Entrepreneurship Education is a Lifelong Learning Process that encourages
young people to find innovative opportunities as an entrepreneur
or a highly skilled employee in the growing global economy.
Let's Unite to empower OVER 97 million Young Americans!
Click on each section to expand or collapse.
Identifying the Barriers Educators Face
Have you read the new book called FIX YOUNG AMERICA? If not you will want to see how 29 national leaders have suggested that entrepreneurship is the SOLUTION! In the Consortium's chapter we point out the "Barriers Teachers Face" and how the Consortium works to overcome these reasons that entrepreneurship education isn't yet EVERYWHERE. Get your copy here.
• Many had never been entrepreneurs, and most did not even know any business owners.
• Some career and technical teachers were failed entrepreneurs who went to teaching as a more secure career. Their outlook focused on the risk, not opportunity.
Because many teachers chose this occupation instead of what they perceived as more risky business careers—especially the "failure-prone" choice of starting a business—they avoided encouraging students to become entrepreneurs.
• Teacher training did not include a focus on entrepreneurship in career and technical education, or in any education program.
• It has always been difficult to make changes to curriculum in any discipline, and it is especially hard to do so now because of state and federal requirements.
• Courses were built around a textbook, and few teachers were expected to provide real experiences as part of the curriculum. Teachers who did see the value of providing activities often had to hide their enthusiasm, as the “system”’ drew them back to the current norm.
• Business plans became the outcome of entrepreneurship education programs at all levels, from elementary schools through college, and experiential learning was overlooked.
• Social studies classes addressed entrepreneurship as an economic fact, but did not involve students in personal career exploration. Other academic classes did not even recognize entrepreneurship as a potential subject.
• State funding did not recognize entrepreneurship as a fundable program until fairly recently. Those teachers that chose to teach it did so as an extra class activity.
• Colleges of business saw this program as their exclusive territory, although as a major it was far less established or important than management, finance or marketing. The idea that it could be taught in other colleges, or in other departments, was not even considered.
The State of Entrepreneurship Education 2012
In a 2012 survey of state directors of Career Technical Education, 80% of the respondents chose "Entrepreneurship Skills are extremely important to the future " when asked to say which of three statements BEST describes how important entrepreneurship education is as a career opportunity in your state? The two other choices were that 1) it was appropriate for some students and 2) that it was not appropriate for high school students. Although there were many added comments of interest, most indicated that entrepreneurship experiences should start early in the school system.
This report supports our belief that educators accept the fact that entrepreneurship skills are important to the future careers of our students. There were 40 of the 50 US states responding, plus DC, identifying how some states have taken major leadership initiatives to make entrepreneurship education available statewide. But, for the most part they have not addressed entrepreneurship education in the curriculum in the many ways it could be established. We are especially encouraged by the state leadership that is now moving toward including entrepreneurship competencies in state educational standards.
When asked if their teacher training/certification had requirements for teacher preparation to support entrepreneurship education, 80% said no or they were not sure. When you consider that most teachers have not been entrepreneurs it seems obvious that this is a major area of need.
When asked how entrepreneurship was taught in their state, 75% said optional use of business plan development in various courses followed by 44% for summer camps for selected students. The concepts of "problem-based learning activities", a series of "entrepreneurial experiences", "preparation for questions on state tests", and opportunities for "advanced placement credit" were not identified as frequently used. The dependence on a written business plan as preparation for starting a business is a limiting educational approach. However this is often the only answer in both high schools and colleges.
In response to the question "Which of the following sources of data regarding the development of the entrepreneurial climate of your state have you used during the past couple of years ", the Consortium came out tops with 78%, followed by universities with 74%. We feel the Consortium's support for entrepreneurship education across the nation during the last 30 years with the mission to provide assistance to educators has been demonstrated in this item alone.
Consortium Solutions Focus on State & Local Success Stories
The Consortium's leadership role has included promoting entrepreneurship education in all of its unique and exciting strategies in every state and local community.
> Consortium's WEBSITE aims to share all kinds of program opportunities. The Consortium welcomes information from members and non-members with a goal of representing the whole field in an easy-to-access format and an open-to-submissions message . www.entre-ed.org .
> NATIONAL CONTENT STANDARDS FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION were created in 2004 using focus groups with early-stage entrepreneurs to determine "what you do and what do you need to know" as an entrepreneur. The 403 competency statements in 15 standards are available FREE to everyone to bring unity to the field as a lifelong learning process.
> NATIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION FORUM is the annual professional development conference celebrating over 30 years of leadership. Educators representing every step of the lifelong learning process assemble to share their unique teacher training and student empowerment ideas.
> FUTURE CEO STARS Magazine provides stories of their personal business ventures written by students in member organizations. These are great resources for teachers to use in any classroom for discussion of entrepreneurial experiences. www.fcsmag.com
> NATIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK, proclaimed by the US Congress in 2006, annually celebrates the opportunity to honor American entrepreneurs and the education programs that are preparing our future entrepreneurial leaders. www.entre-week.org
> YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP ALLIANCE was formed through the leadership of the Consortium in 2009 to focus on national priorities to support youth entrepreneurship education. National organizations with the power to affect national policy are working together to ensure entrepreneurship education opportunities for America's youth.
The Future of Entrepreneurship Education
The significance of entrepreneurship to the American economy can no longer be overlooked, nor can it be assumed that you must be born with the right genes to become a self-reliant business creator. In fact, anyone can start a business, no matter how large or small. Remember, more than 21 million out of 27 million businesses have zero employees (just the owner) and report an average income of $46,000 a year.
Believers in the importance of entrepreneurship education are invited to join the Consortium in providing our youth with the knowledge, skills, and mindset to build their own careers and become self-reliant. The Consortium will continue to provide educators at all levels of preparation with the resources and visibility that will encourage and empower them to make major changes in the education of tomorrow’s self-reliant adults.
(C) 2012 Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education