Will your student be an employee or an employer? Instilling the entrepreneurial
spirit is a great way to show them the skills they need to have great
business acumen. If they have a hobby or a skill, they can easily turn
this into a small business where they can learn valuable lessons on how
to be successful.
The first thing to do is to start with some training. Show your student
the inner workings of the business world by finding them a mentor that
can show them the ropes. Get them to pick a business they like and then
find a friend or family member who can act as a mentor. Many organizations
have mentoring groups and its easy to find mentors on the Internet.
Mentoring can take a number of different forms. Your student can actually
work in a business over the summer to learn the ropes, or they can shadow
their mentors to learn what it takes to be a great business person. There
is so much to master from a business plan to marketing, service and financial
Once your student has a basic idea of how businesses run, its time to put
their ideas into practice. This can be as simple as running a lemonade
stand to starting their own online
Etsy store. Etsy lets you set up an online store and list items for sale for very
little capital outlay. For example, if your students are running a lemonade
stand, you can teach them about making their lemonade stand more visible
by adding decorations. You can teach them about customer service and how
being friendly and helpful will keep their customers happy. You can also
teach them about diversifying their portfolios by offering cookies with
their lemonade. You can discuss their environmental impact and suggest
using biodegradable cups.
To illustrate your points, start with a plain lemonade stand with no decorations,
poor service and no cookies. Add a new aspect every day and see your profits increase.
Older students can try Etsy stores. Here they can take hobbies like making
jewelry or upcycled furniture and turn them into a store. Once they have
enough stock for their store, you can help them to work out their costs
to price items fairly. You can also explore various marketing methods
like flyers, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, guest blogging and craft fares.
These endeavours help your students to make a little extra money while
learning about the business world. If you create an online market or do
things in your neighbourhood, there doesn’t need to be a large capital
outlay. Ensure that your students balance their business time with academic time too.