The needs of our students are at the center of everything that we do at VentureSchool. From the design of our learning experiences to the structure of the organization itself, everything has been crafted with student needs in mind. Ultimately, we want all students who participate in VentureSchool programs to be prepared for success in college, career, and life — and to assume the responsibility of becoming Detroit’s next generation of doers.
Entrepreneurs, according to our definition, are people who bridge the gap between the way things are and the way people want them to be. Ultimately, entrepreneurs add value. With this definition in mind, everyone has the potential to apply entrepreneurial thinking to create value for themselves and for others. It boils down to having the right knowledge, tools, and skills to add specific kinds of value in a variety of contexts. Therefore, when we teach entrepreneurship, we emphasize developing skills as opposed to strictly starting businesses.We challenge our students to unleash their entrepreneurial potential, step outside of their comfort zone, and challenge themselves to see problems as possibilities and obstacles as opportunities.
At VentureSchool, we believe in the power of learning experiences to amplify the heartbeat of communities. Furthermore, we believe that a community that learns together grows stronger together. VentureSchool will not only be a place for students to grow as entrepreneurial thinkers, but for all people to use as a gathering place and resource hub in order to bring their ideas to life.
According to the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurial mindset provides young people with lasting advantages that can be applied to their academic success, career prospects, as well as their capacity to initiate something on their own.
Entrepreneurial mindset boosts educational attainment and performance. A 2012 report by the National Research Council suggests that entrepreneurial skills such as problem-solving and collaboration are important for academic success. Entrepreneurship education has also been found to “improve academic performance, school attendance, and educational attainment,” according to the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Corporation.
Entrepreneurial mindset is valued by employers. Entrepreneurial skills are employment skills. In today’s innovation-based (and oftentimes uncertain) economy, it is imperative that students have the ability to continually identify opportunities to generate value no matter where they go. A survey of over 400 employers found that the most prized skills in today’s workforce were not in the areas of technical knowledge, but rather communication, collaboration, initiative, and problem-solving. Ninety percent of the surveyed employers identified these skills as “very important.”
Entrepreneurial mindset is crucial for creating new opportunities. Early orientation toward achievement, innovation, and building strong social skills have been found to be predictive of the successful start and management of a business. Furthermore, nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs is essential for economic growth and strength.
Redefining Student Success
Our definition of success boils down to to 13 essential habits of success that we hope to develop in our students through VentureSchool’s educational opportunities. Each quality is grouped in one of three domains, detailed below:
CONFIDENCE IN THE FACE OF COMPLEXITY & AMBIGUITY
Comfort with Risk
Creative Problem Solving
Flexibility & Adaptability
Grit & Perseverance
Knowledge Acquisition & Application
INITIATIVE IN THE FACE OF OPPORTUNITY
Initiative & Self-Reliance
SELF-AWARENESS IN THE FACE OF DIVERSITY
Growth Mindset & Reflective Thinking