ATLANTA, GA – July 29, 2022 – When thinking about the crucial components of a child’s education, entrepreneurship is often left out of the equation, although, according to a survey of high school students in the state of Missouri, nearly 70% want to own their own company someday. While not all young adults are going to pursue their own business venture, entrepreneurial education for young people can be effective in teaching real world skills, such as critical thinking and effective communication, and can spark a sense of creativity in their developing minds.
To learn more about why introducing entrepreneurial education at an early age may be beneficial for youth, we spoke with Deepak “Dee” Agarwal, long-time C-suite executive and successful entrepreneur, who began his entrepreneurial journey at 11 years old.
“It’s more crucial than ever before for children to be financially literate and to learn how to think critically, both of which are the fundamentals of entrepreneurship,” Deepak Agarwal says.
Improved Creativity and Innovation
The drive to address a problem is at the heart of entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur recognizes a problem and seeks to solve it. Therefore, by putting youth in a setting where they are able to practice creative problem-solving, they will be able to hone in on one of the most in-demand skills in any corporate context.
“If cultivated at a young age, critical thinking and problem-solving skills will only continue to develop throughout your lifetime. A firm foundation in entrepreneurial problem-solving empowers children and better equips them to deal with difficulties that happen in their daily life, resulting in resiliency,” Dee Agarwal notes. “I started buying and selling prepaid phone cards at 11, which turned into video game sales, and the success I saw from this empowered me to begin exploring web traffic arbitrage as my first business venture.”
Being A Team Player
Giving young adults the opportunity to simulate entrepreneurship through projects and formal education on the subject will help them recognize the power of collaboration, and the worth of their team’s collective brainpower and contributions. This mindset will be a powerful tool in all walks of life, from excelling academically, to operating effectively in a business setting.
“As an entrepreneur, I owe so much of my success to having capable, supportive teams of employees. Being part of a start-up business instills a team player attitude. You learn quickly the power of collaboration to achieve a common goal and that your team members are your greatest asset,” Dee Agarwal adds.
The Power of Communication
One of the most crucial soft skills to business and personal success has always been communication. In today’s world, being able to communicate effectively with potential partners, team members, or consumers is half the battle when breaking into the entrepreneurial world. Instilling the skill of effective communication in children at a young age will benefit them for the rest of their lives, whether they’re launching a business, or breaking into the corporate world.
“As they develop in their entrepreneurial journey, youngsters are forced to deal with a variety of people and interactions that push them out of their comfort zone. This engagement and collaboration with people from many walks of life can teach kids vital interpersonal skills,” Deepak Agarwal explains.
How to Introduce Entrepreneurship at an Early Age
Although entrepreneurial education is lacking from the youth’s standard curriculum, and finding age-appropriate ways to incorporate children or young adults into a real-life entrepreneurial setting may pose a challenge, there are many other ways to introduce entrepreneurship to children, many of which can start at home.
Deepak Agarwal remembered how his parents instilled in him a respect for capital and hard work. “Early on, I was taught the value of ‘money’ through small lessons like my father always turning off the lights when he left a room. I believe that value ingrained early on has led me down the path of success in my business models. It’s crucial to reinforce a strong understanding of these concepts from day one.”
Teaching children financial literacy, how to set obtainable goals, and encouraging creative thinking will not only prepare young people for a variety of career and entrepreneurial paths, but will also help them foster skills that will serve them throughout their lives.