by Johannes Lindner

Youth Entrepreneurship Education needs you!

A responsible market economy needs self-confident Entrepreneurs and mature citizens who help shape their own and their society’s future offensively. Without the dreams of visionaries and people who put ideas actively into practice we would live in another world nowadays. There would be no fine arts and no schools, no cars and no medication, no state of law and also no consumer protection if people did not take a stand for ideas and did not change social rules with civil courage.

The development of our Entrepreneurial Mindset does not begin with the start of our professional lives but is initiated in earlier phases of our socialization. Entrepreneurial Mindset has to be learned – in fact from generation to generation anew. Entrepreneurship Education for kids and youth can trigger and support this process.

I recommend to start with Entrepreneurship Education at school at primary level and continue until the upper secondary level. EACH child should be empowered to work self-determined on different Entrepreneurial Challenges several times through its school career. An Entrepreneurial Challenge is a demanding and complex task that is tailored to the target group and reflects their daily reality. This approach corresponds to a structured care of the next generation of Entrepreneurs, as we know them from the support of young sports talent.

In the last years we have revised our program and developed a completely new program for primary school. The Youth Start Program (see figure) is a modular Entrepreneurship Program, which allows to integrate Entrepreneurship in different subjects, as a standalone subject or even shaping the future up to an Entrepreneurship School.

An Entrepreneurship Program is not a self-runner, it brews a network of partners, as we know it from the promotion of young sports talent. It needs trainers and mentors to support young people in the development of ideas. It needs exchange and networking, also with you as Entrepreneurs and Business Angels. We know from the promotion of young sports talents various types of competitions at different performance levels. In entrepreneurship we also need this culture of appreciation and encouragement, with school-internal, regional idea competitions, state championship “debating students” and different types of festivals, up to the Youth Start European Entrepreneurship Award.

Passion is strengthened by appreciation! Join us as a mentor, supporter and award donor. Don’t say ‘begin’, but ‘take part’ when you want to achieve something.

“Youth Start – Entrepreneurial Challenges” Program

About the author 
Johannes Lindner, Founder and head of the Initiative for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Ashoka Fellow, Vienna, Austria: