Is it possible to be taught entrepreneurship?
Many people debate whether this is possible or not. We think it is like ‘teaching’ a musical instrument – everyone can learn to play the piano, but not everyone will be a concert pianist.
Entrepreneurship is a practice – like yoga, like music, like sport. We learn as we experience it.
And this is where teaching or learning about entrepreneurship (whether commercial or social) is very different to teaching or learning about functional disciplines such as accounting or finance, as examples. For functional disciplines there is generally a well defined skill-set. This is not the case with entrepreneurship as it is as a much a mindset as it is a set of activities.
Research shows us that successful entrepreneurs learn by combining learning through formal courses and learning in experience. As we call it – entrepreneurial learning in action®.
At startup.business we help you deliver this learning…
At startup.business we deliver this learning in action via an online platform, face-to-face mentoring, and communities of practice. This means participants learn by doing, and from others, rather than being taught from a text-book or in a traditional classroom environment.
We have developed four courses, each structured around six modules. As our BusinessKids learn about the core elements of business, they also build their own business plan around a business inspired by their own interests and passions. Our courses are appropriate for secondary school students, with content currently being mapped into the approved curricula for year 9 students.
Our learning is different from other programs –
- Our program is anchored in the concept of ‘problem-based learning’ which aims to provide the problems (not the solutions) to facilitate learning
- Educators are Mentors (not teachers) as the community of practice must go far beyond one person with answers. It’s an important shift in the philosophy of learning. It means no-one need know the answer to everything – you just need to understand the approach to learning, and support BusinessKids on their peer-supported learning journey.
- As we are all learning, and we can also learn from ‘students’ (take for example technology) we call our students ‘BusinessKids’
- We have six Modules in each Course (or level as some people like to call them). Each Module can be completed in one or two classroom sessions, and online or in blended face-to-face format. We have lesson plans that can be completed over 6 to 20 face-to-face lessons
- The face-to-face engagement is complemented by our Entrepreneurship Learning Platform (ELP) which is the online materials and organising files. This ensures BusinessKids can engage with quizzes, libraries, and earn badges and experience points as they progress. It also supports your management of the learning.
- The key output of this learning can be written into our startup.planner and then transferred to the startup.poster which sets out the basics of each BusinessKids’ business plan.
Ways of seeing, thinking, doing, being
For each of our Courses & Modules, learning is supported by our design thinking approach – Ask, Try, Do, Reflect®
This Ask, Try, Do, Reflect® framework is used to help BusinessKids understand what is happening in the cases, as well as help them organise their own business planning. It is the core to the our startup.business initiative. For the Apprentice Course they focus on –
- Ask – What do you need to know? – To discover, define, seek, and query.
- Try – What can you try from this? – To attempt, test, and sample.
- Do – What can you do with your understanding? – To deliver, scale, and implement.
- Reflect – How do you reflect during this process? – Being mindful, caring and considering.
In the Apprentice Course participants are essentially learning how to question and gather insight. In the Warrior Course participants learn how to deal with different ‘types’ of data.
In the RockStar course they learn how to take decisions based on that data. All within the Ask, Try, Do, Reflect framework…
Our learning is structured around seeing, thinking, doing, and being. We want your BusinessKids to know the key concepts & challenges in business (seeing), appreciate how entrepreneurs frame & create opportunities (thinking), experience how entrepreneurs develop & implement strategy (doing), and recognise the possibilities for themselves & others in entrepreneurship (being).
With comprehensive guides for educators to support scheduling decisions, class exercises, assessments, and measuring impact, you’ll see how startup.business will bring your school’s entrepreneurs to life. You can also get involved in our regional pitching events to further bring this entrepreneurial learning to life.