3 Ways Entrepreneurship Education Can Elevate Economically-Challenged Communities

I have believed for a long time that entrepreneurship education could be used as a strategic empowerment tool to lift up those in poverty-stricken communities. I’m very excited to see social entrepreneurship strategies being used all over the world to elevate people and communities out of their financial and social distress. Unfortunately, I don’t often see the same entrepreneurial energy and intentionality utilized here in the United States to help those who are challenged will lack of access to resources and tools that can help create new avenues of economic opportunity.

Entrepreneurship education is just as valid a poverty-smashing solution in urban communities in the U.S. as they are in slums in India or villages in Africa. Even more, when entrepreneurship education is paired with Biblical principles, you have the makings of people who are not just skilled as businesspeople, they also develop the morals and character to operate a business that’s profitable and positively impacts others.

Here are three practical ways entrepreneurship education can elevate economically-challenged communities:

  1. Sense of Ownership: Embedded within an entrepreneurial mindset is a sense of ownership. Entrepreneurs who operate businesses within a community usually have a heightened desire to take accountability for what happens in that community, because they know they need that community to succeed if their business is going to be sustainable.
  2. Sense of Purpose: Without a revelation of their purpose and significance, people cast off restraint and run wild (Proverbs 29:18 NIV). When people have no sense of purpose, they lose hope and stop caring about themselves and the people around them. Entrepreneurship education helps ignite the purpose in people to pursue something greater than what they may see around them everyday. Entrepreneurship education is an incredible platform to transport people from where they are to their God-ordained destiny.
  3. Creative Energy: People in poverty-stricken areas don’t lack creativity, they are just using their creative abilities far below the purpose for which God created them. Entrepreneurship empowerment can help people use their ingenuity beyond just basic survival or even criminal pursuits. Creative energy that wasn’t being used previously or being used for the wrong things are now channeled in a positive, beneficial direction for themselves and others.

We’re on a mission to stimulate the creation of 1 million jobs. If you want to learn more about how we’re using entrepreneurship education to elevate urban and rural communities, check out The (Un)Employment Alternative. We’re raising money right now to bring entrepreneurship education to Cedartown, GA so we can create jobs, restore hope, and revitalize that community. We need your help. Please partner with us today!

What do you think? How can entrepreneurship education help your city or community?

*******************

Fulfill your purpose in the marketplace!

Your true life does not have to be only a dream, it can be a dream manifested in 3D! Learn how to Discover, Define, and Drive your desires by unleashing the God given muse to help you envision yourself in a B.I.G. way. God designed you for greatness so stop dreaming small. Uncover your legacy. Now is the season for a Bold Innovative God-Inspired Life! You owe it to yourself to see just how far your true dream in life can take you.

KBU Partners with Local Community to Launch Innovative Jobs Program

What is The (Un)Employment Alternative?

This is Kingdom Business University’s (KBU) ambitious plan to stimulate the creation of 1 million jobs through faith-based, purpose-centered entrepreneurship education. We are starting in Cedartown, GA. Help us today at www.theunemploymentalternative.com.

The Impact
The vision of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Cedartown, GA – a diverse group including pastors, entrepreneurs, social workers, and city officials – is to use entrepreneurship education as a catalyst to bring social and economic empowerment back to a region that is challenged with crime, unemployment, poverty, and lack of opportunities. They have partnered with Kingdom Business University to provide entrepreneurship classes that will restore hope, launch new businesses, create jobs, and catalyze new opportunities for the unemployed, ex-offenders, and youth who have been unable to find viable work and sustainable income sources.

What We Need & What You Get
Our goal is to raise $2500 on IndieGogo, which will pay for the first 30 participants. The more we raise the more people and can teach. Our desire is to offer this program at a minimal financial cost to the participants, although they will be asked to invest in this opportunity in other ways, such as community service. The amount will go towards:curriculum, facilities, supplies, and other related expenses. Additional funds will also be applied toward establishing a business incubator that will provide on-going support to graduates.

We have some great perks for those who contribute at the $25, $100, and $250 levels. Just look to column on the right side of this page www.theunemploymentalternative.com ▶

Other Ways You Can Help
This project is just the beginning. We aspire to help communities around this country implement their own economic recovery plan. In addition to your donations, help us spread the word. We are more than willing to come to your city, community, or church to talk about this innovative program and how we can create a customized version for your city.

[youtube:http://youtu.be/RdJ76j00pE4%5D

*******************

Fulfill your purpose in the marketplace!

Your true life does not have to be only a dream, it can be a dream manifested in 3D! Learn how to Discover, Define, and Drive your desires by unleashing the God given muse to help you envision yourself in a B.I.G. way. God designed you for greatness so stop dreaming small. Uncover your legacy. Now is the season for a Bold Innovative God-Inspired Life! You owe it to yourself to see just how far your true dream in life can take you.

Fund the Fight Against Unemployment!


He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:10

The last few years have been extremely challenging for just about everyone. Loss seems to be the theme of the recession. Each of us knows at least one person who lost a job, a house, a family, self-confidence, and even hope. All of these losses have threatened the viability and sustainability of individuals, families, churches, and our communities.

God has given me a vision to bring renewal and restoration to our communities – spiritually, economically, and socially. There can be no restoration without all three of these factors working together. The S.E.E.D.S. for HOPE Fund, which stands for Spiritually Empowered Economic Development and Sustainability Soulutions, was established to provide faith-based training and development for the unemployed, underemployed, and misemployed in our churches and communities. Learn more about our specific initiatives at www.3hrive.com.

My goal is to raise $50,000 by June 1, 2011. This includes curriculum, training facilities, support services, travel, and administrative costs. Please consider donating any amount great or small to spreading the good news to our churches and communities. You can donate using the button below. Everyone who donates at least $50 will receive a free copy of my book, “Dream B.I.G. in 3D: How to Pursue a Bold, Innovative, God-Inspired Life!

Your donation will make a huge difference in accelerating the healing and restoration of many lives. Further, the eternal benefits attached to this vision are not only for those who will receive these services, but also for everyone enabling this vision to become a reality. And that prayerfully includes you.

Thrive on purpose,

Paul Wilson, Jr.

***********************

Fulfill your purpose in 3D!

Are you aware that up to 97% of Christians surveyed disclose that they don’t hear sermons or messages that specifically connect their work life to their spiritual life? Are you one of them? If so, Dream B.I.G. in 3D will be the missing link for you to activate your gifts, find your niche, and fulfill God’s calling for you in the workplace.

Educating Entrepreneurs

A few months ago I wrote a posting entitled, “Mirror Mirror.” The main theme of that article was the necessity of entrepreneurs to have a “continuous improvement” mentality. To stay competitive in this dynamic global marketplace, we always have to consider various ways to improve our knowledge and skill sets. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to figure out where to go to get the kind of training and development that we need to grow our businesses and ourselves.

Fortunately, help may be right around the corner from where you live. Every year there are a growing number of local colleges and universities which are providing special programs and workshops to help small business owners fill their knowledge and skill gaps.

Throughout the country this fall, similar to students from kindergarten to college, entrepreneurs are also going back to school. Businessweek writer Joyce M. Rosenberg noted in a recent article, “Small Business Owners Go Back to School“:

Colleges and universities around the country — junior colleges as well as the big-name schools — are an ever-growing resource for company owners looking to further their business education. And with many schools catering to small business owners, there is a huge range of individual courses as well as certificate and degree programs available. And many schools offer flexible-attendance programs and online learning.

Whether it be to improve your skills in technology, financial management, strategic planning, marketing, employee development or customer service, there is probably a course out there for you. Not only are these courses a good way for you to enhance your knowledge and skills, they are great networking opportunities. You will be able to build relationships with other small business owners while you are learning.

Entrepreneurs are leaders and leaders are learners. So, if you want to be an entrepreneurial leader, you need to make a commitment to become a life-long learner.

You might already be good at what you do, but you can always get better. Don’t make excuses for not growing. With so many flexible learning options, including online, night and weekend courses, there is no reason why you can’t take the time to improve yourself.

Don’t stop learning! The more you grow, the more you will position yourself for long-term success.

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

Resources:
1) Small Business Development Centers
2) SCORE

Tags: , entrepreneur

Youth Empowerment Training

In my last posting I introduced the concept of Community Development Visioneering. One critical group of people who are integral to the transformation of our communities is youth. Within this growing segment of the overall population is an army of talented, strong, intelligent group teens and college age students who are often misled, misused, misinformed and misunderstood.

It is almost absurd when I think of the amount of untapped potential that our young people possess that is wasting away. If we want a successful and prosperous society generations from now, then we had better start doing a better job of developing our youth today.

My vision for youth is to help them unleash their potential and find their personalized pathway to success. One way to accomplish this is through specialized education and training. I have created several inspirational presentations and interactive workshops that will equip, enrich and energize youth to change their world. These customizable, high impact programs were designed to help high school and college students discover their unique qualities, expand their vision, and catalyze their potential. Key topic areas include life planning, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

All of these sessions can be delivered as inspirational keynote addresses or interactive workshops.

  • Dream B.I.G. in 3D!™: A fun, interactive session to help high school and college students discover and develop their hidden talents, abilities, and interests in order to create a personalized life success roadmap.
  • Hi-Def Leadership™: This dynamic, high energy session was creatively designed to help students identify their personal leadership style, so they can increase and expand their influence and impact on their campuses and in their communities.
  • P3: Passionately Purposeful Profits™: An enlightening, high-impact session that will teach and inspire students to use their personal interests, creative abilities, and educational experience to BYOB… “build your own business.” They will learn how to find and flourish in their life mission by developing and launching a passionately purposeful and profitable mission driven business. Click here to learn more about mission driven entrepreneurship.

Contact me today to schedule one of these power-packed, transformational forums for your school, church, association, or non-profit. You can reach me at empowerment@biznovations.net.

I am very excited about these opportunities to help your students maximize their potential and drive positive changes on their campuses and in their communities!

Empowering Youth Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

Tags: , youth leadership, youth ministry

Kudos for YoungBiz

I would like to give a plug here for YoungBiz, who mission is to empower youth with entrepreneurial, business, and financial skills through innovative education and real-world experience.

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a teacher training session for one of their youth entrepreneurship courses. I was very impressed with the knowledge, skills, and experience of the trainer, Juan Casimiro. He not only focuses on the principles of owning and running a business, he helps youth start legitimate enterprises. YoungBiz reinforces and augments what students are learning in school through the real-world application of math, reading comprehension, writing, leadership, and creativity among other things. They take a sincere interest in the long-term success of youth, and not just try to push them through a curriculum.

Looking at the current conditions plaguing our youth and the long-term prognosis of our communities, if these situations continue unchecked our communities will continue to deteriorate. We have to implement innovative and effective methods that empower and prepare our youth for a successful future (see What Really is Empowerment?). Entrepreneurial skills, such as problem-solving, teamwork, goal-setting, and presentation skills translate into valuable life skills. Therefore, teaching them entrepreneurial skills can go a long way to redirecting many of our troubled teens toward positive paths that will lead to their long-term success, rather than in the direction that many are now heading (see Next-Gen Entrepreneurs).

If you are a parent, teacher, or community leader who would like to get your youth interested in something more productive than playing video games and watching music videos, I would definitely suggest finding out if YoungBiz entrepreneurship training is being offered near where you live. Even if they never start a business, the skills that they learn will carry them far in terms of helping to shape them into productive, successful leaders who have a positive impact on the community.

Let’s not just talk about it, but let’s do more to positively impact our youth by creating opportunities and environments for their success. Please contact me if you would like some help with getting in touch with someone at YoungBiz. I am more than happy to do so.

Empowering You for Success,

Paul Wilson

Tags: , entrepreneur, empowerment, community development, youth entrepreneurship

Next-Gen Entrepreneurs

I recently had an opportunity to spend some time around a group of young people. It was very enlightening for me, because although they were very talented, they did not have the adult attention, guidance, and supervision needed to help them grow and develop in such a way that would allow them to maximize their gifts and abilities. Unfortunately, this is the plight of many of our youth today. So much of their talent goes unrealized, because they don’t have the right people in their lives to help pull the greatness out of them.

Personally, I consider myself more of a late bloomer as it relates to thinking entrepreneurially. Growing up I wish I had had someone to teach me the basics of entrepreneurship versus just telling me that best way to achieve success in life was to advance up the corporate ladder. If I only knew then what I know now about being able to create one’s destiny through entrepreneurship, the path I have taken might have been very different. Nevertheless, I am grateful for the experience, knowledge, and skills that I have been able to accumulate in corporate America; however, I definitely would have approached my career much differently.

This has led me to think creatively about possible ways to help our youth prepare a future that can have multiple paths to success, not just one. Here are some proactive steps that we can take to better prepare the next generation for a lifetime of success:

  1. More mentoring of our youth is needed in business, entrepreneurship, personal finances, and otherwise. These mentors should focus on helping our youth discover, develop, and maximize their gifts, abilities, and talents. They need to see the applications of skills that are both profitable and legal. They need to see positive role models that are making money and having a positive impact in their communities.
  2. Teach them what it means to be a true leader. Teach them how to apply leadership principles from a business and community perspective. Ethics along with social conscience must be at the center of these lessons.
  3. Develop them to be entrepreneurial thinkers. They need to learn to be problem-solvers, issue-resolvers, solutions-providers, and wealth-creaters. This will help to defeat the victim mentality that many of our youth have today. Learning to think like this is very important, because even if someone chooses to pursue a lifelong career in corporate America, they should still be entrepreneurial in their responsibilities and endeavors, providing a valuable return on (employee) investment to their organizations.
  4. Establish programs that can be integrated with their education that teaches entrepreneurial skills. If they cannot be integrated effectively in schools, then they must be community based. We need more thought leaders that can contribute innovative and creative ideas to the development of these types of programs.
  5. Help youth to start their own businesses. Current entrepreneurs should be on the forefront of this initiative, donating their time, talent, and resources to see that the next generation of entrepreneurs early on gets the knowledge, information, and other essentials needed to be successful in business and life. This will have positive economic and social benefits throughout the community.

If we look at various people groups around the world, and particularly in the U.S., part of their entrepreneurial success has been the fact that their businesses have been transferred generationally, allowing the next generation to continue to expand the wealth base that had already been created. African-Americans need to establish our own legacy of passing down profitable, successful businesses from one generation to the next in order to create generational wealth. We need to catch the vision and not just think about our own success, but of the future opportunities for success for our youth. Intentional action must be taken by those with the talent, resources, skills, and influence to position our youth to carry the mantle for generations to come, so that we will be able to realize the promise of the “latter house truly becoming greater than the former house” (Haggai 2:9, paraphrase).

Tags: , entrepreneur, leadership, youth entrepreneurship, youth ministry