6 October 2016
Were you one of those kids selling sweets in the playground?
I think that entrepreneurialism is ingrained. I would set up shop whenever and wherever I could and I am seeing that in my own daughters now, which is why I was interested to read about Dragons’ Den businessman Peter Jones ‘Tycoon in Schools’ competition. It’s been running for a few years now, encouraging primary school kids as young as five to get involved in business by giving them a start-up loan of up to £1000 to run a business whilst at school.
And it does seem to be making an impact. When the charity carried out a survey after last year’s competition, they found that 70% of students taking part now wanted to start their own business. That’s an astonishing number!
There is definitely something to say for encouraging entrepreneurial skills and ideas in young people by focussing on creativity and innovation.
Entrepreneurialism revolves around both soft and core skills; the ability to solve problems, build strong teams and take the initiative. The teaching of entrepreneurial skills might not be what you expect it to be. It doesn’t need to involve learning how to set up a business, or how to do your accounts. In my opinion, it is about encouraging kids to be curious, allowing them to make their own decisions and inspiring a strong work ethic.
It’s not so much a matter of teaching as it is about giving kids the space and the right culture to come up with ideas.
My daughters come into UKFast Campus often; during the school holidays they sometimes spend the entire day here. I can see how simply being in this type of an environment encourages a different way of thinking. My ten-year-old daughter has made a habit of trying to sell the team anything she can find when she is here. She even went round trying to make a few quid for charity selling sweets at last year’s office Christmas party!
This is exactly why it’s so important for businesses or entrepreneurs to work together with schools. Children should know about the world outside of school, and businesses should inform teachers about the types of skills they are looking for in the future. At UKFast, we work with schools, colleges and universities across the UK to promote digital education. We already reach more than 57,000 young people every year and this number is only going up. We’re even working with the council to establish how we can impact education and we’re considering setting up our own school.
It is only when we work together than we can encourage a motivated, inspired and forward-thinking generation wanting to change the world for the better.
What do you think?