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

Several student volunteers will come to the front of the classroom. Each volunteer will be blindfolded. After they are blindfolded, a few students in the audience will be given extra credit vouchers. Other incentives may be candy bars, monopoly money, and pennies, etc. The blindfolded students will have to go into the audience unassisted and disoriented and find the student(s) 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?" That person must then respond, "I do not have the extra credit voucher" or "Yes, and you may have the extra credit voucher".

1. Was it difficult to volunteer for something when you did not know the purpose or outcome? Explain how you felt.
2. When observing the various students wearing the blindfolds, how did they differ in how they moved to pursue the extra credit points?
3. What were the risks taken by the blindfolded students?
4. What happened to the blindfolded students when they were given an incentive?
5. Did some students behave more aggressively than others pursuing the incentives? What was the result of this behavior?

You can obtain a printed version of the questions by clicking on this link.

boardroomNow, look at the quote from Bill Gates that is 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.What correlation can you draw between the blindfold activity and the Bill Gates quote about risk?

TASK

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

PROCESS

Activity 1: Risk, Incentives and Entrepreneurs Defined

Answer the following questions:

1. What is risk?
2. What is incentive?
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 you will analyze, compare and evaluate personal characteristics of entrepreneurs by reading their life stories.

When reading the life stories of the three entrepreneurs, you should determine what type of character traits entrepreneur's have which made them successful. Do you have dreams of becoming a successful entrepreneur? 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 life 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 you gain a greater self-understanding as you determine if you have the traits found in successful entrepreneurs. Read each question and select the sentence that describes them the best. Then, circle your answer. An online copy of this activity can be found here. If you need an online calculator to add up your score, click here .

CONCLUSION

cubicleAn 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

Read the poem by Denis Waitley from "Seeds of Greatness," which appears on page 198-199. Then, 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 you have finished your essay, turn it in to your teacher.

"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.