Entrepreneurs not only provide us with critical innovation and keep us at the forefront of global markets, they also create ways to gain financial independence. So why has the percentage of start-ups in the U.S. dropped significantly in the last 35 years?
We should do more to help potential entrepreneurs in places where domestic economies are too weak to assist. If we give this effort a higher priority in our country's foreign policy, we can create a healthier balance of world commerce.
In many ways, an entrepreneur's career is like a football game. Both combine a swift pace with a highly competitive atmosphere. The "game" is divided into four quarters. In the first quarter you assess the other team's strengths and weaknesses based on your scouting report.
Pat Craddick founded ParentJobNet "PJN" 9 years ago after leaving a career in finance to raise her daughter, Christina. While volunteering at P.S. 87 Elementary School on the Upper West Side, she found frustrated, under- or unemployed parents, disconnected from the workforce.
Year two of SUS kicked off in late June 2012. The studentsdove deep into the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. In addition to completing business plans, students accomplished one of the hardest things in the business world -- making their first sale.
"In life, there are rubber balls and glass balls and you are always juggling. Your family is glass, so you can't drop them. Many of your work projects are rubber balls -- the assignment will still be there tomorrow and you need to plan in advance."
Studies imply that more than 80 percent of dropouts would have stayed in school if they believed it was more relevant to real life. Learning how to run a small business can help kids see how their core classes aren't just cruel tortures from adults.
A successful replication will get your idea into the minds of others, where it can actualize, affect the world at large, and become an agent of change. If an idea has value, replicating it will be the best way to help others and change the world.
This incident, spontaneous as it was, showed me how to implement my idea -- which was that imparting the principles of entrepreneurship and small-business startup to inner-city children could dramatically improve their lives.
Last year, almost 23,000 students completed the entrepreneurship program and presented their individual business plans. The students started small businesses in such diverse areas as handcrafted goods, used cell phone resale, computer repair, recycling, restaurants, and farming.