Now more than ever, high school students are seeking extracurriculars and ways to pass their time. I have been able to personally pursue my interest in entrepreneurship with my business partners, as we have spent these months preparing to launch our project, Munch.
High school startups are surprisingly common as avenues for students to combine their interest in business with their personal passions; including technology, school, and sports. Despite the work it takes in creating a startup while managing an academic life, many students involved in entrepreneurship ultimately benefit from their experiences as they find themselves more prepared for entry into the workplace.
A vast amount of high school students learn entrepreneurship and greatly benefit from competitions or venture challenges, which often provide funding and investments for winners. Many participants have found these competitions to be beneficial in attaining traction for their business. From participating in these events, students are able to hone their skills in pitching and general public speaking. Additionally, they are able to practice how to interact professionally, as they would in the workplace.
Another positive benefit from working on a business is being able to discover what one is interested in; startups are involved in many different subjects and the process of working on a business allows for the opportunity for students to explore interests and potential careers more than they would in school alone. Additionally, this experience allows students to both pursue these interests while finding out how they apply to business, integrating feasibility and real-world use.
Further skills are also learned by the financial needs involved in a startup. Being able to realistically create financial projections and learn the essentials a business needs, is a skill students are often required to have in competitions and pitches. Since founders of a business will need to rely on these projections, this teaches students to be realistic with their expectations and be financially conscious of their needs.
Although there are many benefits to be gained from working on a business, there are also obstacles. Inexperience and financial limitations can be a problem for many students, as they struggle to manage their academic schedule. Many modern schools have recognized the need for entrepreneurship in students and host programs and opportunities for them to channel and grow their interests in business. Organizations like FBLA, the Future Business Leaders of America, for example, provide many events for students to practice and prepare for real business skills. It is through these programs that students are introduced to entrepreneurship and learn how to create business plans, give speeches, and conduct interviews.
Although these options do not provide the complete experience of founding a startup, they are extremely valuable opportunities that should still be considered by any student passionate about business. Gen Z is cited to be one of the generations most interested in changing the world and pursuing innovation, and it is through business experience that students can prepare for or create such a change.
Lauren Yu, Grade 10
Brea Olinda High School