Creating Entrepreneur Programs for K-12 Students
The Leadership/Entrepreneurship in Indiana Schools, an online survey to high school principals in 181 school districts in Indiana’s rural areas, was conducted in the spring of 2012 to gain insight into the penetration of entrepreneurship and leadership programs within the rural school districts across the State. Administrators were asked to rate their concern with maintaining population to assure community viability, development of new businesses and industries, and finding people to take leadership roles within the communities. Respondents ranked all three of the attitudinal questions from “very important” to that of a “critical concern.”
The survey further noted a correlation between administrators’ perception of the importance of identifying future leaders with two other factors: the number of leadership/entrepreneurship programs available at the school and the proportion of students going on to post-secondary education. While approximately 90% of respondents indicated that at least one program was available, the majority of these programs tend to be extracurricular activities. School administrators expressed a desire to have additional information on the availability of programs which led RUEDI to create the Leadership and Entrepreneurial Program Directory.
Ongoing research by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a recognized leader in entrepreneurial activities, show that youth are optimistic about their economic future and are excited about the possibilities of one day owning their own business. Half of today’s teens and young adults admit that their education has helped them to better understand the role of business owners in the economy, fewer believe that their education has given them the necessary skills and know-how to start a business. Working with the Indiana Small Business Development Center, RUEDI sponsored a Launching Your Own Business Workshop for high school students in southern Indiana in the fall, 2013.