Building entrepreneurial skills at school
My counterpart and I brought a group of 4 students to the Construye Tus Sueños (Build your Dreams) Entrepreneurship fair in Barranquilla on August 31 to present their project. The students developed a school cooperative that was focused on taking care of the environment through the recycling of paper, plastic, and cardboard generated at the school. My school does not have an entrepreneurship teacher, however both my counterpart and the rector are very supportive of this initiative. My counterpart is the agropecuaria (farming) teacher and she has been a tremendous help. We have been working with two 11th grade classes since the beginning of the year with the Construye Tus Sueños manual. I utilized the CTS pretest as the assessment tool, so this was given to the students at the beginning of the course and will be administered again at the end of the course.
Before the mid-year break we picked 4 students who had shown great interest, commitment, and participation in class to represent the school in the fair. The students worked together on the varying aspects of the cooperative from the analysis of F.O.D.A, mission and vision to the logo and marketing plan. Both my counterpart and I were at every meeting to help guide the students and answer questions. It was great to see the students implement the lessons learned in class to the project. They assigned tasks each meeting to be completed by the next meeting and at the end had a complete project to present. The students each chose a part of the presentation to be the spokesperson for and practiced answering practice questions to be well prepared for the fair. This project is a practical way to teach entrepreneurship to the students. On the day of the fair the students were a little nervous, but they performed very well. The student who did the pitch was especially nervous, which was compounded by her being the very last pitch to present. Due to preparation, she rose to the occasion and delivered the pitch very confidently. The students presented their cooperative with passion and confidence.
I was very proud of my students because they delivered. I received compliments about how passionately and excitedly the students spoke. They were able to clearly present their project and answer questions, which demonstrated their knowledge of the material. They also had the opportunity to practice speaking in a professional setting. Additionally, the students learned about networking and had the chance to meet other young entrepreneurs from other towns. I think this was an invaluable experience for the students because it was something they had never experienced before. It also was good practice of skills such as public speaking that they will need to utilize in the world after graduating. The students enjoyed the event and shared this with the administration. These types of experiences give the students confidence and will hopefully excite other students to want to participate in similar events in the future. Also, my counterpart learned from the experience as well. This will help to create a culture of entrepreneurship at the school.