National Entrepreneurship Week

National Entrepreneurship Week
"Entrepreneurs are not 'born' ... rather they 'become' through the experiences of their lives."-- Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education

According to statistics released by the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, out of the 27 million businesses operating in the US, 20 million have no employees. Further, an additional 4 million businesses have less than five employees. For the seventh consecutive year, the Consortium is recognizing the importance of small business owners during National Entrepreneurship Week February 16-23.

Entrepreneurship is a crucial part of the economy. During the latest recession when the large corporations weren’t hiring, experts predicted that small businesses and the self-employed would spur the recovery. The challenge according to the Consortium is that needed entrepreneurial skills are not routinely taught in the classroom.

"Since small businesses have created the majority of new jobs over the last few decades, in this period of major economic restructuring it is essential that education and labor have a competency model focusing on essential entrepreneurial skills to help stimulate new business creation,” states Hank Kopcial, NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation and officer of the Consortium in a press release. “It is not enough to know how to fix a computer network or build a house, one must have the appropriate entrepreneurial skills to make it a successful business.”

According to Susan Rice, of the West Virginia Department of Education and President of the Consortium, "In an economy that is becoming more competitive, workers in every career cluster need an entrepreneurial skill set that ensures success.”

Similar advice is offered by Julie Morgenstern in her book Never Check E-mail in the Morning. “In every area, competition is fierce,” writes Morgenstern. “The new world of work is defined by a sense of fleetingness, interchangeability, and insecurity…Whether you have you own business or work for a company, in order to survive and flourish in this new world of work, you must think—and act—like an entrepreneur.”

The goal of the Consortium is to nurture “the entrepreneurial mindset” through the educational system. According to the consortium this will “build a pipeline of Americans that are prepared to create their own jobs when the situation is right for it.”

Founded in 1981 at the Ohio State University, the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education is a national membership organization that focuses on professional development for teachers involved in creating entrepreneurship education programs and activities in the schools.

The Consortium's National Entrepreneurship week website features pictures, stories, videos and an opportunity for visitors to nominate outstanding local entrepreneurs in their communities.

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