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Facilitating entrepreneurial learning for students to be equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to thrive in the future of work.

Inspire X by Small Economy Works

Canada
Our culturally specific course curriculum & educator support platform takes a holistic ecosystem wide lens, putting students at the centre. Students learn vital technical skills through experiential process of starting an entrepreneurial venture that solves real social, economic and environmental problems. This leads to increased essential skills, community stakeholder collaboration and innovation
Introduction

Our vision is to see a world where young people in local communities everywhere are economically empowered and have the right skills to benefit from new opportunities within the changing economy.

“I never knew dreams were literally limitless and friendships could be as deep as the ocean. But more importantly, how teamwork and dedication could show huge results of success. ”

With the rise of automation and technological change, modern education systems may not be adequately preparing students for the coming shift in the labour market. Students will need to develop essential skills and competencies such as creativity, ingenuity, entrepreneurialism and resiliency - to grow into adults who are lifelong learners that can upskill themselves based on changing market conditions. We do this through an entrepreneurship and social innovation course that teaches essential technical topics through the experiential process of starting a business or social enterprise.  

We begin by taking the time to embed ourselves in a new context to learn about an institution and its community's history, changing circumstances, and discover hidden assets and possibilities for the future. We listen to youth, community leaders, teachers, business leaders, artists and others to capture their aspirations for their community and people. The course is developed through human centred design, co-creation and social labs: approaches which empha- size the first-hand scenarios and challenges local stakeholders have faced, in order to develop the course from their perspectives. 

Our ambition is to deliver a community-tailored solution that enable institutions such as schools to strengthen their communities through the entrepreneurial projects students will develop through the course. We work with local leaders to activate an entire community and turn it into an interacting support ecosystem of stakeholders, activities, resources and infrastructure to help young entrepreneurs do their best work. 

Our solution can be broken down into two outcomes: 

1. To upskill educators to support individualized, transformative learning that will advise students in planning their career paths, in mind with changing market dynamics 

2. To provide curriculum where students: develop the skills and competen- cies that future employers desire by using experiential learning through entrepreneurship development and future skills oriented curriculum 

We do this by making educators a huge priority so while we use technology, we take a blended learning approach. Teachers are trained on learning styles appropriate for future skills building and entrepreneurial learning. They’re also provided with a manual and digital hub that acts as a comprehensive infrastructure of support. Each module of the curriculum includes indicators, skills, concepts, background information, assessment guides, workshops, lesson plans, activities and many external resources. 

While we have a curriculum with over 15 detailed modules based on world class methodologies and focus areas related to entrepreneurship and social innovation— each version is customized to the school and contextual geography we work in. This includes effective strategies for experiential learning, cultural integration within business topics and support for student-led independent learning. The curriculum is meant to be iterative, where it is continuously tested to ensure effectiveness. We offer our curriculum in both hard-copy and digital versions so students can access it anytime, anywhere. 

Students will be exposed to a hybrid teaching approach that includes both classroom (synchronous) and online learning (asynchronous) methods. Participants will have access to an online curriculum portal specific to the course where they may enhance their learning with pertinent videos, quizzes and news articles related to the topic they’re learning. We also implement a digital collab- oration platform, where students benefit from working with other students, teachers, as well as local entrepre- neurs and businesspeople offering supplementary semi- nars, acting as subject experts and as mentors. Through the combination of these tools, we allow students to learn, share, and collaborate. 


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Innovation Overview
14 - 18
Age Group
300
Children/Users
1
Country
2015
Established
Not-for-profit
Organisation
288
Views
Tips for implementation
The course implementation begins with a social labs process that adapts the curriculum to local culture, values and lens of entrepreneurship. We work closely with each academic institution to implement the course curriculum and teacher training infrastructure within their existing frameworks.
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Entrepreneurial learning - Arctic Journal

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