Financial literacy is so much more than simply knowing how to manage, spend, and protect the money you earn. It’s having the confidence and ability to know how to create income, too. Entrepreneurial education not only teaches how to create an income, but all the skills that involve managing that income, too!
Encouraging your child/teen to explore entrepreneurship while you still have input into their lives does not have a down side. Some parents fear it will encourage greed or other negative traits in young students. We disagree. Now is the time to help your children develop the mindset of serving others through meeting needs in the marketplace. This can be beneficial whether your child is an employee or an employer! Most importantly, you have input into how they view business and the values that accompany it.
It also gives them opportunity to earn money, learn responsibility, and spend quality time with you! Like any class they are required to take in school, even if they aren’t currently interested in entrepreneurship, the practical knowledge they’ll come away with is rarely surpassed. Life is full of twists and turns, so having the knowledge of how to start and operate their own business can come in VERY handy!
Learning to think like an entrepreneur can change your perspective to what really happens in the marketplace. So many businesses are started with the false assumption that working for yourself is easier than working for someone else. Huge amounts of money are thrown to the wind everyday on businesses that closed within a year because they weren’t thought through or didn’t know the basics of managing a small business. Equip your child to avoid these pitfalls!
In addition to the benefits and skills we’ve already gone over in the last few articles like budgeting, saving and resourcefulness, there are a multitude of other reasons to add entrepreneurship to your curriculum:
- They will be a better employee. When they understand an entrepreneur’s perspective and what they need from their employees, your young adult will be a much better employee. No amount of formal education can provide that!
- The value of education and training. On a similar note, if your young entrepreneur has had much experience with running a small business, they quickly learn how much they DON’T know! This can help them see how important further education really is and often gives focus to what they want to study. (!)
- Managing money even when there is none! Learning how to manage cash flow when there isn’t a fixed income. Many jobs have fluctuating incomes that are challenging to manage. Experience with how to do this can be invaluable.
- Bookkeeping skills and the importance of keeping good records. It can actually become fun when the accounting is revealing their profits! They’ll also learn how critical it is to have those records when they have to file taxes! We’ve also seen how this had led to a new interest in math skills. Honest!
- The importance of managing your time. So many people think if you run your own business you can take off anytime you want. While you may be the master of your own schedule, there is always so much to do, time off is almost laughable! You can help them learn balance in this area, too.
- Opportunities to minister to others. Business owners are expected to participate in community events, but being a witness to your employees, suppliers and customers is a way to touch others’ lives on a daily basis.
- Learning the value of integrity and trustworthiness in the marketplace and life. Repeat business is highly affected by how much your customers trust you. However unfortunate, the value of integrity in the marketplace is usually learned through experiencing the effects of dealing with suppliers and employees that are NOT trustworthy or reliable!
- The value of investing. As a business owner, the reality of the saying “It takes money to make money” is made apparent. Whether it’s buying goods to resell or equipment to do a job more efficiently, entrepreneurs learn quickly how important it is to invest their profits wisely.
- Consumer education and protection. Our son learned quickly that everyone cannot be trusted. Your entrepreneur will learn how to recognize and avoid the pitfalls of scams and what to do if they do become a victim. They’ll also learn that not all marketing claims are what they should be, and how to maintain integrity in their own advertising.
- Colleges love to see entrepreneurship on applications! It shows them that your student has initiative, responsibility, and can think outside of the box. Often it can give your child the advantage they need to get into the college of their choice. There are many schools that now offer entrepreneurship programs as a major!
- They’ll learn the vast online marketing resources that are now available to everyone. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Ebay, Etsy, and other venues have leveled the playing field for small business owners. There is a wealth of opportunity that any marketer can use for their business at a very low cost. This will also give you a chance to discuss the importance of social responsibility, too!
- Teaching values. Last, but definitely not least, teaching your child entrepreneurship while you still have some input into their life gives you opportunity to infuse values into how business should be conducted. Integrity is sorely lacking in much of what we see in the marketplace, and you can make a difference in the future of entrepreneurship!
I’m sure you could think of many other reasons that entrepreneurship is a valuable addition to any student’s curriculum. If you aren’t sure where to start, I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting Google! Our website is another resource that we started with homeschool families in mind.
Many businesses can be started with very little money, but I’ll be honest when I tell you that it does take a significant investment of time! However, we believe that as investments go, there are few that have a better return! It’s a priceless gift you can give your children that they’ll have for the rest of their lives!