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Teaching Digital Literacy: Preparing Students for Entrepreneurship

10 Sep

Teaching Digital Literacy: Preparing Students for Entrepreneurship

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May 5, 2014 6:00:00 AM

We often hear from parents that traditional schooling doesn't prepare children well for the current economy. This blog post takes a look at how online school helps build entrepreneurial students and prepares them to build a successful and meaningful life-long career.

In today's economy with its ongoing number of businesses experiencing cycles of layoffs, downsizing, or outright closing their doors, one option continues to flourish: entrepreneurship. A March 2011 report by Forbes, in fact, revealed some startling statistics on the entrepreneurial trend in the United States:

  • Average of 320 new businesses launched every month per 100,000 adults.
  • New businesses increased the count to over 540,000 entrepreneurial endeavors every month.
  • Total number of entrepreneurs (as of March 2011) was at 11.5 million.
  • Nearly 30 percent of new entrepreneurs were in the 20-34 years age bracket, responsible for 270 new businesses every month per 100,000 adults.

A more recent article in Forbes (December 2013) shared even more good news for aspiring entrepreneurs in the startup phase:

  • Over 20 million "non-employer" businesses existed, with numbers increasing every day.
  • Value of successful startups was at an unprecedented high (as many as 25 to 40 or more, valued at $1 billion or more).
  • Funding was more readily available for early startup endeavors.
  • Cost of initial startups was at an all-time low (often just the cost of creating and launching a website).
  • Social media was a key ingredient to the success of startup entrepreneurial endeavors.

Prepare to Join the Entrepreneurial Success Ranks

How do students prepare to be entrepreneurs, use digital literacy, and join this successful business trend? The good news is, successfully completing online high school is an important first step in acquiring essential skills.

Why is this true? Consider the following points describing how online high school students receive training in foundational skills that naturally prepare them for entrepreneurship:

  • Creative writing and in-depth research skills prepare budding entrepreneurs to write compelling narratives to inject their own personalities and ideas into their entrepreneurial endeavors.
  • Honing their research skills prepares startup entrepreneurs to do crucially important market research, and to gather and analyze data to help them determine the viability of their prospective businesses.
  • Setting their own schedules and choosing classes prepares students to manage their time well and make wise choices, both of which are essential skills for entrepreneurs.
  • Interacting online with peers and instructors prepares students for necessary interactions with consumers and others who might be integral to the startup phases of new businesses, as well as their ongoing success.
  • Engaging with others through social media also prepares students to attract and engage with potential customers or clients.
  • Committing to the necessary hours of hard work throughout online high school studies, achieving academic success, and graduating, all prepare students for the typical long hours required of entrepreneurs, often outside of "normal" work hours.
  • Gaining confidence in their abilities and their ideas for businesses prepares upcoming new entrepreneurs to enter the business world and establish their place among competitors.
  • Working from global "at-home" offices prepares students for the entrepreneurial world in a global community.

Take Away Tips

To succeed as entrepreneurs, online high school students already receive training in foundational skills throughout their education. Keep the following in mind:

  • Online school trains students to develop strong creative writing and in-depth research skills.
  • Online school prepares students to manage their time and make relevant, suitable choices.
  • Online school provides opportunities for students to interact and engage with others, to develop social skills, and to communicate effectively in an online setting. 
  • Online school introduces students to the concepts of working hard, investing many hours of effort, developing the initiative to follow through, seeing important tasks through to completion, and achieving goals.
  • Online school inspires confidence in students and "can do" attitudes.
  • Online school immerses students in social and professional media platforms, preparing them to conduct business in an interconnected global community.