"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
What if for one day, you were tasked with the goal to think like an entrepreneur? To take a risk and create a business that solved a problem that you saw. What if you had to take an idea from a tiny speck of imagination to a living, breathing company? What if you were responsible for that small business, innovative startup, large corporation, or social enterprise? On November 19th, National Entrepreneurs' Day, the entrepreneurial spirit could be felt throughout grades and divisions at Carrollwood Day School. CDS successfully launched a school-wide initiative to have every student participate in an entrepreneurship lesson or activity and it was fabulous.
In elementary school, there were several activities. Some students learned how to take a big idea, nurture it, and change the world by reading "What do you do with an Idea?" by Kodi Yamada. Then they wrote down entrepreneurial ideas on a crown to signify the importance of those ideas. Other elementary students worked together in a balloon challenge with the goal to build the tallest tower using the least amount of money. There were even small business presentations by 5th graders that made us want to invest!
In middle school, students were tasked with an opportunity analysis activity of looking at an image and developing three potential businesses that solved a problem. Self-driving luggage with GPS devices, valet services in airports, and color-coded luggage were just a few of the ideas.
In preparation for the real world, all upper school students wrote and videotaped a 30-second elevator pitch with the hopes of gaining an internship, job opportunity, or a mentor. With the task of keeping it under 30 seconds, students had to figure out how to "sell themselves" effectively.
At the end of the day, the initiative was a success, however, it was also evident that CDS students and faculty are entrepreneurial thinkers every day. The way our students, from preschool to the senior class, approach challenges and obstacles can only be described as an entrepreneurial mindset. Time and again CDS students challenge themselves to improve their skillset. They fail and then they try and try again. So today and every day it is the inherent mission of CDS “to create entrepreneurial thinkers for a global society.”
Thank you to Lindsey Montague, Upper School Technology, Business Management, and Entrepreneur teacher for bringing this initiative to our school and for Tanya Layton and Jim Poulin, Innovation Specialists for helping to organize entrepreneurial activities for each class to participate in. Additionally thank you to all the teachers and administrators who facilitated these activities in the classroom.