Throughout this lesson students take note of the role of risk and incentives as factors found in all entrepreneurial pursuits. They will analyze, compare and evaluate personal characteristics of entrepreneurs. They will also develop a greater self-understanding as they determine if they have the traits found in successful entrepreneurs. Finally, students set goals, which will help them to become more entrepreneurial.

KEY CONCEPTS

Entrepreneurship, Incentive, Risk

STUDENTS WILL

  • Define the role of risk and incentives as factors found in all entrepreneurial pursuits.
  • Analyze, compare and evaluate personal characteristics of entrepreneurs.
  • Develop a greater self-understanding as they determine if they have the traits found in successful entrepreneurs.
  • Set goals, which will help them to become more entrepreneurial.

INTRODUCTION

In economics, a person who takes a risk to create a new product or develop a better way to operate a business is called an entrepreneur.

Classroom Activity

Write the quote "Big Wins Require Big Risks" from Bill Gates on the board or overhead. The quote is from Business @ the Speed of Thought 1999. Ask for several student volunteers to come to the front of the classroom. Place blindfolds on each student. After they are blindfolded, give one or several students in the audience extra credit vouchers. [You determine how much extra credit you will be willing to give]. Other incentives may be candy bars, monopoly money, and pennies, etc. Explain to the blindfolded students that they will have to go into the audience unassisted and disoriented and find the student with the extra credit voucher(s) or incentives. The rules are no running and when you come to a desk with a student you must ask, "Do you have the extra credit voucher?" The student must then respond, "I do not have the extra credit voucher" or "Yes, and you may have the extra credit voucher".

Class Discussion Blindfold Activity:
Printable Reproducible of Blindfold Activity Questions

1. Ask the student volunteers: Was it difficult to volunteer for something when you did not know the purpose or outcome? [Answers will vary]. Explain how you felt. [Possible feelings fear of the unknown, intimidated, insecure, cautious, etc.]
2. Ask the student audience: When observing the various students wearing the blindfolds, how did they differ in how they moved to pursue the extra credit points? [Some of the students were timid and very cautious others were aggressive and didn't act intimidated by being unable to see where they were going.]
3. Ask the entire class: What were the risks taken by the blindfolded students? [The students risked injury or bodily harm, and embarrassment].
4. Ask the entire class: What happened to the blindfolded students when they were given an incentive? [They moved in pursuit of the reward, they had a reason to take a risk].
5. Ask the entire class: Did some students behave more aggressively than others pursuing the incentives? What was the result of this behavior? [Some students were more aggressive and they received more of a reward.]

boardroomBring the attention of the students to the quote from Bill Gates you have written on the board or overhead. "Big Wins Require Big Risks" - Bill Gates, Business @ the Speed of Thought 1999. Discuss what the word "risk" means. Ask your students "what correlation they draw between the blindfold activity and the Bill Gates quote about risk. [If you are willing to be a leader and do something more than those around you, risking more embarrassment, money, time…and your idea works, the reward is greater than those who practice caution.]

MATERIALS


PROCESS

Activity 1: Risk, Incentives and Entrepreneurs Defined

Answer the following questions:

1. What is risk? [Risk is the possibility of suffering harm or loss, or following a course involving uncertain danger.]
2. What is incentive? [Incentive is something inciting to action or effort or factors, which may cause an increase in personal satisfaction.]
3. What do you predict will happen when an entrepreneur perceives that the risks outweigh the incentives?
4. What do you predict will happen when an entrepreneur perceives that the incentives outweigh the risks?

When an entrepreneur perceives that the incentives outweigh the risk, they are willing to move forward and act on their idea. Entrepreneurs are agents of change and the stimulus for economic growth. Entrepreneurs are creative and individualistic. They are thinkers who take their ideas and transform them into goods and services. Entrepreneurs are enterprising individuals who see opportunities and take risks in hopes of earning profits. When entrepreneurs take a risk and their enterprise is rewarded, new goods and services are developed that raise the standard of living for everyone.

Activity 2

Three Entrepreneur's Life Stories
In this online activity students will analyze, compare and evaluate personal characteristics of entrepreneurs by reading their life stories.

When reading the life stories of the three entrepreneurs, students are asked to determine what type of character traits entrepreneur's have which made them successful. Students are asked if they have dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur and to discover what it takes by reading and identifying with the entrepreneurs in the stories.

computer1. How is it possible for an individual to become the wealthiest man in the world in 24 short years? Read the online l ife story of Bill Gates , and then complete this interactive activity.

2. Read about Fredrick W. Smith online and then complete this interactive activity. Today, FedEx Express handles 3.3 million packages and documents every night. FedEx couriers log 2.5 million miles a day, the equivalent of 100 trips around the earth! Maybe Fredrick Smith was lucky because he hit upon a great idea at just the right moment in time. How could a young mother with no business experience whose only claim to fame was she could make a great chocolate chip cookie become a successful entrepreneur?

cookies3. Read about Debbi Fields , the original cookie lady, online. In the beginning, people told her that her idea was crazy. But, her idea started as a small business and continued to grow. It is now the premier chain of cookies and baked goods. What were some of the things that played a role in the success of Debbi Fields as an entrepreneur? Debbi Field's followed her own advice and became the best at what she loved to do…bake cookies! Okay, maybe a mother would have an advantage over someone who attends high school full time. How could a student have the time to become a successful entrepreneur?

Activity 3

How Entrepreneurial are YOU?
This online entrepreneurial self-evaluation activity will help students gain a greater self-understanding as they determine if they have the traits found in successful entrepreneurs. Have them read each question and select the sentence that describes them the best. Then, have them circle their answer. An online copy of this activity can be found here. If your students need an online calculator to add up their score, click here .

CONCLUSION

cubiclesAn entrepreneur is a person who takes a risk to create a new product or develops a better way to operate a business. Risks are one of the main incentives when trying to "make it big" in the business world. Entrepreneurs are unique individuals who are creative, opportunity seekers, and people who are willing to take a risk when the possibility of great profit is at hand. Perhaps you or some of the people in your class are entrepreneurs. Many ideas and products would not be here today without the driven, motivated, and focused entrepreneurs to pave the way for their success.

ASSESSMENT ACTIVITY

Students will read the poem by Denis Waitley from "Seeds of Greatness," which appears on page 198-199. Then, students will write an essay about becoming more entrepreneurial and coming up with ideas and strategies for accomplishing their goals. A copy of the poem can be found below. Once the students have finished their essays, have them turn them in to you.

"If You Think You Can, You Can"

You can be a total winner, even if you're a beginner,
If you think you can-if you think you can, you can;
You can wear the gold medallion, you can ride your own black stallion,
If you think you can-if you think you can, you can;
It's not your talent, or the gifted birth,
It's not your bankbook that determines your worth;
And it isn't the color of your skin,
It's your attitude that lets you win!
You can upset McEnroe or Austin, win the marathon in Boston,
If you think you can, you can-if you think you can, you can;
You can profit through inflation, you can redirect this nation,
If you think you can, you can-if you think you can, you can.
It doesn't matter if you've won before,
It makes no difference what the half-time score;
It's never over 'till the final gun,
So keep on trying and you'll find you've won.
Just grab your dream and then believe it,
Go out and work, and you'll achieve it;
If you think you can, you can-if you think you can, you can.

EDUCATOR REVIEWS

  • “I think this poem tells me that I should try by best, even if I am in a difficult situation. If I keep trying, I can do it. I can win and gain not because of what I am, but what I think I am. This poem basically says I need the drive to do stuff in order to be successful.”

    Li Men   POSTED ON May 31, 2006

  • “I truly found this website to be an asset to me. Thank you for sharing!”

    Tamala Hartsfield, Raleigh, NC   POSTED ON October 19, 2006

  • “Thank you for sharing your lesson. This lesson helped me brainstorm classroom activities for a presentation.”

    Kimberly T., Chicago, IL   POSTED ON November 21, 2006

  • “I really like what this had to say, some things that I
    put, when compared to the others, made me want to try
    harder and do better! So thank you for the encouragement!”

    Savannah E., Midvale, ID   POSTED ON June 29, 2009

  • “This lesson taught me what to look for and how to become a successful entrepreneur. I feel that reading through this made me feel like I learned something.”

    Mariah B., Midvale, ID   POSTED ON February 3, 2010

  • “I feel that reading this I learned that so many things are possible with hard work and dedication. I feel inspired to do more and try harder at everything I do now.”

    Mariah B., Midvale, ID   POSTED ON February 3, 2010

  • “I think this would be a great reading tool for our business students”

    Nick, St. Petersburg, FL   POSTED ON April 5, 2010

  • “Great lesson to do on the heals of factors of production!”

    Jeff W., Fishersville, VA   POSTED ON September 15, 2012

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