How Entrepreneurship Works to Build Soft Skills and Prepare Students for Life After the Classroom

By: Zeke Dumke IV, Managing Parter at Dumke Law & SKC Chairman

Entrepreneurship is a current hot topic in broader society, but it is important for parents to understand that the opportunity to learn entrepreneurial skills goes well beyond creating new businesses. The skill learned through your entrepreneurship training applies across many areas
of life. After all, the core of entrepreneurship is about creating opportunities by solving problems. Here are some of the skills honed with entrepreneurial training.

Financial Literacy
Your child, and family, is well served in understanding sources and uses of the funds that support their life; the same way they need to understand the sources and uses of the funds they use in their small business idea. By breaking down actual versus projected income and expenses and creating a budget in the world of a small business, your child will build the skills and habits of thinking about money in a different, and perhaps more responsible, way.

Working as a Team
We all will have to work with those we do not get along with in our lives. Learning the skills to complete tasks with those you do not agree with, and may not get along with, will assist your child with interactions outside of their small business, but in their current schooling and for the years to come in their personal and professional lives.

Problem Solving
As stated previously, entrepreneurship is about identifying solutions to problems, and capitalizing on a solution. If you have a problem, there is a high likelihood that others have that same problem and will pay for a solution. This is not only a skill that can bring potential monetary gain, but a training of reframing how to view problems, that will come up in life. If early on in life you start to view obstacles as opportunities, you can build the skills and habits to see issues as opportunities.

Understanding Community Impact
When you are first starting an endeavor, it is very likely that your first customers will be friends and neighbors. This very real experience of having those in your community supporting your business, and seeing the impact of that local purchase, will help your children understand some very basic economics of community participation that can influence their purchasing decisions for the rest of their lives. This will, hopefully, not only influence their decision to “buy local”, but also the importance of supporting small businesses and non-profits. Many go through life unconscious of the importance of small businesses and non-profits in their communities. By being a part of that ecosystem, as both a seller and beneficiary of a youth entrepreneurship program, your child will have a consciousness of their impact from a young age.

At all levels of education and career beginnings, there is a dichotomy of needing to get the first job and that job needing so many years of experience. Youth entrepreneurship is, in my view, the best work around for this conundrum. Building your own business will provide a full spectrum of experience and perspective that will benefit a business at any stage or size. This experience cannot only help your children set themselves apart in applying to jobs or schools, but can also help them understand what they like, and what sort of training or role they would like to take on in the future. With so many immediate and future benefits gained by children in youth entrepreneurship programs, it should be a priority for all in the community to support the kid businesses and the organizations that assist them. You can support Start-Up Kids Club by clicking here.

About the Author

Mr. Dumke is an experienced financial and legal professional, with an expert understanding of family office investing, impact investing, private equity, and venture capital. Previously, Mr. Dumke founded and managed Reddo Capital Partners, a social impact investment firm and has worked with his own family office. While managing Reddo, he focused on real estate finance, private credit, consumer lending, and private equity. Mr. Dumke served as finance chair for a respected philanthropic foundation for a decade and is backed by a successful career as an attorney specializing in civil litigation and intellectual property, admitted to the Bar in the states of California, Texas, and Utah. Mr. Dumke has lead microfinance projects in Southeast Asia, where he was able to fuse his passion for social impact with his professional expertise. He is the founder and managing editor of Business Law for Managers and Entrepreneurs, in conjunction with the Business Section of the Utah Bar. He currently sits on the boards of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, SJINC Foundation, the Katherine and Ezekiel Dumke Jr. Foundation, and volunteers as an advisor to other non-profits in the field of venture philanthropy. He holds a BS in Business and Economics from Westminster College, an MBA from Bond University in Australia, and a JD from the University of San Francisco.