Being your own boss sounds appealing to students as they consider their future employment options. With 45% of Gen Z being very likely to start their own business one day, educators can help them realize their potential by teaching the entrepreneurship skills needed most. Traditionally, those skills have been associated with a particular mindset and level of experience. Those who struck out were often subject matter experts, independent, in control, and willing to take risks. However, Gen Z is changing everything.
That mindset has expanded in scope for today’s entrepreneurs—they're starting younger, are more interested in solving social issues, and have healthy doses of creativity and curiosity. The contemporary entrepreneurial mindset allows young entrepreneurs to be more versatile, adaptable, and collaborative: qualities they need to convert big ideas into marketable businesses.
Along with a new mindset, contemporary entrepreneurs also learn differently than their predecessors. Traditional teaching tools such as textbooks and case studies are no longer adequate to engage students in the curriculum. A more hands-on approach with real-world examples helps students relate and allows them to bring their own ideas and curiosity to the learning process.
To support students pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams, Intuit is working closely with educators to bring real-world tools and resources into their classrooms, including Design for Delight, Intuit's design thinking methodology, and QuickBooks Online for experience in managing business finances. Using these tools, educators can help develop five durable skills students can use whether they graduate to start their own business or lend their skills to companies looking for entrepreneurial-minded professionals.
Intuit’s Design for Delight teaches students how to connect with customers and use design thinking principles to innovate. It’s Intuit’s not-so-secret sauce, and we share it with educators and students to help support a new generation of problem-solvers. It gives students the tools to identify significant unsolved needs, gain customer empathy, run quick experiments with actual customers, test assumptions, pivot if needed, and much more.
- Develop deep customer empathy
A marketable idea solves a problem for your customers. Having a deep understanding of your customers and insight into their needs and wants is key to developing that big idea. Learning how and why to think like a customer encourages students to dig deeper into customer problems and find ways to solve them.
- Conduct rapid experiments with customers
Recognizing when things are working and when they aren’t is a valuable skill for young entrepreneurs that can be learned through experimentation with customers. Deciding when to pivot, abandon an idea, or experiment further helps use time and money wisely. Design for Delight teaches students how to structure rapid experiments, which questions to ask, and how to get feedback quickly.
- Know when to go broad vs narrow
When students learn to ‘go broad’, they’re encouraged to use their creativity and experiences to explore a variety of potential solutions to a particular problem. When it’s time to focus on the solutions most likely to succeed, they ‘go narrow’. Design for Delight teaches students the distinction and explains how going broad to go narrow allows you to identify and focus on the solutions most likely to delight customers.
- Collaboration for diversity and success
Most contemporary entrepreneurs don’t do it alone. They seek the ideas and input of others, bringing new insights and perspectives to the table. Often new perspectives help gain deeper customer empathy and expand the pool of new ideas. Through collaboration, students learn the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion and build it into their business mindset.
- A foundation of financial principles
Before students begin their entrepreneurial journey, they need a solid foundation of financial skills. Like design thinking, financial literacy can be effectively taught with a hands-on approach that leverages real-world examples to illustrate financial principles. QuickBooks Online gives students access to a tool used widely by businesses around the world. The software includes sample businesses that students can use to experiment, or with QuickBooks Online they can manage their own business. Educators access a variety of resources and tips for teaching personal finance skills with QuickBooks Online.
We believe in the power of real-world tools to create inclusive and engaging learning environments. We’re proud to offer QuickBooks Online and Design for Delight to afford students opportunities to develop and practice the skills needed to reach their full potential.
Gen Z approaches business differently and needs a new approach to prepare them for a successful future. We can help with a wide variety of resources including lesson plans, activities, templates, tutorials, teacher training, and certification programs, to help you teach modern entrepreneurial skills with QuickBooks Online and Design for Delight.