Teaching Entrepreneurship To Children: Should We Do It?

According to Wikipedia, entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, often a small business, popularly known as a ‘startup.’  It typically involves development of a product or a process or even offering of a certain service. Entrepreneurship requires capacity and willingness to develop, organize, and manage a business venture with the associated risks, with the eventual goal being the generation of healthy profits.

 

Not all startups are destined to be successes. In fact the rate of failure in this field is very high, owing to a number of factors. Inadequate funding, lack of market demand, bad business decisions, and economic crisis can all play a part, either individually or collectively, and make the venture a non-productive enterprise.

 

Not a viable career option for an aspiring young hopeful then? Not really. The rate of failure in this field is not radically different from any other activity.

 

Risks are realities that cannot be wished away but need to be dealt with effectively. However, we can certainly reduce the impact of those risks by taking some prudent decisions.

 

There is an ongoing debate about introducing children to entrepreneurship. But opinion is equally divided with one school of thought fearing for the impact of failure on young minds, while the other is of the opinion that there is a lot more to be learnt from one’s failures than successes.

 

However, one can learn from both - one’s successes and failures. We can use the context of a startup venture to help us learn some valuable lessons.

 

Let us look at what failure can teach us:

 

  • Lack of or inadequate funding: The lesson on offer here is to have respect for money. Money management is an important skill that can help kids to understand and appreciate what it takes to earn money and how hard their parents are working to provide for them.

 

  • Lack of market demand: Do your research thoroughly, study the current trends and patterns and make allowances for future contingencies.

 

  • Economic crises: Be disciplined in your approach to spending money. Do not spend your money before you have earned it. Strong emphasis on savings helped India to tide over the crises of global economic recession, financial meltdowns and economic downturns.

 

  • Bad business decisions: Teaches children to base their decisions on facts, research and common sense as opposed to taking chances, depending on hearsay and having unrealistic expectations.

 

Nothing succeeds like success, they say. Success can teach the children the virtues of being resilient, patient, and organized, the very qualities required for effective management of resources, people and business.

 

Teaching children about entrepreneurship is a win-win situation. There are lessons to be learnt in both our failures and successes. And that is a valuable lesson to learn.