Entrepreneurs can change the world at any age

Teaching youth about entrepreneurship is exciting and easy with “Be the E” national 4-H curriculum.

Learn how to encourage young entreprenuers with
Learn how to encourage young entreprenuers with "Be the 'E'" curriculum. | MSU Extension

Entrepreneurs can change the world at any age. Imagine a world without innovators such as Henry Ford, Bill Gates or even Thomas Edison. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. Many people will complain about what’s wrong in the world and stop there. Entrepreneurs see problems as opportunities. They move past the problem by looking for solutions as a possible market opportunity.

A large group of future entrepreneurs is often overlooked – our youth. According to a 2011 Junior Achievement National Free Enterprise Survey, there is a high interest in entrepreneurship among high school students. They found nine in ten (91 percent) high school students believe it is important they are taught about entrepreneurship, free enterprise and capitalism. In addition, 41 percent of students believe it is absolutely essential they are provided these educational opportunities. Furthermore, 64 percent are very or somewhat interested in starting or owning their own business someday.

When combined with the continued need for job creation and caring, trained adult volunteers, youth interested in entrepreneurship can easily become a 4-H club, group or classroom that can make an economic difference.  In 2004, National 4-H recognized this opportunity and developed an entrepreneurship curriculum for middle and high school youth called “Be the ‘E’”. The curriculum was created in an easy to use format that includes a helper’s guide and youth activity guide. Adult volunteers do not need to be an entrepreneur or even a business person to assist young people in learning about starting a business.

If you’re interested in learning more about this curriculum, adult volunteers, parents, teachers, youth development workers, community members and entrepreneurs can attend an upcoming training provided by Michigan State University Extension. The “Be the ‘E’” curriculum training will be held on May 22, 2014 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at The Hatch, 325 E. Grand River, Suite 345 East Lansing, MI 48823. Registration is required.

Join us to learn how you can implement this National 4-H curriculum focusing on youth entrepreneurship in your club, school or community group. From identifying passionate business ideas, developing a business plan and operating a business, the “Be the ‘E’” curriculum helps teens develop the skills and knowledge needed to be a young entrepreneur. Participants experience a variety of experiential learning activities that include:

  • famous entrepreneurs
  • entrepreneurial traits
  • can I make the best better?
  • does it pay to be nice?
  • how much do I charge?
  • doing the right thing.

Hope to see you there!

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