Creating Social Value Blog / Youth Entrepreneurship

Why an Entrepreneurial Education Empowers Youth to ACTIVATE Their Futures

Every high school student is poised at a crossroad of possibilities. How can we, as educators, equip today’s youth with the confidence to define their sense of purpose and launch into their future trajectory in this ever-changing global climate? Working with more than 1,000 high school students who have experienced the transformative influence of our pre-college entrepreneurship programs, we think we have cracked the code.

In true entrepreneurial fashion, multiple program iterations, pivots, and field experiences led to our redefined ACTIVATE (Applying Curriculum to Innovate Ventures and Think Entrepreneurially) programming and curriculum, designed by Babson alumna and instructional design specialist, Janai Mungalsingh ‘08. But we didn’t stop there. To create maximum impact, we enlisted community stakeholders into this process. By engaging with high school educators, community organizations, local schools, corporate partners, and Babson affiliates, the Babson Youth Programs team is preparing the next generation of youth leaders to take on college, forge career paths, and change their communities.

Our ACTIVATE Curriculum: Applying Curriculum to Innovate Ventures and Think Entrepreneurially

The first step to becoming an entrepreneur is to understand what it means to be entrepreneurial. Using our twelve module curriculum, students first identify needs within their community and combine those needs with their individual values to create opportunities for entrepreneurship. Students then use technology as a tool to activate their ideas and communicate their process in a final pitch presentation for their business venture. This curriculum can be applied in the classroom, during after-school or commuter programming, or in an intensive residential college campus experience.

Innovative High School Entrepreneurship Programs

ACTIVATE in the Classroom: This project-based program is a hands-on opportunity for students to turn their ideas into action using the ACTIVATE curriculum. Through a combination of experiential learning, prototyping, analysis, and communication skills, students engage in entrepreneurial learning designed to connect their classrooms, communities, and future careers. To create maximum impact, educators are equipped with the methodology, technology, tools, and skills to help themselves and their students develop an entrepreneurial mindset.  Learn more about ACTIVATE in the classroom.

The Babson Boston Cup High School Pitch Competition: All high school entrepreneurs are invited to compete in Babson Youth Program’s annual battle of the ventures, The Babson Boston Cup. Teams identify opportunities for innovation, share with peers and industry experts about the value they are capable of adding, and ask for the resources they need to move forward. Winners receive seed money and the Cup trophy in their school for one year. Learn more about the Babson Boston Cup.

Residential Summer Study for High School Students: Hosted at Babson’s Wellesley campus, Summer Study is a four-week, college credit bearing, residential program for rising high school juniors and seniors from around the world. This immersive Entrepreneurship 101 living and learning laboratory gives students the opportunity to focus on entrepreneurial ventures that create social, economic, and environmental value. Learn more about Summer Study.

ACTIVATE Communities Through Corporate and Foundation Partnerships: We believe that entrepreneurship can be a tool to solve some of society’s greatest challenges. To help build the next generation of change makers, we partner with corporations and foundations who believe that business is a force for good. Babson Youth Programs customizes the ACTIVATE curriculum to foster collaborations between corporations, foundations, government, and community partners to empower youth to create the change they want to see in their neighborhoods. Read more about our Summer 2017 collaboration, The Verizon Innovative Learning Entrepreneurship Experience at Babson College.

The Result: Babson is Developing the Youth Entrepreneurial Mindset

Anyone who spends more than five minutes in the Babson Youth Programs offices will hear us talk about transformative experiences. That’s because students who move through the ACTIVATE curriculum experience growth that helps them transition into adulthood with confidence. An entrepreneurial mindset helps young people navigate ambiguity, apply creativity to problem solving, communicate their ideas, and see obstacles and opportunities. As the Youth Programs team, we understand we cannot stop there. We are dedicated to equipping teachers, recruiting trusted community organizations, and creating alliances with the right partners to give students access to the resources they need to become empowered to transform the world.