April 17, 2021

A New Way for Young Adults to Gain Real-World Entrepreneurial Experiences

By: ELIstaff

Summer learning slide—the academic regression students experience during the months long break from school—has long been a concern for parents and educators. For instance, the average student loses a month of learning in a typical year, and pandemic-related disruptions have heightened that loss. And, increased social responsibilities, summer jobs, and questions about their future make the Summer learning slide all the more real for young adults.

Summer school is an option for some. However, some high school and college students may not have access to affordable, flexible courses that keep their minds engaged and skills growing. 

One solution is to encourage students to be self-reliant in their ongoing pursuit of knowledge. That way, even when they’re out of school, they’ll continue with self-directed learning. 

Research shows that high-quality summer programs make a difference in stemming learning loss and closing educational and opportunity gaps. As a result, The Entrepreneurial Mindset Initiative is launching an eight-week, online, Entrepreneurial Mindset Boot Camp June 16-Aug. 6

The boot camp is an intensive learning program designed to expose participants ages 14 and older to the fundamental aspects of entrepreneurial thinking while immersing them in real-world entrepreneurial experiences. These young adults will develop entrepreneurial attitudes, behaviors, and skills. Also, they will become creative and critical thinkers who can identify and solve problems, mobilize resources, and make things happen when the path is not well defined.

Because ELI defines entrepreneurship as “the self-directed pursuit of opportunities to create value for others,” this boot camp creates a powerful incentive to learn for all young adults, whether or not they are interested in starting or growing their own business. 

By creating value for others, entrepreneurs empower themselves

Using the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program as a guide, participants will self-organize into small teams to identify and solve problems within highly ambitious, resource-constrained environments. Gary Schoeniger, Founder and CEO of ELI, and Linden Dalecki, Associate Professor of Marketing at Pittsburg State University, will facilitate the learning. 

Learning how to think like an entrepreneur can be a transformational experience. It offers new perspectives that expose opportunities, ignite ambition, and develop creativity and critical thinking.

The boot camp fosters the resilience and resourcefulness essential for anyone to adapt and thrive in today’s rapidly changing world. It inspires participants through guest lecturers who share their expertise via guidance, mentoring, and other support. 

Through hands-on activities, participants:

  • Learn to identify and evaluate opportunities.
  • Explore the mindset and methods that enable entrepreneurs to mobilize resources and make things happen.
  • Understand the value of knowledge, self-directed learning, and the scientific method.
  • Develop financial literacy and resourcefulness, which enable them to start where they are and leverage what they have.
  • Create knowledge networks and self-organized learning communities.
  • Expand their leadership skills and prepare to adapt and thrive in today’s increasingly complex world. 

A flexible opportunity for growth-oriented young adults

The eight-week course is in a blended delivery format, with synchronous online sessions from 1-2:30 p.m. ET three times per week. In addition, participants will engage in small group projects, individual assignments, discussion forums, and recorded lectures. Also, they will gain access to course material that includes reading and videos. The minimum time commitment is 10 hours per week. 

In conclusion, enrollment is now open for participants from around the world! The summer session starts June 16 and ends Aug. 6, and a detailed explanation of program requirements and the weekly schedule is available online. The final week includes group project presentations. 

Tackling the boot camp may push some participants outside their comfort zone. But, that is the perfect preparation for embarking on a journey to foster the entrepreneurial mindset. 

“A lot of people are afraid to start stuff because they feel like they’re not ready,” said high school student Matthew B., “but the Ice House course showed that it’s a long journey, and there will be things that don’t go your way – it’s all about how you respond.”

If you or someone you know is interested, check out the registration page here.