The best way to learn? By doing.
I’ve taught at Saskatchewan Polytech for the past four years. I’ve taught Marketing, Digital Marketing, and my favourite class to teach, Entrepreneurship. It’s my favourite because we actually start a company and the students experience Entrepreneurship first hand. They can’t just read a book a bunch of times, remember it better than everyone else and ace a test, no no, this class is much more difficult than that.
From the book the Mastery, throughout the history of civilization the best way to learn anything in this world is by doing it. Apprenticeship is the long forgotten method of learning how to do almost anything in our world. But instead of making student apprentice in a subject, we make them learn all the theory of the subject. The problem happens when you engage the theory in the real world and a different result happens. What do you do when what you’ve been told will work 100% of the time fails? What an amazing learning outcome.
Failure is a part of life and when you do something like launch a company you experience a lot of failure. These end up being the best learning moments in
the classroom life.
Our ancestors decades ago didn’t have the luxury of libraries, schools and teachers, they learned anything by doing it.
Enter Entrepreneurship 2.0.
In my Entrepreneurship class we start a company. We don’t Uplifting T-shirts, Free Hugs T-shirts, and this year we did MisMatched Mittens.
Born out of an idea from Junior Achievement(JA) in our city. JA in the high school curriculum has students creating a company as a team and actually taking a product to market. What a novel idea, experiencing entrepreneurship instead of learning about it.
So Uplifting T-shirts was the first project. Supporting a local organization who came and presented to our class on “Social Enterprise”. Tyler Gray from Carmichael Outreach talked about the importance of business creation and job creation to get our community out of the cycle of poverty.
The idea of Uplifting T-shirts revolved around donating all proceeds to Carmichael. 60 T-shirts were printed with the slogan across the chest which read
“Kindness is Contagious
Pass it on”
We sold them for $28 a piece. 60 t-shirts were sold in Seven days and the students raised $1,000 for Carmichael Outreach. Pretty cool outcome for a class of only Five students.
Next was a similar idea for a “Free Hugs” campaign. This was done by our Digital Marketing class and it was a Summer semester so we never did get to finish selling the t-shirts. I may or many not even have one lying around if you’re interested!
We got come press about this one!
Finally MisMatched Mittens was the 2016 Entrepreneurship project. This time profits going to the Redcross Anti Bullying campaign. “These mitts are different and they don’t care, do you?” read the tag the students hired Articulate Ink here in Regina to create. They sold 89 pairs of Mitts at $15 a pair. After expenses the class ended up donating $870 to the Anti Bullying campaign. How awesome!
I believe the learning outcomes are much more concrete when you experience Entrepreneurship.