College, university, apprenticeships, full-time work… with many school-leavers unsure about what to do after their secondary school education, it’s important for teachers to consider each option carefully so that they might offer advice when needed. As we’ve seen in recent months, a lot of business professionals are encouraging entrepreneurialism in young people. Established entrepreneur and financial education specialist Daniel Britton gives his five main reasons why this way of thinking should be encouraged.
Teachers are in a great position to spot and nurture entrepreneurial talent. The life stories of successful entrepreneurs often reveal that they struggled with traditional education, but occasionally there was someone who believed in them, before they believed in themselves. Despite the uncertain economic climate, reluctant bank lending and unpredictable business outlook – now is exactly the right time for budding young entrepreneurs to start a business.
Enterprise in schools can be seen as a lower priority, but the beauty of enterprise initiatives is they bring learning to life, showing the learner how to apply their learning to the real world, and how this can benefit them.
Enterprise projects will benefit numeracy, literacy, confidence and creativity. The more they are practiced, the deeper the understanding. Imagine a busy stall on a primary school playground – children have to apply agile mental maths to handle money efficiently and get through the queue before break is over – but the learning is not just about mental maths and money management, it’s about crowd control, and working under pressure; it’s about communication and good customer service; it’s about being well organised, problem solving and working together as a team. In short it’s about employability skills and best of all the children love it. Further into their future, 82% of employers recruiting graduates are most interested in evidence of their employability skills, so real value lies in education making provision for developing these skills.
Finding new ways for schools to save money seems to be the ‘hot potato’ at the moment, and quite understandably so. There is another option though: find new ways to make money. With all that intellectual property, skills and knowledge floating through the corridors, are there any opportunities for new business ventures to emerge from your school?
There has always been a contribution culture amongst teachers: 'We can get hold of lesson plans at the click of a button and reuse someone else’s work', or, as the saying goes: ‘There’s no point reinventing the wheel’. However, should we be more business-minded about giving our hard work away?