Aug 20 2013

Entrepreneurship: the Perfect High School Reform

  • Posted by: admin

For entrepreneurs, a major goal should be to inspire the next generation of kids to start a business. With a quarter of teenagers dropping out of high school before graduation and a general feeling among students that school is irrelevant, teaching entrepreneurship may be just the right kick that the public school system needs to get back on track.

Only two of the top five schools in the state offer an entrepreneurship class, so this isn’t exclusively a need to be filled with low-achieving high schools. I’m currently in high school, and up until this year there wasn’t an entrepreneurship course; even now, it lasts one semester and is an elective, which will be taught from a textbook. Not ideal for a skill that is supposed to be creative.

How should entrepreneurship be taught? As I would argue for most all subjects, students (including myself) learn best by doing. The best way to learn crucial entrepreneurial skills is not to read a book about how to start a business; it’s to start a business.

Here are my thoughts on the ideal schedule for a semester-long course:

Week 1: Students are introduced to entrepreneurship by hearing 5 local entrepreneurs give talks.

Weeks 2-3: Students begin to brainstorm ideas for entrepreneurial concepts and contact or are matched with potential mentors.

Weeks 4-10: Basic tenets of entrepreneurship are taught followed by direct implementation into a business conceptualization. (How will your business sell to customers? How will you get vendors? How will you account for money?)

Weeks 11-16: Students meet both with mentor and instructor to discuss moving forward. Upon approval by both, concept is launched and student begins to manage business.


At the end of the course, students could shut down their enterprises, continue, or request to continue individually as part of an extended study.


To administrators, this probably sounds ridiculous at first glance. The school system is set up to pump out students in quantity, and this requires individualized teaching and oversight. Having said this, the impact could be huge. Students would enjoy coming to class, would have an interest in learning, and could stand to make some money. The community would benefit in the long term from job creation and tax revenues… all from one class!


What do you think? Is this a viable solution?



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