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Module 2 - Content

Entrepreneurship

What is Entrepreneurship?

"In a world of accelerating change where both challenges and opportunities abound, students need to learn how to live and work in an enterprising way Ė either as entrepreneurs who take the initiative to create new ventures or as enterprising individuals Ė applying their skills, attitudes, and abilities while working within the various organizations that contribute to our society. These courses examine the knowledge, skills, and attributes of individuals who become entrepreneurs or enterprising employees. Students will learn, through studying the process of venture creation, how to live and work as creative problem solvers who welcome, and who can successfully manage, change".

(Business Studies: The Ontario Curriculum Document Grade 11 and 12).

Overview of Courses - Entrepreneurship, Grade 11 and 12

Entrepreneurial Studies Level Code Prerequisites
11 Entrepreneurship: The Venture College BDI3C None
11 Entrepreneurship: The Enterprising Person Open BDP3O None
12 Entrepreneurship: Venture Planning in an Electronic Age College BDV4C None

Strands

Entrepreneurship: The Venture, Grade 11, College Preparation

  • Enterprising People and Entrepreneurs
  • Ideas and Opportunities for New Ventures
  • The Benefits of a Venture Plan
  • Developing and Completing a Venture Plan for the Purposed Business

Entrepreneurship: The Enterprising Person, Grade 11, Open

  • The Changing Nature of the Workplace
  • Entrepreneurship and the Enterprising Employee
  • Enterprising Skills
  • The Entrepreneurial Experience

Entrepreneurial Studies: Venture Planning in an Electronic Age, Grade 12, College Preparation

  • E-Commerce and Venture Planning
  • Venture Conception
  • Preparing for Start-up
  • Targeting Customers
  • Developing the Venture Plan

A) Developing Entrepreneurs

Early in the courses, students need to know that entrepreneurs are not born but rather develop over time. The skills taught will help them improve, refine and use their entrepreneurial skills. The lessons develop, should go from the simple to the complex based, unknown to the unknown, based on practical examples.

A day 1 lesson suggestion could include the theme "Enterprising Ideas". In a group setting, students list all the different skills and abilities of group members (play musical instruments, sports, etc.). Then have the group look at how you might use these skills in enterprising ways (music lesson, coaching sports, etc.). Have the group pick the best idea and make a presentation to the class.

Another activity for early in the entrepreneurship course is a summary of entrepreneurs they have already come in contact with (family members, friends, local business owners, etc.). Using chart papers have teams of students (groups) with different coloured markers (each team with a different colour) move around and discuss each of these topics, posting their answers on the chart paper.

1)  List any entrepreneurs that you can think of and what their entrepreneurial idea is/was.
2)  Characteristics of an Entrepreneur
3)  Abilities and Aptitudes of Entrepreneurs
4)  What motivates entrepreneurs?
5)  Personal benefits of being an enterprising person

These charts can be posted around the room for reference later in the course.

B) Practical Applications: Entrepreneurship: Part 1

Now that you have learned the basics behind developing lesson plans for a Business Studies course, let us look at some practical applications that you use in your classrooms. The following samples are for group learning; however, you can modify them for the individual learner.

Sample # 1: A Look at Canadian Entrepreneurs

Randomly divide your students into pairs (Pairs Explore) and then instruct them to research the profiles of two Canadian entrepreneurs using the Internet.  One of the entrepreneurs that they research must be a teenager such as Michael Furdyk of Toronto who sold his on-line publishing business for millions of dollars, or London native Keith Peiris who is the president and CEO of Cybertecks Designs.

Ask your students to create a profile on their findings and then present it to the class.

For examples, you can view Linda Lundström and E.S. Rogersís profiles.

There are two samples that report on entrepreneur Linda Lundström. The first report is written in "telegram style", while the second is in the expository format.  Both reports contain well-structured sentences, a good range of vocabulary, and are organized well.  The first report contains more detailed information and reveals the author's understanding of the products of the business.  The author of the second report offers some insight in the early struggle of this entrepreneur, but has not provided information on charitable acts as requested in the project statement. However, both reports show promise.

The report on E.S.Rogers Jr  is well-conceived and includes the Internet source that the student used.  It also contains elements that suggest the student composed most of the sentences himself:  All of the information is presented in a single paragraph, and there are some problems with the temporal sequencing of the material.  However, the student has done a creditable job in creating a biography on a topic that is difficult for students at this level to understand.

Sample # 2: Start a Small Business

Divide your students into groups of four and ask them to think of a business idea that they would like to start as a group.  The students are divided into the groups based upon general interests that you have previously identified (i.e. environment, sports, computers, fashion, entertainment, etc.).

Students will brainstorm answers to the following questions and then prepare a report for grading to the teacher.

Q1. What are your reasons for wanting to go into business as a group? Some of the most common reasons are self-management, financial independence, creative freedom, and flexible working hours.

Q2. What type of business is right for your group?  In order to determine it, there are a number of questions that can be asked.

  • What skills can each member of the group bring to the business?
  • What hobbies or interest does each group member have?
  • How much time can each member contribute to the business?
  • What are the strengths of each group member?
  • What are the weaknesses of each group member and how will this affect your business?

Q3. Identify your business niche. To determine the answer to this question the group needs to research the following topics:

  • Products and services that the business will sell
  • Who is the competition for the business? (i.e. local markets, Canadian markets and global markets)
  • Demand for the business
  • Quality of service delivered to customers
  • Business advantage over other companies
  • Why people will buy from your business

Q4. What will be the legal structure of your business?

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Incorporation

For more information on the legal structures of business, you can visit the Self Counsel Press Business and Legal Publisher.

Q5. What equipment and supplies does the business require?

  • Office equipment and furniture
  • Paper supplies
  • Inventory of items for sale
  • Computers
  • Software programs
  • Internet Service Providers
  • Web site

Q6. What financing options are required for the business?

  • Banks
  • Family and friends
  • Micro-credit
  • Own money

Q7. How will members of the group be compensated?

C) The Project Management Approach

To truly understand the inner workings of a business environment, it's valuable to provide opportunities for your information technology students to work within settings and conditions that model real world structures. Curriculum documents developed under Ontario Secondary School 1999 (OSS) emphasized making the curriculum as practical or real world as possible. Project Management is an example of bringing principals from the business world into the classroom.

The Project Management Approach

Description

The project management (PM) approach is becoming increasingly popular in business programs today. This structure was developed in the 1960s in response to the growing needs of engineers to have a framework by which to handle complex tasks. Today PM has wide acceptance and is used in most industries. The process involves selecting a team and leader to complete a specific task in a given time frame. Each group is responsible for creating a vision and, by optimizing the unique skills of its members, the team works together to realize their shared goals.

Shifts in Business Classrooms

Exciting changes have been happening inside business classrooms and, instead of creating a traditional course outline that delineates the various units or individual learning expectations, many business instructors now opt to create four our five large projects within their course of study. With this approach, learning occurs in and around the context of final products. In essence, the students drive the curriculum in their desire to acquire the necessary skills in order to successfully render their projects to the teacher.

Developing PM Projects

When a teacher designs large tasks for the classroom environment, itís important to remember that most projects adhere to the following life cycle:

  • Start Up
  • Planning
  • Execution and Control
  • Close Out

Each projects must be carefully timed to ensure that students are able to follow through each of these steps.

Benefits to Teachers

  • Grouping expectations into projects can help meet many of the curriculum requirements and naturally offers openings to integrate technology and collaboration.
  • Students are primarily responsible for organizing their time and reflecting on their progress.
  • With the team approach of PM, the teacher has the opportunity to see the varied skills and learning abilities of each of his/her students.
  • Cooperative learning improves with practice and as students get comfortable with this approach, "group divorce" becomes less likely.

Benefits to Students

  • Students participate in a practical model of learning.
  • Students become stakeholders as each are responsible for specific tasks within the group project.
  • There are opportunities to participate in both structured and unstructured learning.
  • The PM classroom can be a less intimidating and more supportive environment.
  • Everyone person has a chance to hone and develop leadership skills.

Kinds of PM Project

Teachers who use the project management structure have the opportunity to offer their students a myriad of experiences. These include:

  1. Authentic Learning Experiences
    • Solving real life problems for the school or community
  2. Hypothetical Scenarios
    • Solving problems that have been created by the teacher or student
  3. Chapter-based Projects
    • Completing the tasks in a given textbook using the project management approach

Reference

Microsoft Corporation. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 June 2011.

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