I have repeatedly observed remarkable core transformations in girls of all ages who take part in the entrepreneurial exercises of VentureLab. We are demonstrating that entrepreneurial education holds a key to sparking girls’ interest in engineering, computer science, and technology by…
- Making these subjects real and relevant as girls learn to “think like entrepreneurs” about subjects that matter to them
- Encouraging curiosity, perseverance and grit, important traits in these fields
- Providing opportunities for girls to learn from failures and become wiser each time, as successful entrepreneurs and scientists do
- Introducing career possibilities in fields that girls might not otherwise even know to consider, casting themselves as engineers, computer scientists, technology leaders, and entrepreneurs, and visualizing their success
Our goal is to teach girls to think like entrepreneurs, to anticipate needs, to innovate and try things that they know might fail. We’ve found that when girls are exposed to entrepreneurial thinking, a profound change takes place in them. They become aware of opportunities around them, they learn to problem-solve, they think critically and creatively, and they become more confident in their ability to tackle challenges.
We have now taught entrepreneurial concepts to hundreds of girls—and boys. We walk them through the process of identifying needs, creating solutions, and taking calculated risks. “What if…?” we ask, and ask again, pressing to break down mental silos.
We encourage girls to stretch their imaginations, to allow room for their gut feelings and intuitions as well as logic.
Girls learn to look around their worlds and notice problems, snags, or everyday processes that could go better. It’s what Amy Wilkinson in The Creator’s Code calls “find the gap,” one of the key characteristics of the 200 entrepreneurs she interviewed.
I’d love to hear from you about your experiences with the girls in your life, and how they respond to challenges. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate your comments.