Teaching Entrepreneurship in Middle School

Recently, Dan Schawbel wrote an article for Tech Crunch on why students should gain entrepreneurial experience before graduating.  In my career exploration class I teach to 7th and 8th grade students I have been adding different entrepreneurial activities and tasks into the curriculum to help build their critical thinking skills.  From an educator’s point of view, entrepreneurial skills lend themselves to the Common Core Learning Standards for College and Career Readiness for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

After watching Thomas Suarez, a 12 year old self taught iPhone app developer who started his own company CarrotCorp, I thought about my own students and how many of them have their own ideas for future businesses.  This summer I am writing a curriculum for a semester long  entrepreneurial elective for my middle school students that would offer budding entrepreneurs insight into starting their own business and potentially profiting from their ideas.

The elective contains three units of study:

I. How to turn an idea into an actual product? This unit of study would focus on taking a business or product concept to fruition. Students would write a business plan and investigate other entrepreneurs, (especially teen entrepreneurs) who have successfully started their own businesses.

II. Students would participate in engaging hands on activities that would offer insight to help them understand business lingo. In addition, student would set up websites, blogs and create other public relations devices to market their ideas and potential businesses.

III. Students develop and market their product to a panel of business “judges.” In addition, throughout the school year guest speakers would visit the classroom and interact with students to offer guidance and support.

Essential questions include:

  • How can some one turn a passion or hobby into a profitable business?
  • What are the skills students need to start their own business?
  • What is a business plan and how does it benefit a business?
  • How does an entrepreneur successfully market and sell his/her product?

10 thoughts on “Teaching Entrepreneurship in Middle School

  1. rlinet says:

    I am a 7th grade math teacher with a background in business, would love to see what you develop. Totally agreed that entrepreneurial skills are necessary for our you to prosper in the future.

    • Thank you for your interest in my entrepreneur curriculum. It is so important that we support our students as creators with the power to turn passions into profitable ideas. If you send me your email in the about section of my blog I am happy to share the curriculum that I created.

  2. julie garde says:

    good evening, am also of the opinion of the above person. Have a class of 17 year olds who are relatively disengaged and looking for a ‘light’ as am sure they are. would love to see your thoughts as i have run out of ideas.

  3. Elisa Rossi says:

    I am trying to rebuild a business success class in middle school to focus on what it takes to build a business from inception. I would love to take a look at some of your ideas. May I have a copy please?

    • Thanks Elisa, if you click the link above you should be able to view the entire curriculum that I created on entrepreneurship. If you have any additional questions please feel free to email me. I would love to hear about what you create for your business success class for middle school students.

  4. Annie Bernica says:

    Hi there! I am a student at the University of Texas at Austin. A professor has introduced to me, a few months ago, his great interest in teaching children entrepreneurship at a young age (“planting a seed”). I was unaware that a program already existed, but I am so glad to have found this online to hear your perspective. I would love to get insight into the successes, failures, curriculum suggestions, etc. I would love to hear more, so I can share the information with my professor, and possibly get a movement started down here in Austin. TX!

    • Hi Annie,

      Thank you for your reply. You should be able to access the curriculum from the blog post to review and share with others. There are many activities that the students love within the curriculum, from the product in the box challenge to a chocolate competition with Chocomize. If you have more specific questions, I am happy to answer those for you. All the best, Michele

  5. Karsten says:

    I would love to take a look at your entrepreneurship for teenagers curriculum as well. I have tried every link above but not been able to reach that page. Could you please help?

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