The Learning Partnership,
 

The Learning Partnership’s Entrepreneurial Adventure program unleashes students’ enterprising spirit.

About Entrepreneurial Adventure

Entrepreneurial Adventure (EA) pairs teachers and business partner volunteers to help students develop innovative ventures, from concept to launch. EA is designed to develop students’ enterprising spirit by teaching essential 21st century skills, including financial literacy, innovative thinking, collaboration, oral presentation skills, marketing approaches and social responsibility.  It is a hands-on entrepreneurial journey for students in Primary to Grade 12, which takes place right in the classroom. Proceeds from the ventures are donated to local, national and international charities.

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Students from Rocky Lake Junior High 704 class along with their business partner display their EA project – bath bombs.

Business volunteers play a key role in the success of the program. In collaboration with the classroom teacher the business partner works with students from January through May to help them build and implement a successful venture.  In this changing labour market, it is vitally important to give students an early opportunity to develop an entrepreneurial spirit and help them create their own future.

J.K. MacAdam, a commercial community analyst with the Atlantic Provinces Division of BMO, volunteers weekly in a Grade 6 class at Ridgecliff Middle School in Beechville.  J.K. is astounded by the energy of students embarking on their first EA Venture.  “The class was amazing yesterday,” he said. “They picked their shortlist of business ideas by doing a 4P analysis to make sure it can work. The kids have so many ideas and are always thinking one step ahead.”  Together with teacher Paul Myatt, J.K. is working directly with students as they learn about how to analyze ideas to raise funds, develop a real business plan and how to work as a successful team.

Currently all 11 classes participating in EA have been paired with business partners from BMO, although the opportunity to become involved is extended to any current or retired business person from the local community.

EA’s Value to Nova Scotia

Education Minister Karen Casey released Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for Education in January 2015.  The plan speaks to the need for students to have entrepreneurial experiences as part of their education. There appears to be a clear fit between EA and the province’s action plan.  Minister Casey states that Education cannot do it alone and that we must promote relationships with other stakeholders in our communities. She invites our business leaders to come forward with their knowledge, skills, technologies, and, most of all, their willingness to support and assist young Nova Scotians.  The action plan cites a recent survey that shows only 12 percent of Nova Scotia’s students envision themselves as future entrepreneurs.  We need to encourage more students to consider entrepreneurship as an attractive career choice says Minister Casey.” In order to foster this shift in thinking, business and education must work together to provide students with more opportunities to learn about the world of business. By enabling our students to gain access to the experience and expertise of local business operators, we can encourage the development of the attributes of successful entrepreneurs, such as innovation, creativity, problem-solving skills, personal initiative, and teamwork.”

How the Halifax Business Community Can Get Involved in EA

Halifax-area students currently involved in EA will participate in an Entrepreneurial Showcase at Sunnyside Mall, Bedford, from 6-8 p.m. on May 26th.  Everyone is invited to this free, public event to see the next generation of entrepreneurs in action.

Entrepreneurial Adventure is one program of The Learning Partnership, a national charity dedicated to building stakeholder partnerships to support, promote and advance publicly funded education in Canada.  Since 1993, more than 6.1 million Canadian students have participated in The Learning Partnership’s programs.

To learn more about The Learning Partnership and Entrepreneurial Adventure visit the website at http://www.thelearningpartnership.ca.   A celebration of how business, innovation, leadership and public education are coming together will be take place at a luncheon on June 8th in support of TLP programming in Nova Scotia.  Honourees include Dr. Stan Kutcher, Rod McCulloch and Gerry Walsh.   For more information, contact Kate Skipton at kskipton@thelearningpartnership.ca or 1-416-440-5105.

To express an interest in volunteering at a Halifax School for the 2016-17 school year please contact Halifax EA Program Manager, Carmelita Rowe at crowe@thelearningpartnership.ca.