Promoting entrepreneurship to kids

July 14th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Tony Featherstone writes in the Brisbane Times:

As much as I hate to say it, Australia is being left for dead by other countries that are fostering an enterprise culture among young people and grooming their next generation of and small business owners through the school system.

As we teach kids about general business, mostly in secondary school, the United Kingdom is considering recommendations to teach children as young as five to think up a micro-enterprise as part of reforms to change attitudes towards self-employment. …

The Enterprise for All Report, released this month in the UK, was a joy to read. The Venture has argued for years primary schools should teach students about business creativity; that secondary schools should teach ; and that universities should teach commercialisation skills. And that enterprise teaching should be embedded into all levels of the education system

But our politicians are still getting their heads around small business, let alone entrepreneurship, which must be taught as early as possible.

The report was stunning in its scope. Recommendations included embedding enterprise teaching in new curriculum materials and exams at school; giving teachers business experience as part of continuous development programs; and creating a national network of volunteer “ enterprise advisers” to liaise with schools.

Universities would offer an elective enterprise module to every student – something I have long argued for.

Why should entrepreneurship only be taught as a “business” subject when there are potential entrepreneurs across all disciplines? Why should a nurse, lawyer, engineer or arts student with incredible entrepreneurial potential be denied this type of learning, simply because he or she does not study business? It’s an antiquated approach.

The UK report sounds great. This is something the NZ Government should look at as a priority.

Other recommendations impress. The Fiver program, where primary school students get a month to do something enterprising with their five-pound pledge is a favourite. What a great way to get kids creating for-profit or social ideas, and to plant the self-employment seed.

Creating an electronic digital passport for students to record enterprise activity is another of the report’s good idea. A student’s academic achievements are recorded, so why not their enterprise achievements and experience? Forward-thinking employers would value that information.

Great idea.

The Enterprise for All Report should be mandatory reading for our politicians. They need to know other countries have big plans to adapt their education systems, from primary schools to university, to develop a stronger culture of enterprise and self-employment.  

The report is here. This looks like a great area for Steven Joyce to champion.

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16 Responses to “Promoting entrepreneurship to kids”

  1. Nigel Kearney (1,047 comments) says:

    This assumes there are lots of people who could have been successful entrepreneurs but never got started because their school or university didn’t offer a course in it. Just stating the assumption in this way shows how doubtful it is.

    [DPF: I don’t agree with how you have argued this. I think there are a lot more people who could be successful entrepreneurs. What I’d like to see is educational institutes making students at least raising awareness]

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  2. masterman (19 comments) says:

    I’d rather kids had a good all round education, learning to think for themselves, appreciating the arts and culture, enjoying sport, exploring and creating, time for business training when they have first learned to be multi dimensional people, instead of single minded money makers.

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  3. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Won’t be acceptable to the Labour/Green losers, there are always some losers, and they don’t believe in competition, just entitlement.

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  4. dime (10,089 comments) says:

    bring it in. we all know how entrepreneurial teachers are :D

    it would be a good way to raise a generation of voters who swing to the right.. as opposed to the generation of “everyone wins” and “im special” we have at the moment.

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  5. soundhill1 (269 comments) says:

    igm The Greens are very pro small business, note the insulation program. Nats won’t be interested they can only think of commodities, no value add. Labour/Green try to reduce the number of losers but as things improve and the successful ones start to compete they get swayed by the National myth and things go back again. The right wing approach here will be to give enterprise money to already large businesses, maybe to remarket products and force out competition.

    With the TPPA coming and GMOs, companies using Monsanto technology will be in the running. The small entrepreneurial farmers developing their own seed lines will disappear. Many farmers in the past have been able to save seeds and do their own breeding. Now Monsanto genes intrude unwanted and the crop then belongs to Monsanto with years of work lost. The farmer cannot pay Monsanto the huge fee and we don’t know what is in the secret agreement which Monsanto imposes rather than taking the farm: probably an agreement to grow Monsanto crops which will then infest the next farm, and so on, accounting for the tremendous expansion of GMOs in America. In the states which had 50% or more GMO soy area by 2000, a few farmers have been able to get out of GMOs since 2011 and 8 out of 9 states or so have had a drop in GMO area.

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  6. bc (1,377 comments) says:

    Ye gods igm, you are like a stuck record. Tedious.

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  7. dime (10,089 comments) says:

    “The Greens are very pro small business” lmao oh yeah.

    Monsanto? wtf?

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  8. soundhill1 (269 comments) says:

    dime, note that the new head of the GCSB does not have a military background but intellectual property. That will in part be related to Warner Bros deal. However the big intellectual property thing is Monsanto’s genes. The rumour, it may be more than rumour is that Monsanto bought Blackwater Security, renamed Academi, the mercenary company fighting in Ukraine. China does not want USA GMO crops. They have switched to Ukraine. Now Monsanto have a GMO program for Ukraine. Russia have laws against GMOs.

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  9. wikiriwhis business (4,114 comments) says:

    There are no business innovations or innovators because business is taxed through the roof. NZ is the most taxed nation in the OECD.

    The govt keeps adding tax to fuel and treating its citizens as EFTPOS machines.

    We need to leave roading alone as we used for for decades. Govts suddenly found roading a convienient excuse to spend and tax and from the 90’s use the roads as revenuing funding to support their perks.

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  10. wikiriwhis business (4,114 comments) says:

    “Monsanto? wtf?”

    You’ll find out how Monsanto works once the TPP is signed and J Key has fled back to his Wall St masters.

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  11. soundhill1 (269 comments) says:

    dime: https://www.greens.org.nz/smallbusiness

    Though controlling the OCR in my opinion will play into the hands of commodity exporters more than small business needing to import some technology. Also into the hands of property traders, refer back to the Bob Jones thread.

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  12. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    No high taxing government cares about small business.

    What small business needs is less taxation, less compliance and greater access to lines of funding.

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  13. soundhill1 (269 comments) says:

    Peter less taxation less compliance means increased poverty when farm workers cannot pay to get their pesticide poisoning treated.

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  14. J Mex (190 comments) says:

    Is it just me, or does this instantly spring “I call App Britain” to mind?

    Can’t find a clip, but it was this episode of “The Thick of It” (Season 4)…

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  15. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    Sound hill, we grow the pie. You, and your Green mates want to slice the pie into finer portions. Well, maybe not the co-leader.

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  16. itstricky (1,880 comments) says:

    I’d rather kids had a good all round education, learning to think for themselves, appreciating the arts and culture, enjoying sport, exploring and creating, time for business training when they have first learned to be multi dimensional people, instead of single minded money makers.

    Agreed. They’re primary school kids. Let them become people.

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