Primary school age can be a good time to start developing entrepreneurial soft skills among children, but it seems too early to build business knowledge or boost entrepreneurship intentions.
Five-day experiential learning programme on entrepreneurship over the course of two to four weeks during which students are led through a firm’s business cycle from start-up to liquidation. It’s one of the leading entrepreneurship education programmes in the world for primary schools, and it has been implemented in more than 80 countries.
- To teach the basics of business and entrepreneurship
- To develop non-cognitive entrepreneurial skills
- To boost entrepreneurial intentions among students
The intervention was tested in a country with one of the top education systems in the world. The course took place during school hours, was free of charge for schools and any primary school in the country could voluntarily sign up to participate.
Primary school students aged 11–12 attending schools that voluntarily sign up to participate.
- Business challenge: In teams of five to six students, participants have to start and run a company that sells bracelets, bookmarks or key cords. Each student in the team is assigned a specific role in the company (CFO, CEO, marketing director, etc.). During the programme, teams have to name their company, formulate a business plan, sell stocks, design and produce the merchandise, set a price, prepare a marketing campaign and sell their products at a fair organised as part of the programme.
- Role model: In addition to the class teacher, the course is also taught by a real-world entrepreneur, who brings real-life examples and experiences into the classroom.
Before the start of the programme, teachers receive all the materials to be used and two hours of training.
- The programme had a positive impact on non-cognitive entrepreneurial skills such as creativity, self-efficacy, need for achievement, risk-taking propensity, persistence, proactivity and analytical skills.
- The programme didn’t help students to build their knowledge on what an entrepreneur does or what it entails to run a business.
- If anything, the programme negatively influenced the preferences of students to pursue a professional career as entrepreneurs.
- Primary school age could be a good time to start developing entrepreneurial soft skills among children.
- Conversely, it might be too early to build knowledge about and boost intentions towards entrepreneurship.