A better question is, why shouldn’t teens become entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs demonstrate so many of the vital 21st century skills we believe are key for future success. In a world where it’s estimated that 65% of kids entering primary school today will work in new jobs that don’t even exist yet (Check out The World Economic Forum’s amazing stats their Future of Jobs report), teaching students how to think and act like entrepreneurs, regardless of whether they plan to start a business or not, will help them foster creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, communications and leadership skills. Entrepreneurship empowers students with agency so they can be the change they want to see in the world.
4 reasons why we love entrepreneurs:
- Entrepreneurs are problem solvers.
They become obsessed with the problems and people they are designing for and dig deep to understand root causes that address profound human needs. Some build Band-Aid solutions (who doesn’t love a good fidget spinner) – but most aspire to disrupt life as we know it and change the world (like SpaceX, Safr, and Embrace Infant Warmer).
- Entrepreneurs are doers.
They don’t like excuses or workarounds. Entrepreneurs fix things that are broken rather than wait for someone else to take responsibility. The make, design, build, test, iterate, and hack. Entrepreneurs help people and make their lives better.
- Entrepreneurs are tenacious.
They aren’t satisfied by the status quo and they ask “Why?!” nonstop. Many are told they’re crazy, that they should give up on their idea, or that they need to go and get a real job. But, even in the face of rejection and failure, they rarely give up. They are optimists, especially on days when things look bleak - when they realize the path they’ve been following has led them astray or when customers reject their solutions. They don’t give up.
- Entrepreneurs drive our economy.
Companies that don’t innovate die. Startups are the lifeblood of our communities (Snuggle up with The Kauffman Foundation’s The Importance of Young Firms for Economic Growth). And, startups include all types of people – the more diverse, the better! Learning how to code and majoring in computer science is probably a smart move, but startups that solve problems require a variety of expertise.
If we equip all students will the entrepreneurial mindset and skill set, they can treat their life and career path as a startup where they build their own future. We need to prepare students to solve complicated problems. To empower them to be active, to have agency, and to be tenacious. We need to teach them to be entrepreneurs.