Elyse Burden, Co-founder
Real World Scholars
HundrED shortlisted this innovation
Why did you create this innovation?
During a time when the entrepreneurial mindset and skill set are critical for students to adapt to evolving world and workforce, many aren’t given the chance to gain the experience and 21st skills they need to thrive. We developed EdCorps – which allows any K-12 classroom to start a student-led business – in order to make hands-on entrepreneurial learning a possibility for any classroom.
How does your innovation work in practice?
Every EdCorps educator receives access to the EdCorps Dashboard (a classroom-friendly e-commerce platform), seed funding, and the curricular resources needed to help them start a business with their students. Because the program is flexible, educators can outfit it to student interest or an existing project, creating opportunities for a relevant, student-driven learning experience.
Students work together and can use a variety of tools and resources to navigate their entrepreneurial journey. Along the way, they’re encouraged to connect their work with people beyond the classroom – like mentors, customers, and partners in their community.
Students determine how they use their profits – i.e. how much they invest in their business and how much they give back to their community. EdCorps has supported 550+ student-run businesses in 34 states, creating almost $400,000 in profits for local communities and powerful 21st learning experiences for over 48,000 students.
How has it been spreading?
Since launching EdCorps as a flexible, hands-on entrepreneurship platform in 2015, there has been national interest. Across K-12, educators are finding ways to use entrepreneurship for core learning, student engagement and whole child development. As a result, one student-run business at a school often becomes two or three. Today, there are communities of EdCorps educators nationwide, in places like Pittsburgh, Chattanooga, and San Diego. Additionally, partnerships like the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools EdCorps Initiative have allowed us to support educators integrating entrepreneurship in skilled trades classrooms. With Communities of Practice formed around both geography and content area, we look forward to finding more partners looking to support students unlocking their potential.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
If you are interested in bringing EdCorps to your classroom, school, or community, visit our website at www.realworldscholars.org. You can also contact Real World Scholars by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org