I Can Be an Entrepreneur
This lesson printed from:
Posted October 30, 2003
Grades: 3-5, 6-8
Author: Patricia Bonner
Posted: October 30, 2003
Updated: May 6, 2010
Learners are given advice on how they can earn extra money by becoming an entrepreneur. After investigating several web pages that offer examples of what other people their age have done to earn money, students identify three money-making ideas for themselves such as: considering what they would enjoy doing, what they do well, what people are willing to buy, the need to set a price that will be profitable, and safety. In a follow-up activity, students are given tips on how they might advertise what they are selling. They prepare flyers to promote one of their ideas for earning money. For an introduction to earning and other ways people get money, the instructor may want to first use the lesson 'Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees.'
- Select three businesses they believe can be successful for them and support their ideas with reasons why.
- Create a flyer promoting what they are selling.
Discuss the following with your students: There are two basic ways to earn money. One way is to make or gather something that others are willing to buy. The something you make or gather is called a good. The other way is to do work that others are willing to pay you to do. This work is called service. Maybe your family gives you money for doing household chores like dusting, washing the dishes, or feeding a pet. The amount of money your family is willing and able to pay you is probably limited. Have you ever tried to sell a good or service to people outside your family -- perhaps to friends or neighbors? If you have, you were probably an entrepreneur.
The dictionary says an entrepreneur is, "A person who organizes and manages a business, assuming the risk for the sake of profit." In short, an entrepreneur is a businessperson who does these things:
- Sees an opportunity for making money
- Makes a plan
- Starts the business
- Manages the business
- Receives the profit
A business can be a big company that makes televisions or computers. A business can also be small such as a neighborhood grocery store or a soft drink stand at a local ball game. In this lesson, your students will learn more about what entrepreneurs do and what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
There is substantial flexibility in how this lesson may be used. You may decide to have students focus on jobs that they can do to earn money in the classroom, school, neighborhood or a combination of these. This choice will be influenced by factors such as the age of your students, the economic circumstances of their families, student safety, and classroom time you wish to devote to the project.
Some teachers require students to follow through with their money-making idea trying to find customers for what is being sold. If you are not comfortable having students seek work in the community-at-large, you can direct them to identify a job they can do for classmates. Jobs are done during recess or special classroom time. Other educators allow students to sell to anyone in their school -- a school store is opened or there is a special market event. Another option is a school fair (perhaps on the evening a PTA meeting is being held) where parents are invited to meet students and learn about the goods and services being sold.
Activity 1: Choosing a Business
- What jobs did you choose to earn money?
- Why do you think they will be successful?
Create a graphic organizer that organizes the students' into categories -- [ie:, Enjoyable, Profitable, Consumer Demand, Parents Approve.]
For ideas on what others your age are doing to earn money, visit these web pages:
- Kid's Money Making
A page managed by KidsMoney.org where young people share money-making ideas and advice.
- Summer Jobs for Kids
Disney Online's Family Fun web site suggests tried and true ideas as well as some more unusual, creative ideas.
- print copy of this list.
Activity 2: Letting Others Know What You Are Selling
Have the students choose one money-making idea and create a flier that advertises what they are selling. Emphasize the elements that they will want to include in their flier.
- Pictures, words and other things that catch people’s attention.
- What they are offering.
- Their qualifications for doing the job.
- Why customers might like or use what they are selling.
- What their good or service costs.
- How to contact them -- usually a phone number if they are providing a service.
This is an ideal project for helping students to build word processing, publishing and other computer technology skills. It is your choice whether the entire project or selected elements of it-such as creating graphics and text-will be completed on the computer. If access to computers is limited, the fliers can also be completed in a more traditional manner with colored markers and paper. Students can draw pictures or cut them out of magazines.
Post students' completed fliers. Have them report to their classmates their money-making idea and how they would use the flier they have created. Discuss appropriate locations for the fliers.
Assess students completed worksheets for Activity 1. Consider the student’s reasons for choosing their jobs, the likelihood that they would be successful, and their neatness, grammar, spelling, accuracy of mathematics, etc.
Elements that might be included in an assessment rubric for the promotional flyer include: originality, inclusion of required elements (e.g., what is being sold, contact information, price), design elements (layout, graphics, lettering), mechanics (spelling, grammar, neatness), and appropriateness of information.
If your students want extra money, becoming an entrepreneur may be a solution for them. Have them keep their eyes and ears open -- they will be surprised how many opportunities for making money will pop up at home, at school, and in their neighborhood! Keys to a successful entrepreneurial experience are finding something they like to do that is safe and that others are willing to buy; it is also crucial to set a price that will yield a profit, and to spread the news on what they are selling.