An Introduction to Entrepreneurship: 6 Key Concepts to Teach.
Every person at some point in time is going to be introduced to the concept and practice of entrepreneurship. They will be introduced to it while in school ( early on if they are lucky), learning about it via standardized entrepreneurship courses, or by being glossed over ineffectively by some of their teachers throughout the years, as some nebulous idea that they will have to figure out on their own if entrepreneurship ends up being their “calling”. Then there is the ‘real world’ educator, which will introduce them to the subject as they decide to venture out on their own to forge their own futures, be it of necessity, or of their own desire to bring some new idea to the marketplace.
As such, I am writing this post particularly as an introduction to entrepreneurship for the former, for the educators who would like to introduce the concepts to students early on in their life, in a empowered and truly educational way, rather than later. As such, if you are one of these educators interested in teaching entrepreneurship to your students, the sooner you can learn the details related to entrepreneurship yourself, the better prepared you will be towards instilling in your students, the core concepts that they should be aware of to have a basic understanding of the subject.
With that being said, I thought I’d whip up a 6 key concepts for you to learn and teach as an introduction to entrepreneurship.
6 Introductory Entrepreneurship Concepts that Every Student Must Learn
The first concept that should be understood is the concept of business. Everything an entrepreneur does, revolves around the concept of business. As such one should know what business is at its most fundamental level.
- Business is the activity of making, buying, selling or supplying goods or services for money. In other words, a business is a commercial organization such as a company, shop/store or factory. One of the primary goals of business is to make money.
Businesses that don’t make money don’t stay around for very long. Another concept for making money in business is called revenue. A more detailed description of the concept of revenue is:
- Revenue is the amount of money that is brought into a company by its business activities. Revenue is calculated by multiplying the price at which goods or services are sold by the number of units or amount sold.
Equally important to the concept of revenue is the concept of profits. Profits are typically main goal of every business aside from fulfilling a need or problem that a customer has. A formal definition for the word is below.
- Profit is the money a business makes after accounting for all the expenses. Regardless of whether the business is a couple of kids running a lemonade stand or a publicly traded multinational company, consistently earning profit is every company’s goal. In short, Revenue – Expenses = Profit.
While the three definitions mentioned above are essential to understanding what entrepreneurship is, it is the following three definitions that need to be known to truly understand what entrepreneurship means.
Hence, if one of your students were to ask you, ‘What is an Entrepreneur’? Your answer should be the following:
- An entrepreneur is a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money. One who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise. The word Entrepreneur is derived from the French word entreprendre, which means “to undertake.” It ultimately has come to mean, someone who is willing to undertake a new venture in order to present an idea to the marketplace.
Now there are many types of entrepreneurs, but that type of detail is beyond the scope of this introduction. As such, I can provide that level of detail on another post.
Next, your students should be able to distinguish the differences between what an entrepreneur is and what an entrepreneur isn’t. One thing that an entrepreneur is not, is an employee. As such, the following definition of an employee should be conveyed to your students to give them a better idea exactly what an entrepreneur is.
- An employee is a person employed for wages or salary. Therefore, an employee is a person working for another person or a business firm for pay.
With your students new clarity on exactly what an entrepreneur is, now you can provide them with the details of exactly what entrepreneurship is. To summarize, you can give them the following definition.
- Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled. Including business situations where one engages in projects involving risk where profit is uncertain.
The concepts mentioned are just a few of the primary concepts that one must understand to truly understand what entrepreneurship is. Keep in mind that this information is not exhaustive of what entrepreneurship is in its entirety, and is meant only as an introduction. I also created this simple infographic for you to print or share with your students and/or colleagues.
If you are interested in learning more about entrepreneurship or teaching your students more about entrepreneurship concepts, please feel free to take a look at some of our other entrepreneurship resources like:
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