St Agatha’s Catholic Primary School in Brisbane believes entrepreneurship can be taught with the introduction of a new class at the Clayfield school.
The first of its kind, the entrepreneurship class teaches students as young as Grade 4 about the mindset and skills required to be the next Melanie Perkins or Elon Musk.
The class is run by external coaches from First Pivot, which provides innovative education programs and pitching competitions for budding little entrepreneurs.
Students from Grade 4,5 and 6 are participating and more than 70 per cent of St Agatha’s students taking part are girls.
St Agatha’s Principal Anne-Marie Maw said she is thrilled to be introducing an entrepreneurship class and providing students with the opportunity to learn about business, financial literacy, growth mindset and collaboration through fun and thought-provoking activities.
“I have been so impressed with the program and the students’ engagement each week. Using hands on learning has developed each student’s persistence, resilience and reflective thinking skills as they have a go, try again and debrief on what worked and what didn’t,” she said.
“The skills students are learning through entrepreneurship are skills for life. Students are also inspired by their peers and the stories of entrepreneurs from around the globe to be brave, create, go out and change in our world.”
First Pivot chief executive officer Jim Schuman added that successful entrepreneurship isn’t just about starting companies; it is a set of skills and a way of thinking.
“Entrepreneurs see opportunity everywhere – a problem or challenge is an opportunity to help people – and the fundamental mindset and skills can most certainly be taught,” Schuman said.
“Children have a massive advantage too. In adulthood, we often tend to over plan our way towards a solution – whereas children just start doing straight away when presented with a challenge or problem, and this is really the ideal approach because the best entrepreneurs start making as soon as possible.”
Through hands on activities and challenges, the entrepreneurship class focuses not only on how to embrace the mindset of an entrepreneur but also the essential skills set, which includes teamwork, idea generation, opportunity analysis, market research, prototyping and pitching/public speaking.
Schuman further highlighted that Australia’s entrepreneurship culture has powered the economy and will be needed to help the nation through the economic and social challenges that the global pandemic has introduced.
“The government has invested heavily to support business ideas for adults. We believe it is equally as important for us to support and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in our youth. Planting the seeds and nurturing this next generation of entrepreneurs supports both their future and ours,” he added.