By Dr. Gene Coulson, CEO, EntreEd
The building of entrepreneurship ecosystems in localities across the country is a critical activity if we ever hope to realize all the benefits of a more entrepreneurial culture. I think some consensus is emerging about who should be a part of this ecosystem – government, policy-makers, eship support organizations, post-secondary institutions, and more. There is not a real consensus on who the ecosystem is designed to help. Here is my take.
I think most well-intentioned folks envision an environment that identifies adults who have an idea and an interest and wraps around them all the advice, assistance, and funding opportunities available. It’s kind of like waiting for a plant to spring up, then making sure it has all the sun, water, and food it needs as well as protection from insects and animals, nurturing and protecting it until it can survive on its own. My question is, “Who plants the seeds?” Entrepreneurship education in the K-12 systems of our country can help young people understand eship and include it in their career decision-making process. Knowing that any career path students choose can lead to getting a good job or making your own job. Planting this idea in our youngest students and nurturing it every year will mean more sprouting entrepreneurs. Some young people will want to become entrepreneurs right away, while others develop a passion in college and decide that is the time. Adults may make that decision anytime life presents the opportunity. It is a pipeline, but many do not realize the pipeline should start in K-12. EntreEd’s motto is Entrepreneurship Education, K-12, Every Student, Every Year and hundreds of schools nationwide are achieving that goal.
If you are part of the ecosystem-building process in your state or community, ask yourself, “Who is planting the seeds?”