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  • Writer's pictureDel Chatterson

Learning Entrepreneurship at School?

I am starting to see more articles and commentary about the "need" to teach entrepreneurship at school. Is that a good idea? I have taught Entrepreneurship courses at Concordia in the Continuing Education program, mostly to young adults seeking relevant knowledge to advance their careers or to manage their own business.

Should Entrepreneurship be taught sooner? Probably not in elementary school, but high school or college? I tend to agree with Rick Spence (Financial Post, June 28, 2010), that the emphasis should be on entrepreneurial qualities such as creativity and innovation, problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, persistence and leadership. I would add curiosity, self-confidence and independence.

Entrepreneurship packaged as a course is more appropriate at levels where students are considering career options. But it would help to have some early education on basic economics from savings and investment to financial and economic systems. I fear the bias of many teachers is that big business is evil and that entrepreneurs and the capitalist system create more social problems than solutions.

It would be an improvement to have some balance added to that point of view. I'm not optimistic. The media focuses most high profile stories on the disasters and the criminals among us. It's hard to find the heroes to emulate. After Donald Trump or Richard Branson (whom not everybody loves), who do we have doing good PR for business and entrepreneurship as a means of having fun and doing good?

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