“Just making money is hello from the past”: Why kids need to learn business in school
Teenagers very often face a common problem after university. They don’t know what they want to be or do next. Someone goes into freelancing, and becomes a paper writer or manager, for example. And someone goes to work not by specialty only for the sake of a good salary.
How to develop a children’s business and why raise teenager to be an entrepreneur, even if he will work for hire or in a non-specialty in the future.
“The global problem is that children learn for grades.”
In Northern Europe (e.g., Norway) entrepreneurship begins at school. This is how competencies are developed that can be useful to everyone in life. It all starts with the economy of one’s own family: by managing their own money, the child becomes accustomed to managing finances in general. If this skill is laid down in childhood, a special life paradigm is formed.
In the future, he will no longer think that someone earns more than him and therefore lives better. Is he even worthy of this money, or did it all fall on his head? This question the child will not ask later, because he will learn to navigate in the world of finance.
Economics in schools has appeared in some places. And still, the question arises: who teaches this economics? What is there more of theory or practice? How does the teaching of economics in schools relate to real life? With today, not the day before yesterday?
The quality of education, in this case, leaves much to be desired, and this is an area of growth for the state because you don’t have to start dealing with this issue from the paradigm of “buy and sell” and “the entrepreneur is the one who pays taxes to the state”. This is secondary. And the primary thing is to develop in the child a desire to take action.
Our data show that a school project is often a stillborn set of slides, which brings nothing but a desire to get a grade. And this applies not only to newly introduced project activities-it applies to our school approach to learning in general.
The global problem is that children learn for grades. And this social assessment is not clear how and by whom it is verified, there is no clear understanding of what you need to do to do well, and how to understand that your grade does not depend on the teacher’s mood.
A study in Sweden in the late 1970s showed that the most successful entrepreneurs in their country were rock musicians. It would seem that if a child becomes a rock musician, that’s it, he’s gone. But in fact, research and life practice show otherwise.
Famous modern entrepreneurs have dropped out of school, left university
Here we are talking about the role of social assessment, which is crooked and still prevails in our country, in school education. I am in favor of entrepreneurship classes at schools.
If a child learns to manage their own money, this will form the basis of their future successful economic activity, both in the family and at work. Even if he doesn’t build his own business and is a salaried employee. It’s great when a person feels comfortable in his position.
Parents don’t always delve into the issue, and the residual feeling from Soviet times that the entrepreneur is a bandit in a crimson suit is still in many heads. The image of the unserious Ostap Bender is being implanted, both by teachers and parents, and the environment is giving the child the wrong direction.
Here we need to stop and think about what we want to give our children. What should the child become in the future, what should he be able to do, what should he want? These questions are where the big wonders and big things start.
56% of kids want to run a big business
Recently we conducted a survey among school children, which included children from 11 to 18 years old from all over the country – a thousand people in total.
According to the survey results, 82% of school-children would like to run their own business. It seems that this is it – what we have been talking about for many years, both from the loudest tribunes and from smaller tribunes.
But why would these kids want a business? What is it to them? About 50% of respondents think it’s just an opportunity to make money. But that’s only part of the truth.
The whole truth is not conveyed to the child by either the economics teachers or the entrepreneurs next door. We want to work so that gradually the kids will form a correct image of an entrepreneur. Just to make money – that’s a greeting from the past. So there has to be a lot of work to raise awareness.
56% of kids want to run a big business. They want a corporation. And only 10% of children indicated that they want a small family business.
In our country small business is not the most honorable occupation, there is no interesting image of an entrepreneur from this sector. There is little talk about the family business.
In developed countries, the family business is passed down from generation to generation: they make cheese, they make wine. It is a very stable thing, which from childhood fosters the qualities necessary for an entrepreneur.
To improve grandfather’s business, to add modern accents to it, to find new points of sale – that’s what a child gives to the family business. And this is just about personal development, about new facets of the business.
These are innovations that the person himself brings, being in the family business paradigm. We have a large field for work here.
Where do Teenagers want to do business?
Another difficult topic touched upon in the survey – where do teenagers want to do business? In our country or abroad?
On the one hand, 59% of school-children said that in Russia. On the other hand, 40% – which is a lot – said that abroad. We should think about this. Not to stop and close the borders, but to give creative, eager kids the opportunity to feel comfortable here.
The government is already thinking about this: we have many foundations, infrastructure facilities, and programs being written. But something is missing. We need to think about this – and not just for officials in closed offices, but also on the platform of the ONF Business Platform.
Because we represent today’s big entrepreneurs, who can say why they do business here, even though they are also young, and why they stay in Russia, what are the advantages?
18% of the children we surveyed said that at school or university you can get the basic knowledge for business, but the majority are still convinced that additional courses can prepare you for business: you graduate and you’re already an entrepreneur.
We have many opportunities for study, for all ages, for all tastes and in all areas. Is it correct to rely on short-term educational events – or is it time to introduce the basics of economic knowledge into school and university programs?
It seems that there are answers to this question in our country, but the answers are not yet too systematic and meaningful, and it is very desirable to work with this and try to set the right accents.
“Trying different options to work out our way in children’s entrepreneurship.”
At the end of 2020, the Youth Entrepreneurial Initiative Foundation began its work. The fund announced that a billion rubles will be allocated to support children and youth startups.
We have the same measures being introduced in our country, and only the numbers get bigger. There is a lack of consistency. I would like us to think together about the proper education of entrepreneurial competence.
It is important to offer a kind of module that could be added to existing, and larger amounts of money, to institutions that are already working – and have as a result a harmonious personality with the desire to create and take responsibility.
We do not want to repeat the way of different institutions that lead the child by the hand to the investor or sit together with a mentor to drink tea and share the money.
We are now trying different options to work out our own way in children’s, teenagers’, and youth entrepreneurship. Now we accept invitations from various contests, grants, and events and go there as experts.
We have an example of a little girl who we took under the wing of a contest. And now she is building her own business with two participants in the business platform.
But it’s a one-time event with which we’re trying to see how important and useful we’re going to be in this story – or the neighboring entity could have done the same thing, then why would we do it? It’s more of a trial run, it’s not practiced yet, and it’s not an option for us to work with kids.
We’re trying to find ourselves here. But by trying these options, we are leading everyone to a result. In addition to taking part in various events, we organize them ourselves. Now we hold training for big entrepreneurs, but we also have plans to do training for children: we won’t go to children without having tried it on adults.
Today children are dominated by cliched thinking – they quickly navigate in the information environment and are ahead of adults. It is important for us that the information reaches the child at once, without an intermediate social evaluator – a teacher or a parent who is a little behind the times.
Five of our participants work with children as mentors. Our colleagues look for impact-grain in the business, help build potential collaborations with other members of the business platform. This sets us apart from other associations.
We make sure that the image of the entrepreneur changes and that the impact aspect starts to be heard more often. We talk about career guidance. But not from the point of view that entrepreneurship is a type of possible career. We need to expand the very notion of entrepreneurship. After all, it is a set of competencies that almost anyone needs.