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5 Ways in 5 Days: Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) provides a great opportunity for educators to bring real-world experiences and lessons into the classroom. This year, Mik Love and Matt Silverthorne, both members of the YE Training & Curriculum Team, are excited to share five ways in five days for educators to easily make GEW themes and ideas into fun lesson plans. GEW is November 12 through 18, so jump in and start planning. 

Day 1: 10 Economic Principles & Cultural Diversity
Matt Silverthorne didn’t hesitate to suggest a discussion on the 10 Economic Principles as the perfect way to kick-off Global Entrepreneurship Week. In tandem with our Foundational Values, these principles are the platform for success in economics. Matt suggests that they are critical for students to grasp if they want to understand not only how business is conducted in the United States, but around the globe as well. “We do look at economic systems in YE and we are constantly looking at what market signals might look like globally and how they might be different,” Matt says. “Encouraging students to review the 10 Economic Principles alongside the Foundational Value of “Be Principled” encourages conversations about soft skills in addition to cultural diversity, acceptance and understanding of how different cultures interact.” Through YE Academy, educators can access a Powerpoint Presentation on the 10 Economic Principles to be shown in class in addition to reviewing a variety of videos that speak to why these principles are so important. Educators can also get tips on the best ways to teach them, here

Day 2: BMC & Shark Tank Review 

The Business Model Canvas, commonly referred to as the BMC, is a powerful tool to jumpstart the entrepreneurial process. In fact, the BMC presents a multitude of opportunities to explore the themes and ideas of GEW. Mik Love thinks dissecting an episode of Shark Tank is a great way to utilize the BMC. He tells us that educators can create a win-win here because students love the show and they can pull great examples from it while completing a segment of or the entire BMC. “I really like the idea of having students evaluate a Shark Tank episode using the BMC because not every pitch is perfect, there are often major elements missing,” he says. “The investors may be wanting more info, or it may be clear the contestants haven’t thought everything out, and as students prepare for Market Day they can ask themselves ‘What elements am I missing?’” But what about students who have already gone through the Market Day experience?. “For students who have already completed their Market Day experience, watching an episode of Shark Tank gives them a great opportunity to discuss what they could have done better,” Mik says, “and that gives educators another opportunity to reiterate that they are always a work in progress.” 

Check out the resources available for utilizing the BMC

Day 3: Play Boneyard 

Getting students comfortable with the idea of entrepreneurism is what YE is all about. During Global Entrepreneurship Week, educators can go a step further and help students get comfortable with the idea of being entrepreneurs in the global economy. Part of that involves helping students understand how other countries deal with trade. For Matt Silverthrone, the game of Boneyard provides an ideal opportunity for this discussion. The Boneyard experience teaches students about communication and competition through a team-based, market simulation that is based on trade. Because students break into groups, Matt sees the perfect tie-in for GEW if educators encourage each group to represent a different country. “This opens up a great discussion on the Foundational Value of Freedom, and understanding that students have the freedom to behave how they want when it comes to trade” Matt says. “What is so powerful about that, is that the game brings in an emotional element, an ah-ha moment for students as they realize sometimes negative behaviors come out in the game and maybe they are taking part in that.” Following the game, Matt encourages educators to have an open and honest discussion on the behavior of each “country” and what that might mean for how business is conducted on a global scale.  

Check out a list of resources available to educators on setting up for and playing Boneyard, here

Day 4: Discussing the Foundational Value of Win-Win through the game of Paper Airplanes 

For Mik Love, the game of Paper Airplanes fits perfectly into the theme of Global Entrepreneurship Week because it provides an opportunity for educators to discuss failure with students. “I love the idea of introducing students to the game because it is such a great opportunity for discussing failure,” Mik says. “Anytime we can bring ourselves to the level of students and help them get comfortable with the idea that failure is ok, it’s an opportunity for them to learn and grow.”  In the game of Paper Airplanes, students conduct a hands-on activity that engages them entrepreneurially. Using small groups, students learn to manage the challenges of scarcity, risk and a high potential for failure - skills that are definitely needed to be successful on a global scale. 

Here’s how to get started playing Paper Airplanes

Day 5: Discuss Black Panther 

Incorporating trending movies into classroom discussions is a lot of fun and provides an exciting way to learn, so why not use a recent blockbuster to drive home important themes of entrepreneurism in the global economy? For Mik Love, there is no better movie to discuss global entrepreneurism than Black Panther, especially for its focus on knowledge-sharing. “Wow, there are so many Foundational Values that can be dissected from this film and so many subplots to the story that speak directly to global entrepreneurs, especially when we talk about Knowledge,” Mik says. “Wakanda had all this incredible technology and this wealth of knowledge and a wealth of fear, so it opens an area for discussion on how many countries are fearful in the global economy and how knowledge can and should be shared.” Mik thinks that many students who have seen the film haven’t really thought about how the many themes of the film relate to entrepreneurism, so he really likes the idea of dissecting it for the many avenues of discussion it opens up. 

Looking at the week ahead, the opportunities for engaging students around the ideas of global entrepreneurism are vast. As members of YE’s Training & Curriculum Team, Matt and Mik advise that discussing the global economy shouldn’t be limited to one single week. That being said, both agree that this week, in particular, does present a unique opportunity to educators to really focus in on activities that help students expand their horizons and think beyond the four- walls of the classroom. 

Make sure to visit YE’s Facebook throughout the week for exciting prize giveaways that could make these classroom activities even easier to do, and to see what YE is up to during GEW.

Visit the Global Entrepreneurship Week page to learn more and how you can get involved.