Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Spirit in Kids

May 13, 2020 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


In today’s blog post we welcome guest blogger Mark Baker, co-founder of Christian Homeschool Entrepreneurship, as he shares four important reasons why helping to create an entrepreneurial spirit in your kids is so valuable. Mark is also featured in today’s podcast, Episode 219.

Kids are creative! Just give kids a pile of empty boxes and a few hours, and see what they come up with. Entrepreneurship is an excellent way for kids to let out that creativity. I’ve seen so many kids get excited about the idea of entrepreneurship simply because someone presented a problem to them and challenged them to start thinking of business ideas to solve it. The creativity starts flowing right away, and they are hooked.

Entrepreneurship has so many positive impacts on kids and teens. Here are four of the top reasons I’ve seen:


1. Entrepreneurship builds character.

Succeeding as an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It usually only comes through perseverance, diligence, integrity, and dedication to doing quality work. Young people who pursue entrepreneurship learn so many important character lessons. One of the first lessons they learn is that cutting corners doesn’t work out very well in the real world. Kids might cut corners on their chores at home or on a school paper they are writing, and they might or might not get away with it. But one thing is certain—cutting corners when they are making a product or providing a service won’t work for long.

I’ve seen young people go through the creating process and realize they’ve made a small mistake. Instead of stopping to fix the mistake, they are tempted to let it slide, reasoning with themselves that it’s not a big deal. Having this attitude, though, they’ll find themselves  saying that same thing over and over again in the course of creating a product or providing a service. The final result is something that no one is willing to pay for. This is an incredibly valuable lesson for kids to learn because it helps them very quickly see the consequences of the incremental decisions they make along the way. Those small decisions matter!

Additionally, entrepreneurship provides students lots of opportunities to deliver on the promises they’ve made and keep their word. Promising a neighbor to mow his lawn in the afternoon but then forgetting all about it or choosing to play a video game instead of doing the work will result in a pretty quick end to a student’s summer lawn care business.


2. Entrepreneurship provides opportunities for real-life application of academics.

When a student is struggling with a math assignment, he may not see the value of what he is doing. But when that same student finds himself behind a cash register, realizing that he has miscalculated the discount on a product all day and is now short hundreds of dollars, he’ll suddenly have a whole new source of motivation to excel in his academic studies.

Entrepreneurship is by nature an interdisciplinary activity. Students will be challenged to grow in many academic areas such as written communication, reading, logic, and mathematics. Plus, there are many other people skills and problem solving skills that are grown through starting and running a business. For example, interacting with customers of all ages is a great stretch for many young people; it improves their presentation and verbal communication skills.


3. Entrepreneurship provides students future opportunities.

Your children might discover that they love being entrepreneurs and want to make a career out of their product or service. Or they may not. But either way, by helping them explore these areas as young persons, you are giving your children a key that unlocks a whole world of opportunities. Seeing these new, open doors when they are young is a huge advantage. Many adults never realize these doors even exist.


4. Entrepreneurship offers a highly relevant way to learn.

I firmly believe that anyone can succeed as an entrepreneur; a person just needs to learn to think like one. I also believe there is no better time to form our thinking than when we are young. Helping kids learn to see the world as being filled with opportunities is a great thing to do. Parents can coach children to learn to look at problems around them as potential business opportunities rather than as roadblocks. Learning to change our thinking is a lot harder as adults. For kids it comes more naturally. And here is another big reason why learning to be an entrepreneur as a young person is ideal: Kids have a safety net and can more easily learn from their failures. Their expenses are paid for by their parents, so they can take bigger risks than many adult entrepreneurs. If a child fails, his mistakes won’t end in financial ruin or bankruptcy. Because of this, many young people have a real competitive advantage over the adults they may be competing with in the marketplace. What a great time to learn!

If you’d like your students to stretch their entrepreneurial wings, our 36-week online video course is designed to help them do it. Please visit Christian Homeschool Entrepreneurship to learn more.

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