There’s a lot of talk about children falling behind and harm caused to their education over a year of experiencing lockdown, home-schooling and blended learning. As our kids get back into class and continue their education, I’m sure that many will need additional help, support and on-going nurturing to recover and move forward from the past year’s disruption.
I’m also certain that children of this generation should have opportunities to succeed that far exceed anything that existed when we were at school.
I’m talking about entrepreneurship. I’m talking about the kind of roles and careers that don’t even exist just now but that our children will be able to enter into, make a difference, and enjoy.
Think back a few decades. You could learn a trade; you could continue your education and set out on a planned career path towards the traditional industries and sectors; or you could follow in the footsteps of your family to help take a family business into the future.
All of those paths still exist, but add to that the huge raft of digital opportunities and the chance for children to make real inroads into the science and technology of the future, and it really is an exciting time for our children to be preparing for life after education.
The spirit of entrepreneurship has to be nurtured, developed, promoted and encouraged across primary and secondary schools if we want to see our children having the best chances possible to develop into the next generation of business leaders and influencers.
Small businesses like ours have a vital role to play in a local economy, employing local people, developing local people, serving the needs of local people, and investing in the technologies that provide local people with new and innovative ways to meet their needs.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t a term that should be bandied about loosely. Entrepreneurs have a mindset that always sees an opportunity. They have the creativity and confidence to make a difference, and the vision and passion to make it happen. That can be in a small business, a start-up that can be scaled up, or increasingly as a social enterprise.
Entrepreneurs keep pushing the boundaries, not just to make a name for themselves, but to really make a difference in an area or a market place that they love. That entrepreneurial spirit needs to be encouraged as it can drive so much change for good across a community and across generations.
I’d love to see primary school children of today moving into the future with confidence, knowing that the past year has helped them develop a culture of resilience, individuality, strength, and has helped shape their characters to position them well to become the entrepreneurs of the future.
We all have a part to play in encouraging this and supporting links between business and education to ensure that transition is smooth, exciting and productive for everyone involved. Today’s children deserve it – and the future of our economy and our communities depend on it.