I am an entrepreneur at heart. Over the last 5 years I have learned and grown so much through my blog, virtual assistant and wellness businesses, but I wish I would have been taught— or learned— these lessons sooner.
Recently my teens have been interested in setting up their own businesses. I also noticed that several of their friends were interested in making money and starting their own business (both now and in the future.) Their interests lead me to teach a 2-semester Teen Entrepreneurship 101 class in our homeschool co-op this year. We are wrapping up the first semester right now, so I wanted to share what we have done so far and what we will be doing.
Teen Entrepreneurship 101
Class description: Entrepreneurship is more than making money— it is a mindset. What do successful entrepreneurs think and do? Is being an entrepreneur a calling? How can work be a mission field? By reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching videos, students will learn about the entrepreneurship mindset and habits plus practical steps for building their own business.
- After studying the habits and mindsets of successful entrepreneurs, students will write down their own goals and establish their own planning/goal setting system for each month and year.
- After viewing presentations from Christian entrepreneurs, students will reflect and discuss how being a business owner could be a missionary calling.
- At the end of the course, students will have completed a business plan and presentation.
- Students will develop branding plus a marketing plan.
So what did a typical teen entrepreneur class look like?
One of the first assignments I gave my class was to read the book The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. They had to complete all the assessments plus write a summary of the book. We spent two class sessions covering the materials in the book and watching a couple of DarrenDaily videos.
I used various Work as Worship videos each week as a springboard for discussion for the first semester (If your church has a subscription to Right Now Media, there are two Work as Worship dvd series there that I used.) I wanted my students to hear from successful business owners. These videos spoke on a specific “Work as Worship” topic plus had interviews with several Christian business owners regarding that topic.
After that, we would go over a couple of the business plan terms as outlined in Starting Up Now. I did add a couple of assignments to the book since I thought the students needed to see more “real-life” applications. Here are a few additional assignments I added:
Our main goals the first semester were to learn about mindsets and the basics of a business plan. I did assign them to listen/watch several videos and podcasts and write a summary on them (click the video list below.) My students are currently compiling their business plan and working on a 3 minute presentation that they will present next semester.
Second semester we will be hearing from local business leaders, learning about branding, marketing and covering a few books. I don’t have everything figured out yet, but once I do, I’ll post an update.
Resources Used First Semester:
Work as Worship DVD small group series from Right Now Media — they have several years and we alternated between the two.
Darren Daily Videos – 5 minute daily videos from Darren Hardy
MicroBusiness for Teens by Carol Topp (There are 3 books plus a workbook. You could do a intro. class with this set. The workbook does cover a basic version of a business plan which we found very useful.)
Resources for Second Semester:
I hope this gives you some ideas on how you can teach an entrepreneurship class too. I am enjoying teaching these students! Think of your role as a facilitator and connector of resources (that’s how I see my role.) I tried to bring in some business examples that appealed to my students’ business interests.
There are also many local resources that you can utilize. Check out your local Small Business Association, Young Entrepreneurs club or local business leaders. They might even be willing to speak to your group on specific topics.
“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” –Nolan Bushnell, entrepreneur.
Here’s my first post on teen entrepreneurs. It highlights several teens’ micro businesses.