What would you do with an idea and some money? The Arizona Council on Economic Education is teaching Arizona students that their answer can be “starting my own business.”
Entrepreneurship is a growing trend, even among teenagers.
During COVID-19, many young people became unemployed or underemployed, fueling their desire to have more control over their income by starting their own businesses. Fresh ideas, problem solving capabilities, tech savviness, and being risk takers make young people perfect potential entrepreneurs.
Since January 2022, ACEE has been working with Arizona community and education organizations to provide training on their Building Young Entrepreneurs curriculum. Instructors from rural one-room schoolhouses to public high schools and Northern Arizona University have been trained on how to use the materials and embedded activities with students. The goal is to help Arizona students see that entrepreneurship is within their reach.
At student career and technical education conferences during the fall, more than 1,000 students were asked by Robin Palmer, ACEE’s director of entrepreneurship and financial math, “Are you willing to take the risks to become an entrepreneur?”
At the end of their workshop, Skyeler E. from Casteel High School, in Queen Creek said, “It is important (to understand the risks of entrepreneurship) because you need to know the necessary skills and mindset to have when taking a risk to accomplish your goals and dreams.”
In addition to teacher and student training, ACEE is supporting the Peoria Forward initiative, working with ASU’s Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute to “grow and scale the entrepreneurial ecosystem within the city of Peoria and transport the future of Peoria through entrepreneurship.”
ACEE’s Palmer is instructing and coaching Peoria students who are members of the Entrepreneurship Club.
The business world around us is changing, and ACEE is working with Arizona students to show how they can be part of that change. So, the next time you ask a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?,” don’t be surprised if the answer is, “I want to be an entrepreneur!”
Editor's note: This article was submitted by Arizona Council on Economic Education.