Are Your Students Ready to Be Entrepreneurs?

Article excerpt

OWNING A BUSINESS AND BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR IS THE DREAM

of many students To achieve that goal, students will need to know business basics and how to formulate a business plan Career and technical education (GTE) instructors need strategies and resources to assist students in developing entrepreneurship skills. Using a hands-on approach to develop entrepreneurship skills is a fun, exciting and memorable way to incorporate them into your classroom. Additionally, using a teamproject approach works well to incorporate business components-such as finance, marketing, e-commerce and presentation skills-into an entrepreneur project.

Why Incorporate Entrepreneurship?

Many students will obtain the technical knowledge of how to run a business through education or work experience, but the challenge is to give students the basic business knowledge of running their own business in a practical, real-world way. A lack of basic business knowledge is a red flag for entrepreneurs. Without these skills there is a greater chance for business failure.

Any teacher can help students understand the economic opportunities of our economy by infusing entrepreneurship-related activities in their regular course of study. Be sure that your activities encourage students to think creatively ... not just to determine how a business operates now. Help them to think about and explore how businesses might be created in new and better ways, using new and different processes Open their eyes to the entrepreneurial opportunities all around them.

Basic Business Functions

According to the National Content Standards for Entrepreneurship Education, there are live fundamental curriculum concepts to use when teaching students how to be entrepreneurs. They are: discovery, concept development, resourcing, actualization and harvesting. Understanding these fundamental concepts provides a solid base for sound business decision-making.

Discovery

During the discovery stage, the entrepreneur generates ideas: recognizes opportunities; and determines the feasibility of ideas, markets, ventures, etc A discovery learning activity is to have students write down 10 potential business opportunities, and then ask them to share their business opportunities with three other classmates From the combined list, have them narrow down the business opportunities to the top five. The final step is for the team to select one business opportunity, which will be the focus of their activities from that point on.

Concept Development

The concept development stage involves the planning of the venture Students must identify needed resources using a business plan There are many different approaches to writing a business plan, some more complex than others; but the basic components of a business plan can be organized as follows

* Provide a description of the business

* Choose the best marketing strategy

* Identify the management plan

* Analyze the finances needed to start the business and make it successful.

Likewise, the team should also address the following

* Define the type of business

* Select a business name

* Write a mission statement for the business

* Describe the products and/or services the business will offer.

* Determine the target market

* Determine hours of operation

* Determine how many people will be employed

Resourcing

The resourcing stage occurs when the entrepreneur identifies and acquires the financial, human and capitalresources needed for the venture startup A financial plan, or budget, is a decision-making tool based on the basic principles of scarcity, choice and opportunity cost. …