Workforce Preparedness and Student Engagement

August 27, 2013 at 10:16 am Leave a comment

image003Teaching entrepreneurship isn’t on the forefront of most educators’ minds. But it should be! What makes a successful entrepreneur? The same things that make a responsible adult—financial literacy, communication skills, hard work, creativity, organization and so much more. So let’s teach our young people the importance of entrepreneurial life skills!

In August 2011, a National Survey found that six in ten young people have started or would like to start their own business. Preparing young people for their career goals is a key element and purpose of teaching.

In 2011, a Junior Achievement and National Chamber Foundation survey found that nine in ten students believe it’s important for students to be taught about entrepreneurship. This statistic shows that young people are craving real life experiences in the classroom. They want to see a direct connection for how what they learn in the classroom can be translated into the real world.

A Gallup poll done in 2009 showed that 95% of all employers believe that the American workforce needs to become more entrepreneurial. Most importantly, entrepreneurship is how we can prepare young people for the challenges of the workforce.

These statistics show the necessity of teaching entrepreneurship in the classroom.

Educators need to be entrepreneurial each and every day. Educators understand the importance of creativity, flexibility, hard work, organization, and communication in order to be successful. It’s our responsibility to pass these skills on to young people too. As educators, we prepare young people for the workforce, so let’s engage them in the classroom to ensure their continued success.

But how can teachers do this while still trying to meet the standards that are required in the classroom? Teaching entrepreneurship isn’t additional work. Instead, it’s a new way to engage young people and to make the connection between classroom learning and getting a job. Because we know that educators have many requirements, we can show you how NFIB’s Entrepreneur in the Classroom curriculum supports the Common Core Education Standards. 9th and 10th Grade Standards and 11th and 12th Grade Standards.

As educators prepare to kick off another school year, the Entrepreneur in the Classroom curriculum is a great resource for activities, discussions and information to excite students in a new and useful way. This blog will continue to provide new discussions and activities on a monthly basis that can be included in any classroom, regardless of the subject matter.

Good luck with the new school year. Remember, entrepreneurial skills are life skills that will positively impact ALL young people today, and in the future.


1. Entrepreneurial Characteristics: Lead a discussion on the characteristics of an entrepreneur, and have students determine which of these characteristics they possess. Characteristics of an Entrepreneur Exercise 1-3a. You can continue this discussion by tying in these characteristics to your subject matter.

2. Creativity: Bring in a few items from home (a stereo system, a phone, a mop, a coffee mug, etc.). Students can take a look at this every day object and brainstorm ways that they could improve it, change it, or use it for a different purpose. This is a quick and fun activity to get young people thinking outside the box. If you break up into groups of 4 or 5, this can be a lesson in team building too.

3.Entrepreneurial Life Skills: Take creative ideas from above and move to the next level of entrepreneurship, by creating a mind map. This exercise teaches organization, detailed planning, communication, and many other life skills. Mind Mapping Exercise 2-2. Once they’ve brainstormed their ideas and created their mind map, have the young people present their ideas to the rest of the group. The group can then vote on which new product they’d most likely purchase. Lead a discussion on why they chose the product they did. What caused you to vote for this product? What did you like about the product? What changes may have caused you to vote for another product?

Entrepreneur In The Classroom
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The FREE curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. You must be registered to view the full Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum.

More Information
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.

Related links
Follow NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Twitter
Like NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Facebook
Follow EITC curriculum author Kathy Korman Frey on Twitter

Entry filed under: Curriculum, Free, Resources, Teachers, Teaching tools, Young Entrepreneur. Tags: , , , , .

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