«Everyone will have own business within the next 20-30 years». Why must we teach the children the culture of entrepreneurship?
There are so many preconceptions and myths nowadays around the term of “entrepreneurship”. For some, it is associated with constant problems, for others – with something incomprehensible. The truth is, entrepreneurship is really interesting.
Founder of the first educational center for entrepreneurs Startup Ukraine, Ms. Anna Petrova, has been engaged in development of entrepreneurship in Ukraine for the last ten years. She knows exactly how to do it right, and she is sharing her thought with us as to why and how we must teach it to the children. We are proud to have such professionals teaching at the professional orientation faculty of CISC.
What is the culture of entrepreneurship?
The culture of entrepreneurship is not only about opening a business, but about an active position in life. I would like to emphasize three aspects comprising the culture of entrepreneurship:
- Entrepreneurial thinking, which is really different from “ordinary”. It includes strategic and creative thinking, the ability to see problem as an opportunity.
- Soft and hard skills.
- The way a person builds own business, i.e. specific competences, values, approaches and strategies in business.
Problems in entrepreneurial culture that exist nowadays
First of all, it’s the low level of critical and creative thinking. The second problem is the lack of competences and soft skills.
In order for a person to be successful, much more than just knowledge is required. Nowadays, the information and knowledge is more accessible than ever. Every person has to develop skills and competences, gain the experience. And all this must be made since the childhood, because good thinking abilities are a great advantage both in professional and in everyday life.
As for the knowledge an entrepreneur requires, it includes marketing and project management. By the way, the first time I have ever learned about marketing was in the university. I created projects even in my childhood years, but it was only in the university when I started to comprehend what project management is. If I had known earlier, maybe, I wouldn’t have become an economist. But, as I recall, when I was a school student everyone wanted to become either an economist or a lawyer.
Can anyone become an entrepreneur?
There is a preconception nowadays that business is something magnificent, scary, “not for me”. But, in fact, everyone will have own business within the next 20-30 years, everyone will be engaged in entrepreneurship. Even if there are only two persons working on a cool project, creating what they really like, gaining profit and enjoying life. When I told the students about my own cases, how I started my projects with minimal investments, they were surprised to know that a business can be started with such minimum. That’s why at the faculty we are changing the preconceptions about business, and there are many of those.
Unfortunately, In Ukraine there is no such practice when students are engaging into some project after school. But in other countries such practice is very popular. But I can see a great potential in kids, and I think that many of them are ready to create something of their own.
Leadership skills in business
Very often a person requires leadership skills to become a businessman: at least responsibility, goal-orientation, self-confidence. Confidence in own ability to solve a problem, to create a high- quality product. It all starts with everyday responsibility for own life. That’s why at the CISC faculty we are stimulating the students’ ability to make their own decisions, to confirm such decisions with facts, defend them and be responsible for them.
Maybe, a child will not want to become an entrepreneur in the future, but, in any case, the child will be much more successful in any other sphere.
What will the CISC students be able to do after studies at the faculty?
When I created the program of studies for CISC, I set a goal for the students to gain the necessary knowledge, skills and competences in order to defend their projects.
The students at the StartUp faculty develop idea-building skills, they will know where and how to find the ideas. The students will improve their financial literacy skills, they will understand the nature of entrepreneurship, an entrepreneur’s lifestyle and what is necessary to become an entrepreneur. At the facilty the children will develop the algorithm for launching their own businesses, we are doing it step-by-step.
We invite famous business people to our classes, and they share their experience, tell the real stories, and we also examine my cases.
In fact, I took the program of studies for adults and adapted it a little. I was impressed that so many children are very mature. If their projects had financial support right know, they would already be successful. And their projects are not imaginary, they really embody the children’s “urges” they want to solve at the global level. For example, food delivery to distant suburbs, or foundation of a modern association of young writers.
Portrait of a modern entrepreneur
First of all, it is a person that creates values at the market, is eager to solve a certain problem, and know exactly why he or she is doing it. It is a person that values partners and team, and is in the process of constant development, both personal and professional.
We are planning to defend the projects and develop them further. We are doing everything we can to understand how to launch own business. At the end of each unit of studies we will have a diploma thesis.
It is very important for me that the students obtain practice, and not just hear the course. Because a skill can only be obtained through practice. Noone can pass the interviews instead of them, or monitor the market, generate the ideas, build the strategies. They can only do it themselves, with the experience they gain.
Our partnership with CISC is a great example of cooperation. I enjoy working with the children, when I see their potential, when they are asking the questions about entrepreneurs, and work on their own ideas – it is very inspiring.
That’s why we are continuing our cooperation, and launching the StartUp teen club. With even greater plans ahead!