Differentiate your Entrepreneurship Program

Teach Mindset, Then Business

Several days ago, I had a fascinating call with a client school. The head of school and I were reviewing the year and the successful launch of their entrepreneurship program complete with a student-run business when she stopped her train of thought and said the following:

“You know, Stephen, there are other schools out there that have started doing entrepreneurship, some right here in our city. But they aren’t doing it like we are. They’re not doing it from the entrepreneurial mindset perspective.

“Their students are working on their own or in small groups on set business ideas and they have a curriculum they follow, but they’re not focusing on growth mindset, grit, redefining failure, and opportunity seeking like we area. There’s something different about your approach and how it brings all our students together to collaborate.

There’s something different indeed. When students are given the foundation of the entrepreneurial mindset, it creates an entirely different experience when they go to launch their business. One primary differentiator is the group approach—rather than have the students break up into small groups or go solo, this approach takes 8 to 12 students and has them collaborate on one primary idea as they work to solve problems together and take on key roles to grow the business.

Another differentiator is the curriculum—the students don’t start the year focusing on revenue or budgeting or marketing but rather on understanding their core values and creating alignment with their mission and vision. They set personal goals based on their personal growth plan and they evaluate their own grittiness based on engaging activities.

Yes, they get the business knowledge, but only when they have developed the mindset attributes necessary to not only launch but sustain the growth of a healthy business. And, when they learn these concepts, they can apply them in real time to the business that they helped launch—that’s the true spirit of the entrepreneurial mindset.

This spring, our entrepreneurship program here at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy celebrates its tenth year of growth. Yet despite the tremendous success and excitement of the on-campus businesses, the number of elective offerings, our growing team, and the certificate track, the greatest achievement has been helping students develop a mindset that will set them up for success in every area of their lives. After all, if they can think like an entrepreneur, they are ready for whatever life throws their way.

Reach out to get this program going in your school…

First Step - Get the Book

Whether you are a teacher, administrator, parent, coach, or business executive, it’s worth checking out my newest book, Teaching the Entrepreneurial Mindset. Over the last ten years, my team and I have explored how to meaningfully engage students through growth mindset, grit, redefining failure, and opportunity seeking, and these attributes are thoroughly explained alongside real-world examples of the life-changing methodology of this style of education.

Let’s Go!

Imagine your culture infused with growth mindset, grit, redefining failure, and opportunity seeking. Imagine your team acting and thinking like entrepreneurs.

Stephen Carter