Entrepreneurship Courses in OECD Country High Schools

January 2012

 This Month’s Topic:

Making Entrepreneurship Courses in OECD Country High Schools Mandatory

 What’s your take?


There is no doubt that entrepreneurship is needed for progressive economies. There is no one way to stimulate entrepreneurship so we must try on several fronts. Clearly education has a role. When secondary education is well-funded and employs skilled teachers it can be effective in exposing young minds to interests that they might not learn from the home—abilities in science, woodworking, painting, music, basketball etc. Unfortunately do to funding many of these programs have been eliminated or severely cut back.

It would be worthwhile to introduce teenagers to the glories and the realities of entrepreneurism. However this should not be done in the typical didactic mode. Instead, entrepreneurial role models from the community should come to the school to teach these classes. Also included on this entrepreneurial faculty should be accountants, lawyers and others who work with entrepreneurs. These should be people from the communities that the school serves so that those who wish to pursue entrepreneurial adventures can have access to these people outside of school. In theUSAwe have long had the Junior Achievement after-school clubs. The secondary schools can feed interesting students into the JA. Currently many secondary school students are not aware that JA exists in their communities.

Particularly important is an introduction to entrepreneurism for children of immigrant families. This group is ripe for entrepreneurism. Immigrants start businesses to serve their communities and, occasionally, these business expand in scope.

Of course this can only come about with secondary schools that do a good job in teaching all courses with adequate funding and a qualified and incentivized faculty. However close to the ideal secondary schools come entrepreneurism taught by community role models should be a requirement.


There is no question but what modified welfare capitalist states like those in the OECD need more and better entrepreneurs all the time, and long into the indefinite future.

Likewise, such states need “smarter,” better monitored, and endlessly dynamic regulations of start-ups, along with the provision of adequate funding (public and private), honest promotional standards, fair patent protections, and the cheering of the mass media – all of these “wish list” future-shaping items in too short supply.

The question before is asks whether such states also need to require secondary school courses in Entrepreneurship – a radical change in the world of teenage education. Futurists weighing the desirability of this option must first decide their position regarding the requiring of ANY sort of courses for teenagers,

By the time young people are high schoolers they should be respected for their hard-earned ability to decide for themselves what to study or pass up. They are now too old, and hopefully too mature to be led by the hand (or ear) much as was true and appropriate in the first few years of schooling.

Instead teenagers could be shown a high-quality video made by proponents, and another of equal quality made by critics of this option – a course in entrepreneurship – and left to make up their own minds. In this way respect is shown for their ability to assume responsibility for making their future – a key aid to the formation of sturdy character and independence of thought.

If the promotional film does its job, a certain percent of youngsters to opt to take the elective course, and the OECD state will be well on its way to having the recruits needed to bolster the ranks of entrepreneurs. Better still, by virtue of their being volunteers they are likely to bring to the course the hopefulness, curiosity, and creativity needed to make a post-high school go of it.

Meanwhile those youngsters who have chosen to pass on this elective can be encouraged to review many other courses of comparable value to a country’s future – and do with the enthusiasm of peers headed toward proud lives as entrepreneurs.

Futurists should lean in favor of CHOICE in all such settings, and vote against mandatory this or that when ever possible.

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