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Turning Young Entrepreneurs Into Next Generation Leaders

Written by Than Merrill

How are young entrepreneurs affecting today’s business world?

It seems like every day there is a different story on the news that is explaining how a young person just created a new multi-million dollar app, discovered a way to make food more sustainable, or founded a successful startup company. With the advent technology, there is no denying the importance of staying up to date.

We’ve all heard parents tell their kids, “you better work hard, you are the future,” but how important is it to encourage both children and young adults to explore entrepreneurship?

The Importance Of Young Entrepreneurs

young entrepreneurs

The importance of promoting entrepreneurship education among youth should not be ignored. In fact, young entrepreneurs are so crucial to the development of the future, The Council Of The European Union took it upon themselves to create a proposal that requires guardians, mentors, and school teachers to encourage youth entrepreneurship in order to foster social inclusion of young people. The motion acknowledges that even though youth employment is high, young people are still so below the poverty line due to decreased thought-provoking opportunities; because teens are typically only taught the basics in school, they are unable to find jobs that are innovative and lucrative. Educating the youth with entrepreneurial lessons will ensure a brighter future for them and generations to come.

Young entrepreneurs also have several advantages over traditional businessmen and women. They are typically more naive and more willing to take risks. While those two traits don’t necessarily sound like positives at first, they can actually benefit those living in an entrepreneurial world. Since younger people tend to be more naive, they don’t have any preconceived notions regarding standard practices or techniques to get in their way. Naivety allows individuals to think outside of the box and uncover life-changing ideas.

Secondly, risk taking can often be beneficial to entrepreneurs. As the saying goes, the bigger the risk, the bigger the potential reward. Individuals who have been in an industry for a long period of time are more likely to live by the standard “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” which can be the biggest hinderance for those looking to keep their business relevant. Young entrepreneurs view risk as a game, allowing them to fully execute their visions. While this might lead to a lot of trial and error, it also has the potential to spark an infinite amount of brilliant ideas.

Future FortuneBuilders’ Quest To Build Young Entrepreneurs

entrepreneurial education

Here at FortuneBuilders we take entrepreneurship so seriously that we created an initiative to increase the financial literacy of teens and build awareness around the importance of young entrepreneurs. Less than 50 percent of teens age 13 to 19 consider themselves knowledgeable about how to budget money, pay bills, use credit cards, file income tax, or sign up for a 401(k). This statistic is not very promising for our future, but it’s not to late to do something about it. Therefore, FortuneBuilders created a program, Future FortuneBuilders, for high schoolers around the country to learn the basics of financial literacy in order to prepare them for what life has in store.

At the camp, motivational and youth speaker JP Servideo teaches teens a variety of financially literate concepts, which range from writing the perfect resume to creating a credible business plan. Teens who attend are given hands-on activities they must complete by working together with their peers, which gives them a sneak peak into what it is like being employed in the real world.

By the end of the first day, almost all the children in attendance are excited about their futures and are eager to uncover more. “It is so gratifying to see these kids’ eyes light up the moment they finally get it. And hearing about their big dreams makes me feel like I’m doing my job well,” Servideo exclaimed after the first Future FortuneBuilders camp in Atlanta, GA.

Just because financial literacy and entrepreneurship is not taught in most public schools, it doesn’t mean students aren’t enthusiastic about the subject. In fact, 64 percent of teens wish that financial management was its own class in school, and 52 percent want to learn more about budgeting, saving, and investing.

“It really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I had an amazing time! I learned so much that I did not know before. I think we really need to know more about money since they don’t really offer that in school,” said students Asjah Johnson and London Harris.

“There’s a lot of energy and fun activities that really keep you involved. If you have the opportunity, you should definitely take it because it’ll help you out in the long-run,” expressed student Nicholas Methot.

“Life changing,” “worth it,” “useful,” “inspirational” and “a must” are just a few of the terms several students used to describe the the Washington D.C. camp.

It is clear that entrepreneurship education benefits students from every socioeconomic background. Young entrepreneurs learn how to think outside of the box, become problem solvers, and know when to take initiative; all of which are necessary traits for those who desire to have successful futures. Teens should not have to wait until after college to learn the ins and outs of business management. Seeing as how entrepreneurship can promote economic opportunity and cultivate innovation, kids, starting as early as middle school, should be introduced to skills like risk-taking, persistence and ingenuity.

If you are genuinely interested in your child’s education, nurture and stimulate their entrepreneurial side. In the meantime, Future FortuneBuilders will not stop until it has turned all of today’s young entrepreneurs into next generation leaders.