to set goals
- recognising opportunities
- financial literacy
- creativity and marketing skills
- learning from failures and mistakes
- effective communication
- independent thinking
- selling skills
- helping others – e.g. raising money for charity organisations
Even if our children do not grow up to become entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurial spirit – to lead confidently, think critically and creatively, be financially responsible, and understand the value of teamwork – are important life skills for every individual to possess.
There are many ways to gradually ease children into the world of entrepreneurship – for instance, you can start off younger children with a class store. You can also run the age-old favourite – a lemonade stand (or cookie stand – like we did) – or you can take it up a notch with a program like BizWorld.
BizWorld – Making Entrepreneurship Fun for Children
The BizWorld Foundation is a non-profit organization that teaches children in grades 3-8 business basics, such as entrepreneurship skills and finance. The program inspires students to develop critical thinking and leadership skills that will help them become future innovators. – Mashable
About the Programs
BizWorld.org offers three programs teaching children the skills they need for a successful future. All programs are hands-on and engaging and they teach valuable lessons about entrepreneurship, business, and financial responsibility while emphasizing the importance of 21st century skills like collaboration, critical thinking, leadership, and creativity. In each program, the children work in teams to solve real-world problems.
BizWorld.org programs are designed to be used by students in grades 3-8 and are entirely student-driven (i.e. the students are responsible for the running of their companies and for making all the decisions). They can also be used in other settings such as gifted and talented classrooms, after-school programs, summer camps, and enrichment programs.
1. Bizworld – learning the basics of entrepreneurship and business
BizWorld teaches children the basics of entrepreneurship, business, and finance. It is akin to your lemonade stand but selling friendship bracelets instead. Through this program, students have multiple opportunities to practice leadership skills and hone their math and communication skills.
2. BizMovie – merging technology and entrepreneurship
BizMovie incorporates technology into the business mix by offering children the chance to create their own animated movies. In this program, students will create the concept for their movie, storyboard and decide how to produce it, market their film to a crowd, and sell tickets to an audience.
3. BizWiz – the importance of investing and saving
BizWiz is targets are slightly older range of students from grades 5 to 8 and it teaches the basics of money management and investing. During the course of this interdisciplinary program, students learn about different types of investment vehicles (stocks, bonds, CDs, venture capital, real estate, and collectibles) and create an investment portfolio.
BizWiz is a program that I believe is highly relevant especially with the rising numbers of individuals who are “young and broke” (see the article below from The Star printed earlier this year). As someone once said – we would never allow our children to grow up illiterate, so why do we allow them to grow up financially illiterate?
At BizWorld.org, we believe in inspiring children to do extraordinary things. We know that tomorrow’s jobs and economy are going to be created by leaders and entrepreneurs we foster today. Not every child will be an entrepreneur when he or she grows up, but we can inspire every child to have an entrepreneurial spirit: to lead confidently, think critically and creatively, be financially responsible, and understand the value of teamwork.
- Resources: Teaching the Kids Financial Literacy
- World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students