Ways to Enhance Your Entrepreneurship Program
In addition to leading students through a youth entrepreneurship curriculum, consider these ideas for enhancing the learning experience.
Invite professionals from a range of vocational experiences and expertise to speak to the students on relevant topics of entrepreneurship such as: marketing, accounting, lending, ethics, managing, and identifying opportunities and demand. Be sure to invite entrepreneurs from different career fields so that students can gain ideas for business opportunities in their own areas of interests. Potential guests could include: a banker, a store owner, a clothing designer, a lawyer, a CPA, a beauty salon owner, a radio broadcaster, a computer consultant, a childcare provider, a local DJ, a party planner.
Take the class or small groups of students to various business sites that are relevant to the classroom studies. For instance, visit a bank when discussing opening a bank account. Arrange to meet with the owner of a local family-owned business when teaching characteristics of an entrepreneur.
Consider pairing students with adult mentors who will meet with the youth on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to listen and advice them. Mentors do not need to be entrepreneurs themselves (although this is helpful); they should be people who are available and committed. These relationships often extend beyond the conclusion of the entrepreneurship program and can be vital to youth as they explore career opportunities and other life decisions.
Keep a Journal
Require the students to keep a journal as they complete the steps along the entrepreneurial process. This will help them to process the information they are learning in the classroom and think more critically about their own ideas for business opportunities.