How to Develop Entrepreneurial Skills: 10 Must-Have Skills for Every Student

How can we help our students develop their entrepreneurial skills? And why should we strive to do so? Check out this article to find out now!

What Are Entrepreneurial Skills?

Entrepreneurs have very particular habits and thought processes. They are resilient and resourceful, treating failure simply as an opportunity to learn and improve. They are opportunity seekers - evaluating problems in the world as opportunities for innovative solutions. In other words, entrepreneurial skills are the foundations upon which innovation, creativity, and the drive to succeed are built.

The Benefits of Developing Entrepreneurial Skills in Your Students

Today’s employees are valued (and rewarded) for their ability to think creatively, to innovate, and to adapt quickly to changing circumstances.

Plus,The Future of Jobs report by the World Economic Forum shows that success in tomorrow’s world is requires new skills and competencies—some of which we can’t even anticipate yet.

That’s why it’s essential for everyone, and not just future business leaders, to develop entrepreneurial skills that will give them the flexibility and grit required to thrive in tomorrow’s world.

How to Develop Entrepreneurial Skills: 10 Must-Have Skills for Every Student

1. Complex problem-solving.

Complex problem-solving requires students to tackle challenging problems with multiple variables. 

Students can develop complex problem-solving skills by participating in team activities and projects.

The more team members, requirements, or other variables that the project includes, the larger the benefits for students. 

Most schools put students in straight forward scenarios - study the content, display the knowledge on a quiz or a test, rinse and repeat. But schools that commit to entrepreneurial skills will give students long-term, project-based challenges where they can build products and services that connect to their own passions and the problems that they identify in the outside world. 

For example, every year SCH’s pre-k to 4th grade students channel their boundless creativity and curiosity into one, unique real-world challenge in their Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) curriculum. One year, the Lower School Girls combined their knowledge of science and entrepreneurial skills to create a winter habitat for insects and small creatures within the SCH woods. Simultaneously, Lower School Boys partnered with the nonprofit Kiva to produce sellable goods during “Market Day”. These proceeds were then donated back to the organization, supporting other entrepreneurs across the globe.

How to Develop Entrepreneurial Skills in Your Students | SCH​​​​​​​
2. Critical thinking.

Critical thinking refers to clear, logical argument construction that is accomplished by clearly defining our parameters and organizing them into conclusions.

When solving problems, ask students to present their solutions, as well as the process which led to their solutions.

Reflecting on not only the solution itself, but the process along the way, is a vital component of entrepreneurship. At SCH, we focus on building opportunities for self-evaluation and with creating safe, non-graded opportunities for students to try and fail. We believe that this will help them more easily process the critical elements of any future scenarios. 

3. Creativity.

Creativity is the ability to generate innovative ideas by questioning, observing, and experimenting. Many people believe that creativity is an innate talent - you are born with it or you are not - but the reality is that anyone can learn and practice to become creative. One of the best ways to tap into this ability is to get students in the habit of looking for problems to solve. At SCH, our approach to creativity emphasizes the importance of building passion and knowledge before starting the idea generation process. We work hard to make the CEL classroom an ideal environment for the play, curiosity, and exploration that inspires creativity and innovation.

And most importantly, it’s vital to make sure your students know it’s okay to make a mistake in front of you and explain that, more often than not, creativity often requires effort and struggle.

The ability to unleash their creativity will help your students live a more daring, fulfilling life, as well as help them think of more innovative solutions to tomorrow’s problems.

How to Develop Entrepreneurial Skills in Your Students | SCH​​​​​​​

4. Managing other people.

An effective manager balances inspiration and motivation with evaluation and discipline.

If you want to teach effective management to students at an early age, create opportunities for group work and rotate leadership roles inside your classroom.

For example, during our CEL projects, every child has the opportunity to take on different roles within the team.

It helps students understand how other people work, while learning more about their own strengths and weaknesses. 

5. Coordination.

Knowing how to coordinate with and work alongside your peers is just as important as knowing how to lead.

During CEL Lower School projects, students learn to build off of one and others’ ideas as well as reflect upon the group’s collaborative effectiveness at each stage of the project.

Knowing how to do this will help students develop strong, mutually-beneficial relationships with others inside and outside the classroom.

6. Emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.

You can teach students emotional intelligence by regularly asking them to take a step back, and examine what they are feeling during difficult situations.

Having an understanding of their emotional landscape will help students navigate challenging situations in a calm, level-headed manner.

7. Decision making.

Effective decision making combines all six entrepreneurial skills described above.

When examining a problem, encourage students to look at alternative solutions and tradeoffs between solutions.

Having a solid framework for making good decisions will help students become more thoughtful, engaged citizens that and make better choices in their everyday lives.

8. Service orientation.

Service orientation is defined as the ability (and desire) to anticipate the needs of others.

Here at SCH’s Lower School, community service projects such as Meals on Wheels and Food for Friday, reinforce awareness of others and their circumstances. Students pre-k to 4th grade collect items to bring in on a daily basis which helps build awareness for those in need within their own city of Philadelphia.

These projects help students become better, more thoughtful leaders and make purposeful decisions that benefit everyone around them.

how to develop entrepreneurial skills |  SCH

9. Negotiation.

Negotiation refers to the process by which parties mediate differences.

At SCH Academy, students are taught how to effectively persuade an audience to recognize the value of shared ideas as they work toward achieving a solution that’s favorable to all parties.

Keep in mind that If you want your students to learn negotiation skills, they need to know that their opinions and feelings will be respected no matter what. Negotiation skills will help students develop a strong sense of empathy, enhance their service-oriented mindset, and help them achieve favorable outcomes in all facets of their life.

10. Cognitive flexibility.

Cognitive flexibility involves the ability to think about multiple concepts simultaneously, as well as developing the ability to switch between them.

If you want to encourage cognitive flexibility in your students, incorporate games with shifting rules into your classroom activities.

Developing cognitive flexibility will help students switch between different tasks more easily, while successfully operating in environments characterized by increasing uncertainty and speed.

How to Develop Entrepreneurial Skills in Your Students | SCH​​​​​​​

Why You Should Choose Springside Chestnut Hill Academy

From their earliest years at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH), students learn the essential entrepreneurial skills they will need to succeed in tomorrow’s world.

With over 150 years of tradition, community, and academic excellence behind us, we are proud to offer a superior educational experience that enables our students to lead incredibly fulfilling lives inside and outside the classroom.

What’s Next?

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