Entrepreneurship Education Prepares Students for Life
You may have read my favorite definition of entrepreneurship on the homepage: the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled. Imagine if you were taught how to pursue opportunity beyond resources controlled in an high school. You’d learn things like how to come up with ideas, be more creative, planning, budgeting, time management, how to be persuasive, personal branding and working in teams to name a few. Could you apply these new skills to ALL your other classes in high school? Of course, you can.
Can you apply these to your personal life? Yes! Will you use these later in life? 100%. The best part, though, is you can start using the skills you learn in entrepreneurship immediately. You can also start using other skills taught in entrepreneurship like self-confidence, resilience, problem-solving, goal setting, initiative and empathy.
Entrepreneurship Integration in IB World Schools
Is Entrepreneurship in Your Curriculum?
Somewhat? Let me explain. This is the MYP Design Cycle. Students who participated in the MYP program are likely familiar with it. The design cycle is comprised of four components: Inquiring and Analyzing, Developing Ideas, Creating the Solution and Evaluating. Each of the steps has four steps. The components and steps don’t need to be done in order and student’s are encouraged to move around the diagram as needed. If your school offers DP Design Technology, your students have seen the MYP Design Cycle too! It’s used it throughout the program and students show their proficiency of it as they complete their Design Tech IA. The design cycle provides students with a sequential framework to guide them to identify and solve a problem.
The design cycle is used in everything we do, we just aren’t consciously thinking about it. For example, maybe this morning you asked Alexa what the weather was like (inquiring and analyzing). Then you opened your closet and looked at different things to wear (developing ideas). After that you chose an outfit and got dressed (creating the solution) and then looked in the mirror to see how amazing you look (evaluating)!
I love the MYP Design Cycle because it’s highly relatable to the practice of entrepreneurship and use it in higher ed and in consulting and coaching entrepreneurs in public and private sectors. So how exactly is the MYP Design Cycle connected to entrepreneurship?
“See Do Repeat: The Practice of Entrepreneurship” by Dr. Rebecca White is the gold standard when teaching entrepreneurship to high schoolers, especially IB students. Notice how the See Do Repeat image is strikingly similar to the MYP Design Cycle. When I point this out to high school students I see their lightbulbs going off. Explicitly teaching high schoolers about the practice of entrepreneurship gives them the confidence and skills needed to attempt to solve any problem. Below, you’ll find the “See Do Repeat: The Practice of Entrepreneurship” table of contents. Entrepreneurship teaches students how to be entrepreneurial in everything they do!
Incorporating entrepreneurship into an IB high school is isn’t hard. It can easily be incorporated into electives like DP Design Technology and DP Business Management or it could be incorporated to into TOK so all students get exposed to an entrepreneurship education. It can also be integrated outside of the classroom.
See Do Repeat Table of Contents
Part I: Seeing
Chapter 1: Opportunity
- Entrepreneurship begins with opportunities
Chapter 2: Discovering and creating opportunities
- Finding and understanding connections
Chapter 3: Creating value
- An opportunity is more than a good idea
Part II: Doing
Chapter 4: Taking Action
- Taking the risk and stepping into the unknown
Chapter 5: Your Entrepreneurship Education
- Entrepreneurship is about learning
Chapter 6: Building Your Network
- Tapping into entrepreneurial support
Part III: Repeating
Chapter 7: Resilience
- Preparing for challenges, difficulties, and loss
Chapter 8: Fear of Failure
- Reframing failure as a learning process
Chapter 9: Optimism
- Staying grounded in a positive future
Chapter 10: Choose Yourself
- Making a commitment to you
I create and provide curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular entrepreneurship programming to high schools with
an emphasis on experiential learning and real world application.
High School Services
Entrepreneurship Course Development
If you’re looking to develop an entrepreneurship course, I can help. I have extensive experience in curriculum development and instructional design and can create a custom course that meets your specific needs. Entrepreneurship courses can be developed as a stand-alone course or can be integrated as a section in any other high school classes.
There are many ways I mentor students. First, I act as a role model to high schoolers as they prepare for life’s journey after they graduate high school. I aim to support students as they grapple with figuring out what they want to study in college and their career choice. I also mentor high school entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a business, through the entrepreneurial process and assist them in getting their venture launched. I’m here to help them every step of the way, from brainstorming ideas to showing students how to implement strategies and reach their target market.
I provide practical and theoretical training to students, giving them the skills they need to succeed in the real world. I have a wealth of experience in the field of setting and achieving goals, and my courses cover topics such as entrepreneurship, communication, and how students can achieve their wildest dreams. My goal is to help students develop their entrepreneurial mindset now so they can immediately apply what they learn and better position themselves for success.
Guest Lecturing & Speaking
As an experienced entrepreneur, I provide valuable insights and advice on starting and running a successful business. But that’s the tip of the iceberg. Most high schoolers have no interest in starting a business, so I won’t speak to that unless specifically asked. Rather, I’ve found telling them cool (and sometimes unbelievable) stories about my journey is what gets them paying attention and learning and much of it ties back to the spring weekend my freshman year of high school where I learned how to be an entrepreneur.
If your school doesn’t have an annual pitch competition you’re missing out! Pitch competitions give students an opportunity to showcase their amazing solutions to real world problems and get feedback from a panel of experts in front of a live audience. There are several pitch competition models that can be used. I can help design your competition from processes and structure to marketing to students and the community. I develop strategy, mentor students, handle community outreach, and develop and managing fundraising efforts. Yes, pitch competitions are fundraisers!! Money raised can go towards innovation and technology equipment, and even prizes for the students. Oh, and media love high school pitch competitions!
Imagine teaching your students about entrepreneurship through a fundraiser! It doesn’t sound difficult, does it? It’s not! There are several fundraiser models I use to help schools generate additional income that include students working individually and in small teams. Pitch competitions are another fantastic way to teach and encourage entrepreneurship and raise money!
Entrepreneurship Certificate Creation
In todays ridiculously competitive collegiate admissions environment, a student with an applicant who has an entrepreneurship certificate stands out amongst their peers. As the demand increases and the market continues to expand, I help schools with the design, development, and implementation, of entrepreneurship certificates students can earn while attending high school.
Learning & Development
Learning & Development
I create customized training and development solutions that help your team become more entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial (being entrepreneurial when you’re working for someone else). Whether you’re looking to improve faculty and staff productivity, reduce turnover, or you want your team members to better learn how to recognize opportunities, training and development can boost employee morale which has a direct correlation to the lifetime value of your customer.
Should Entrepreneurship be a Required Course? Absolutely.
I recently wrote an article for Tolle Lege, a magazine published by Clearwater Central Catholic High School, an IB World School. In the article, I discuss some of the benefits of entrepreneurship education in high school. You can read the article here.
Classes and workshops are offered during the fall, spring and summer semesters and are offered both in-person and virtually. These can be delivered a la carte or several can be grouped together as series, course or bootcamp over multiple days, weeks or months.
IB Design Technology
IB Business Management
IB Computer Science
My First Entrepreneurial Experience
At a sleepover at a friends house during my freshman year of high school, I recognized and executed on my first entrepreneurial opportunity. We sold bottled water, soda and hot dogs at an art show an as a result, we each made $1,000 over the weekend. The thousand dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to the real-world lessons I learned during my first entrepreneurial experience. I learned about risk/reward, supply and demand, inventory, purchasing, negotiating, marketing, customer loyalty, raising capital, and team work to name a few. I learned how the real world had a place for me in it right then, and that as a high schooler, I could create value that others. Most importantly, that weekend I learned to think like an entrepreneur, recognize opportunities, develop, implement, and evaluate a plan.
I’ve spent most of my adult life in the private/for profit sector helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses and become better entrepreneurs, however, a few years ago I decided it was time to start training the next generation of entrepreneurs, so instead of continuing to pursue my own businesses, I went back to school to get a master’s in entrepreneurship. From 2019-2021, I was the Entrepreneur in Residence at my high school alma mater where I helped to open one of the first high school entrepreneurship centers in the Florida. We started an entrepreneurship club, planned a business idea pitch competition, brought in entertaining and engaging guest speakers and so much more! I taught IB Design Technology & Entrepreneurship, Business Management and Computer Science where I integrated entrepreneurship into each course and worked with teachers in other disciplines to incorporate entrepreneurship into their lessons in an effort to make all students more entrepreneurial.
My goal is to help schools create engaging entrepreneurship programming and to develop the entrepreneurial mindset of their students, faculty and staff. Today, rather than working as an employee of just one school, I’m contracted by high schools to develop and improve their curricular and extra-curricular entrepreneurship programming.