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Thinking on the Entrepreneurial Mindset

As summer hastily approaches and the end of the school year ramps up, I find myself reflecting on the work my students have done this year and how they will continue that through the summer break. In my full-time job, I work for an organization called BUILD is an organization that empowers students to develop and run their own small businesses. Student teams operate school-based business incubators. Students are the CEOs, CFOS, CMOs of their own startups. We believe that entrepreneurship is not just an important subject to learn in a world full of innovation but also a profession that teaches important 21st century skill sets for post-secondary success.

BUILD students are provided with individualized academic support and business coaching, supported by mentors who work with our young entrepreneurs on a bi-weekly basis. While entrepreneurship is the subject that gets young people hooked, diving into this area becomes so much more as skill development, college and career success become the major outcomes of the endeavor. As the Program Associate at BUILD Metro DC over and over, I get to witness this mission in action and the power entrepreneurship can have in the lives of young people on a daily basis. As I see these practices getting popularized in the world of education and social and emotional development, I can’t help but bask in the outcomes I get to witness as a result as the year ends.

Their business ideas to their peers, educators, family and more. In the BUILD selling events, the magic in our students’ eyes is apparent. Watching them take pride in a business they built and a product they produced with their own hands as a member of their team, is the single best part about my job. There is much to be said about the positive effects entrepreneurship has on young people. The problem solving skills one develops is essential to success in school, careers and beyond. From going through the empathizing phase and understanding what it means to be civically engaged, to the ideation phase full of creative innovation and product design and then finally presenting their business to the world; the process of entrepreneurship is difficult and extremely rewarding.

Often times entrepreneurship is one of the few things that students would actually like to continue to pursue this summer even after their graded class has ended.. Even Pingry is getting in on the entrepreneurial fun with their amazing summer camp offering this summer, Thinkertown! Through the invigorating Thinkertown experience, campers build a small town and engage in real-world concepts through role play and experiential learning to develop 21st century skills! These are the same skills BUILD tries to implement in every one of our lessons. Thinkertown is not only full of SEL and entrepreneurial thinking but also filled with hands-on sports, scavenger hunts and adventurous activities. As an entrepreneurial program, Thinkertown excellently entrenches the idea of “hidden-academics’ ‘ throughout its jam-packed two-week sessions. Join Pingry at the Short Hills campus to engage in all of the Thinkertown this July 26th through August 5th.