Are entrepreneurs born or created?

I have asked myself many times, where and why are entrepreneurs created? Why is it that from a young age some kids are interested in business and get started on a project, (think lemonade stand) and others have simply no interest at all.

Given it is currently school holidays and I wondered whether there might be hundreds if not thousands of young people working on their enterprise.

I was recently in Newcastle on a leadership study tour and I met a young entrepreneur (age 11) who was constantly evolving his offering – making ‘finger boards’ (skate board for fingers) for his fellow students. He tells me he has watched every episode of Shark Tank Australia (which is now available on Youtube and a great resource for schools).

Whilst Shark Tank remains inspiration for many young people, being able to share their idea with an entrepreneur could be invaluable.

When speaking with Helen Baker Founder of Spill the Beans, who I worked with in a Pitchfest for young people last year, she was recently on a panel and challenged by the question of how more young people have access to entrepreneurs.

She seized upon the idea of creating matching entrepreneurs with schools. Where entrepreneurs can volunteer some time to meet with students, work with teachers and collaborate on entrepreneurial projects.

And ASPiRE (Australian Schools Program for In Resident Entrepreneurs) was created. Since sharing the idea and doing a few posts on LinkedIn she has been contacted by both schools and entrepreneurs alike.

I’m pleased to be a part of the program and collaborating with Helen and the team to bring this program to life. How wonderful it will be to have entrepreneurs as role models and mentors to students throughout Australia (and beyond).

I’ve always been incredibly passionate about education, entrepreneurship and innovation, which is why partnering with Spill the Beans makes so much sense for me. It is such an innovative approach to support teachers and schools in building the entrepreneurial ‘muscle’ within schools.

ASPiRE works to match entrepreneurs with schools to assist with their business and entrepreneurial programs.  The Entrepreneur In Residence is a voluntary position, working alongside educators, helping to mentor students, volunteering their time and assisting in the development of transferable entrepreneurial skills in students, ultimately helping students to thrive in life and in particular, on their post-school journey.

I know many entrepreneurs who love to share what they have learned, and are inspired by the next generation, however they are not quite sure how to engage with schools. And schools are looking for confidence in the entrepreneurs’ abilities and expertise.

Helen has a big vision to support young people’s entrepreneurial aspirations, to take their enterprise beyond the ‘lemonade stand’ and I am really happy to put my efforts behind such an innovative way of connecting people.

Who knows which next generation of entrepreneurs we will meet through the program.

For more details (for educators or entrepreneurs of how to get involved contact us directly via this link.

One thing we know is the world of look will be very different by the time our young people leave school. And having an entrepreneurial appetite will give them another choice as they consider their work options

ASPiRE to be the leader and others will be inspired too. I’m thinking entrepreneurs are created, when young people can see what it looks like.



Also published on Medium.

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