Nations are built on the sweat of entrepreneurs, with thousands of people taking on the entrepreneurial mantle each year through the financial risk of starting a business. As technology evolves, so do the types of businesses that entrepreneurs develop. For example, as awareness has grown about the impact of our population on the environment, a new form of green entrepreneurialism that focuses on protecting the environment has arisen. In order for this area of entrepreneurship to continue to take hold, it’s important to educate kids about the career options, while at the same time teaching about the importance of protecting the environment.
Green entrepreneurs work similarly to traditional business starters, only they focus their goods or services on options that reduce our impact on the environment, or combat the negative impacts that have already occurred to the environment. With so many options now available in green business, teaching children about the many options available to them increases their ability to connect green subjects to a child’s talents and interests. For example, green entrepreneurial opportunities exist in education, energy, sustainable living and green products, just to name a few. Share Stories
Inspire children by sharing stories of successful entrepreneurs in the sustainable field. Successful green business owners come from all walks of life, and all genders and ethnicity. Recognizing these facts allows kids to relate to entrepreneurs and makes the idea of becoming one more attainable. For example, you can share the story of Emily Wilkinson, who created Botlfilter, a portable water filter to help reduce the use of plastic water bottles and the waste they produce. Share the story of Seyi Fabode, one of the founders of Power2Switch, a website that educates its readers about the use and waste of electricity, as well as shares ways to reduce electricity use.
Allow children to experience green entrepreneurship first-hand through field trips. While options may be limited in some areas, children can learn more about green business through experiencing a trip to a local artist workshop who works with green materials or trips to factories that produce green energy products. Larger cities may have additional field trip options to institutes, universities or foundations that specialize in research and education about sustainable living. If no options are available, provide virtual field trips through visiting the websites of green entrepreneurs at home or in the classroom.
Take learning about green entrepreneurship to the next level by following up lectures or field trips on green subject with projects. Projects like class recycling or artwork with recycled materials can help children discover how important and fun living a sustainable and green lifestyle can be. This encourages future discovery and possibly may lead the child into a future in green business.
Starting early, with a general knowledge of both green living and entrepreneurship, provides the firm base kids need to not only be successful, but also develop into better stewards of our world. The more informed the children of today become, the better future they will have to look forward to.
- EnergyTeachers.org: Learning About Energy With Field Trips. http://energyteachers.org/ETODocuments/fieldtripguide-ma.pdf
- Idea Mensch: 26 Green Entrepreneurs Who Are Helping Our Environment. http://ideamensch.com/26-green-entrepreneurs/