“Other than the US, the UK is unrivaled as a place to start and grow a business,” said Simon Rogerson, 2017 winner of EY Entrepreneur of the Year UK award. With such great opportunity for business-minded people, it’s evermore important to teach students about business and entrepreneurship to give them a leg up in becoming innovators in the global economy. One of the best, and simplest, ways to teach students about entrepreneurship and to understand business is to apply business strategies in ways they can understand, and to assign projects that are interesting.
By using real-world business examples to teach the subjects students are learning already will not only give them the skills needed to become contributors to the business world, but also make them more engaged in learning, as their studies now have relevance to their lives. Teaching students skills for the business world gives them a foundation on which to build when they enter the workforce. Here are five specific lessons for students to build entrepreneurial skills.
Making Sense of Money
First, teaching students about the stock market and how trading works can give them an understanding of the general marketplace. Understanding how money works allows students to make better financial decisions in the future. You can assign a mock investment in which students decide on an amount to invest in some way, then track what their earnings would be. This not only requires engagement with the market, but also a sense of pride in any money made, whether real or not.
Second, you can have students brainstorm business ideas for real-world problems. Money is to be made when one comes up with a solution to a problem. Make sure students are thinking about similar products or services already available, and how their idea differs from those.
Next, students will take their idea and create a pro-forma. They’ll research what it costs to rent an office space, fill it with furniture and equipment, and the day-to-day operating costs. Have them weigh the pros and cons of running a business from their home, or renting an office, whether it makes more sense to have a downtown office or a large space outside city limits. Knowing what running a business entails will make the entire process feel less nebulous and foreign.
Hone Professional Skills
There are two kinds of skills that make a difference in the business world: hard skills, such as knowledge of a particular software programme, and soft skills, such as how to network and interact with new people. Both types of skills are important for entrepreneurs, but neither of them are taught in school very often. Number four, teach them computer skills to run a business; eventually, the idea is to have an IT team, but when a company is just starting out, you may have to be a jack of all trades for the first few years. Knowing how to use a computer fluently will save money and time and allow one complete ownership over their business.
Fifth, and finally, students need to learn the soft skills to lead in business. Incorporate public speaking into their lessons. Have them create an elevator pitch for their business idea, or explain their pro-forma to a group. These are the skills that will open doors for young business owners, and the skills that will later develop into the networking skills needed for advancement in a career or business.
There is an age-old frustration with children that what they are being taught in school does not pertain to the real world, or will not be useful to them upon joining the workforce. By using real examples to teach the same things, you are creating business-minded young people and giving them skills they will continue to improve upon and use once school is behind them.
Author’s bio. This article was written by Kylee Ryers.
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