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Starting Young: Developing A Culture Of Entrepreneurship It is never too early to start nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit, and there are various approaches to foster its development.

By Helen Al Uzaizi

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


The significance and importance of entrepreneurship development is already widely recognized, yet even more so during these unprecedented times. Entrepreneurship is emerging as one of the fastest growing arenas across the globe, thanks to its positive impact on economic growth and employment opportunities.

It is never too early to start nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit, and there are various approaches to foster its development. Everyone is born with the potential to be an entrepreneur, and the sooner we begin developing the key traits that define a successful entrepreneur, the more likely a person will go on to make a positive impact when they enter the workforce, whether they pursue a career in entrepreneurship, or follow a more traditional path. Teaching entrepreneurial skills is not just about good business practices. We should think of entrepreneurship as a lens. Being an entrepreneur means seeing things for what they could be, not what they are. This way of viewing the world around us is incredibly important. It allows us to think differently and challenge the status quo– a staple for success. When this lens is applied at a young age, it ultimately shapes the surrounding world and encourages grit and determination.

To teach entrepreneurial thinking, it is important to encourage tactical steps and build a firm foundation through example. And there are three key components to focus on: imagination, prioritization, and resilience. Imagination is where creativity begins. It is the ability to take what is at hand and believe that, by thinking outside the box, it can be better By encouraging imaginative thinking, children learn to find unique solutions and explore fields that require a more creative outlook. Tactical steps to teaching this include artistic activities, problem solving games, and decision-making scenarios.

Prioritization is the first step in time management and productivity. By teaching children to prioritize, they learn valuation, project management, efficiency, and decision-making. These are all worthwhile skills that will prove invaluable in any child's future personal and professional life. To teach prioritization, we should focus on collaborating to create schedules, providing more decision-making opportunities, and encouraging delayed gratification.

Resilience is perhaps one of the most important skills to teach early in life, as it is what can make or break success. Being resilient means getting up after you've been knocked down, not taking "no" for an answer, and, ultimately, believing in yourself even when you fail. Resilience allows us to work for a better future, even if that means staying in a hard place and staying where there is tension. Teaching this foundational skill involves showing children how to believe in themselves, and there are various tactical ways to teach resilience, including encouraging positivity and reinforcing self-esteem.

In my work at GEMS World Academy in Dubai, the aim is to bring out children's entrepreneurial spirit, so they know that starting a business is an option for them in the future. And when they do, they will be able to draw on a foundation of skills and mental preparedness for the journey ahead. From fostering imaginative thinking, to encouraging prioritization, to giving kids reason to believe in themselves, it is never too early to teach entrepreneurship. Learning entrepreneurial thinking and how to see things through this lens gives license to creativity, an innovative mindset, and, ultimately, future success in career and life.

Related: Three Reasons Why It's Good To Teach Entrepreneurial Thinking At A Young Age

Helen Al Uzaizi

CEO, BizWorld Middle East, and founder, Future Entrepreneurs

Helen Al-Uzaizi is the CEO of BizWorld Middle East, the region's leading entrepreneurship program for kids. She is also the founder of Future Entrepreneurs, an entrepreneurship education platform for the MENA region.

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