What Should We Teach Kids About Startups?

“We're all growing up in a brave new world of entrepreneurship, yet our kids are still being prepared for the workforce of 1950. What can we do to teach our kids the fundamentals of becoming a startup Founder at an early age?”

February 12th, 2020   |    By: Wil Schroter

As Founders, it’s important to share our knowledge with kids about startups and the entrepreneurial mindset at an early age.

Here are four reasons why:

  1. It will help them stand out in a competitive workforce.

  2. They’ll learn how to chart their own course in life.

  3. They’ll develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

  4. They’ll learn how to be creative and innovative thinkers.

The next generation of young web entrepreneurs rely on current founders to nurture them through leadership. And like all students, learn best from experience.

To help kids get a better understanding of startups, we can introduce them to the basics such as:

1. Identifying new opportunities in the market and coming up with viable solutions.

2. Testing those solutions through prototypes and MVPs.

3. Understanding how to pitch their business idea effectively.

4. Learning how to scale their businesses and make them sustainable.

We can also help kids understand the value of networking and forming partnerships, creating a strong team culture, managing their finances, dealing with challenges, staying motivated, and so on.

Ultimately, teaching kids about startups offer a great opportunity for them to gain valuable skills that will set them up for success in the future. By investing in our kids' development today, we’re creating a brighter tomorrow! That would sound super cliche if it wasn't so true.

Why should we start with kids as entrepreneurs?

Young kids naturally have an entrepreneurial mindset. They possess one of the most powerful practical skills any of us can have which is a natural tendency to question everything (a fact that is often less endearing as a parent!)

Their natural inquisition is exactly what we want to cultivate as early as possible into a skill that translates "Why can't this work?" into "Let me go make it work." Kids haven't learned that they can't do things yet, which is fundamentally what separates entrepreneurs from everyone else.

Here are four reasons why we need to teach kids about startups:

1. Kids naturally have an entrepreneurial mindset and questioning everything is a powerful practical skill that can be cultivated early on.

2. Entrepreneurship is not just about making money - it's about solving problems.

3. Kids learn best by doing, so let them start by pitching their ideas, solving their own problems, and running free with their business ideas!

4. Teaching kids about startups will help them become more innovative and creative in their own lives, for their whole lives.

We need to start teaching kids about business and startups early on so that they can get the most out of these skills and capabilities later down the road. Entrepreneurship is not just about making money — it's about creative problem-solving and innovation. Kids need to be given the opportunity to pitch their ideas, solve their own problems, and run free with their business ideas if we want them to build true success. Teaching kids about startups is a great way for them to succeed in life and boost their self-confidence. Plus, it could open up opportunities for them to make a real difference in the world! Let's start teaching kids about startups and equip them with the tools they need to become great entrepreneurs.

So, how can we teach kids about startups? There are lots of ways you can get your children involved in this kind of learning experience. Some ideas include:

1. Have them watch inspiring videos and stories of successful entrepreneurs.

2. Have them read books about entrepreneurs and startups.

3. Introduce them to business apps or games that teach the basics of entrepreneurship.

4. Take them to startup events and conferences to show them what is possible!

5. Let them attend a summer camp or program geared towards teaching kids about startups.

6. Encourage their business ideas and help them develop action plans for starting up their own businesses.

By teaching our kids about startups, we can equip them with the tools they need to become great entrepreneurs. We can help them build their self-confidence, open up opportunities for them to make a real difference in the world, and help foster an environment of innovation and creativity.

Young web entrepreneurs and startup kids explore their world, from playing video games to creating art or playing sports.

The most valuable lesson we can teach kids is "ownership"

As Founders, we know the importance of ownership and teaching kids the value of working on something they own.

We need to teach kids the importance of emotional ownership – a fundamental attachment of pride toward something they have created. It's part of us.

We're not just talking about equity ownership (although that's nice), we're talking about emotional ownership — a fundamental attachment of pride toward something we have created. It's part of us.

When kids learn to take ownership of their work, the sky's the limit. They become more motivated, resilient, and have a bigger sense of purpose. When they own something personal, it’s not just about what someone else expects from them — it’s about living up to their own expectations and taking pride in the fact that this is their work.

Ownership teaches kids responsibility, accountability, and how to take initiative; it also builds self-esteem, encourages creativity, and opens up the opportunity for deeper learning.

When people own something they have created or accomplished, they become more driven to continue on that path of success. They are able to look back at what they have done and reflect on how far they have come as opposed to being discouraged when they look at where they are.

Owning what you do gives a sense of pride that encourages kids to continue striving towards their goals.

Ownership is not just an important lesson for children, but something we can all benefit from throughout life. When we take ownership of the things we do and the goals that we set, our confidence increases exponentially. We learn to take pride in what we can accomplish when we put our minds to it.

Are we saying every kid should become a startup Founder?

Definitely not. Our job should be to open Pandora's Box of entrepreneurship for every child. We are not insisting on creating a bumper crop of startup kids or young web entrepreneurs - but I could think of worse outcomes! I can only see a growing number of child entrepreneurs as a net positive for humanity.

The goal isn't to make every kid a startup Founder any more than the goal of teaching music or athletics is to make every kid Beethoven or Serena Williams. 

Educating kids about startups is about showing them a path to personal creation, emotional ownership, and, let's just get crazy here and say...a job that they might just actually be insanely passionate about.

A business isn't the only outcome we're chasing here.

As a startup Founder, you know the importance of being entrepreneurial. But what if you're not planning to start your own company or don't have a business concept? What if being an entrepreneur is out of your comfort zone?

Even if you don't become an entrepreneur, developing entrepreneurial skills will benefit you in many ways.

Here are four reasons why:

1. You'll be more creative and innovative in whatever you do.

2. You'll have greater control to develop your career path.

3. You'll be better prepared for changes in the economy.

4. You'll be more effective at problem-solving.

Learning about entrepreneurship is a great idea for anyone.

By educating kids about startups, we're not just giving them the opportunity to become entrepreneurs, but also giving them the skills they need to succeed in any career path. So let's start inspiring more startup kids to think outside the box and become tomorrow's game-changers.

Pay it forward, one child at a time.

It's up to us as parents, educators, and mentors to provide the necessary support and guidance for our startup kids to help them reach their highest potential.

After all, it is our duty to create a better future for generations to come. Let's make sure every child has a chance at achieving their dreams. Let's open that Pandora's Box.

The power of entrepreneurs.

That's how we'll create the next wave of innovators, founders, and change-makers. And that, my friends, is the power of entrepreneurship.

Find a budding entrepreneur, and share your experiences.

So what are you waiting for? Start educating kids about technology startups today! Share your knowledge and experience with them to help them see the possibilities and opportunities that come with being an entrepreneur. You never know, you might just be helping to create the next great founder success story!

Entrepreneur in training. The young web entrepreneurs of tomorrow might be running lemonade stands today.

 The world already has plenty of bored employees. We need more passionate Founders. 

In Case You Missed It 

How to Mix a Family and a Startup. Given that our time is so scarce, what can we do to be best prepared to be a good spouse and parent while also being the best Founder we can be?

How to Set Your Entrepreneurial Kids Up For Success. If our kid is interested in launching their own business, there are three ways we can provide the support they need.

Build Your Startup Around Your Passion. Instead of starting with, "what will make the most money?" and hoping we like it, how do we start with what we're most passionate about and figure out how to do that profitably?


About the Author

Wil Schroter

Wil Schroter is the Founder + CEO @ Startups.com, a startup platform that includes BizplanClarity, Fundable, Launchrock, and Zirtual. He started his first company at age 19 which grew to over $700 million in billings within 5 years (despite his involvement). After that he launched 8 more companies, the last 3 venture backed, to refine his learning of what not to do. He's a seasoned expert at starting companies and a total amateur at everything else.

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