When girls (and boys) are exposed to entrepreneurial thinking, a profound change takes place. They learn to solve problems, to think critically and to recognize opportunities.
Take the example of a group of 5- and 6-year-olds who participated in a weeklong VentureLab summer camp. Very soon after learning that they could become entrepreneurs, these children decided to make and sell bracelets.
They used “Venture Bucks,” our class currency, to purchase pipe cleaners, beads and glittery trinkets from the in-class store. By noon on Day Three, they had made several beaded bracelets in bright colors as prototypes, and they felt proud of their work.
It was at that point that these children realized that they would have to stand in front of an audience of parents and friends to present their bracelets, and there was no escaping it.
Now they had a serious problem to solve: how could they calm their fears and anxieties enough to talk to an audience? How could they do it without succumbing to tears? It seemed impossible, but back to the store the girls went with their remaining $10 in Venture Bucks.
The children bought a small sack of colored feathers and incorporated them into the bracelet design. The feathers weren’t just striking additions. They were “calming feathers” that they could touch to calm their fears. Each girl wore a bracelet during the final presentation. Buyers weren’t just purchasing fuchsia, cobalt or purple bracelets. These bracelets had calming powers that the girls demonstrated right then and there, touching the feathers at their wrists in front of a room full of amazed parents and siblings.
Afterward, one father said he simply had no idea that his daughter had the capabilities he’d seen her exhibit in those moments.
Our popular culture can be crushing to girls’ confidence. Learning entrepreneurial skills builds girls’ confidence.
How have you helped build confidence in the girls in your life? What did this involve—and what were the results? I’d love to hear from you. Thank you for sharing.