Bringing Entrepreneurship into the Classroom

New to teaching entrepreneurship? In our final ESB Academy webinar, we brought in veteran teacher Jennifer Stubblefield to have talk about how she brought entrepreneurship in her classroom. “I didn’t come from a school with an entire course dedicated to entrepreneurship, or business management. The success of my students in the Entrepreneurship and Small Business (ESB) certification came down to embedding the concepts throughout our curriculum.”

Maybe you’re like Jennifer and don’t have an entrepreneurship class at your school, so you want to inject entrepreneurial moments into your existing course. If that sounds like you, we have some tips to get you started.

Inject “Commercial Breaks”

If you don’t have a full course dedicated to entrepreneurship, it may seem impossible to add more teaching into your current curriculum. But not all teaching moments need to be elaborate or long. Jennifer referred to her entrepreneurship lessons as “commercial breaks”.

“If I ended a lecture earlier than planned, or wanted to break up a difficult topic, I would grab my fishbowl of entrepreneurship topics. I’d randomly select a question, and whoever got the answer right would get candy. We’d cover topics like, ‘What does ROI stand for?’ or basic math like discounts. It kept my students engaged because it wasn’t just the standard lecture, and they were learning something new at each break.”

Leverage Your Resources

In addition to commercial breaks, there are many resources that can make your classroom more engaging and entrepreneurial. Now, just like the fishbowl idea, not all your resources have to cost money. Some of your best resources will be right under your nose, like your Career Tech Student Organizations (CTSOs).

CTSOs and competitions help get students excited about entrepreneurship. Whether your school partners with FBLA, BPA, or DECA, these organizations have competitive entrepreneurship events, where students create business plans or presentations for small businesses. All the core competencies are available for free on their websites (linked above), allowing you to bring similar projects into your curriculum at no cost to you.

Now, we are all about free resources. Who doesn’t love a good deal? However, some resources are worth spending money on. “Some years I felt like I had to beg borrow and steal to get what I needed for my kids. But some things are worth the effort. I could be a poster child for how CertPREP, powered by GMetrix, changed my classroom and prepared my students for their ESB certification. Ultimately, CertPREP helped my students realize that they knew so much more about entrepreneurship than they thought they did.”

Bring in Local Entrepreneurs

Your in-class teaching moments can help students learn a lot about how to be an entrepreneur. But there really is nothing like a lesson from someone who has “been there, done that.” Why not bring some entrepreneurs into your classroom?

It doesn’t matter if they’re doctors, vets, plumbers, or construction workers. Students need to see that business, particularly entrepreneurship, is everywhere! Plus, bringing in business owners from your community allows students to see that people they know have applied the principles you’re teaching in the classroom. And if you’re able to bring in past students who have started their own businesses, even better!

Looking for additional ideas for how to bring entrepreneurship into your classroom? Watch our latest ESB Academy webinar for additional insights from Jennifer.