Introducing Entrepreneurship skills at an early age

a high school graduate’s perspective

As a Finnish high school graduate, I really wish I was taught about entrepreneurship at a younger age. My school offered quite little when it came to entrepreneurship. We had a few entrepreneurs visit our school and talk about their experiences, but they weren’t very memorable to me. What I did find memorable though, was our visit to Yrityskylä Ostrobothnia. It is a place where 6th or 9th graders experience work-life and learn about the economy in a miniature society. In Yrityskylä we were junior entrepreneurs, selling and marketing products and keeping track of the company’s income. The company, which gained the best reputation among the participants, was the winner and won a special prize. The employees also got a salary which they could use to purchase products from the other companies. It was an interesting experience, but doing that for only one day was not very effective in the long run. It would have been more inspiring to have been able to spend more time there, perhaps even on several occasions.

Most of my family has quite a little experience in entrepreneurship so I did not learn much about it as a kid. My dad used to be an entrepreneur. After living in Brazil for a few years, he got very fascinated with gemstones. Once he returned to Finland, he started to import valuable gemstones from Brazil with the intent to sell them. However, after a while, he got too attached to them and couldn’t stand selling them anymore and had to get a regular job. As a child, I was aware of his job, but I didn’t really understand the concept of entrepreneurship. My uncle had a business too, but all I remember was that he was extremely stressed out. So, I did not have any significant memory for reference about the importance of Entrepreneurship in an early age.

I personally feel that introducing entrepreneurship skills to children at an early age through various school activities can help them to gradually develop entrepreneurship skills through different moments of interactions. Conscious intention of developing entrepreneurial skills can lead children to develop Teamwork and leadership skills, Communication and listening skills, Financial skills, and Planning skills.

Inculcating these entrepreneurial skills can help children to build a sense of self-confidence, develop their decision-making power, and have financial understandings.

Here are the ways to get young people interested in developing entrepreneurial skills and become more interested in entrepreneurship:

  • Elementary schools could invite more entrepreneurs to visit the children. The way the entrepreneurs talk to children, should be suitable for their age group and not intimidating for them.
  • For smaller children, the presentations could be more interactive and playful.
  • Teenagers on the other hand would benefit from visiting different companies and seeing them in action.
  • The parents could also be encouraged to discuss about entrepreneurship with their children on a day to day basis.