Connect to Us LinkedIn Youtube RSS

Aruba, March 31, 2014 - Even as they await the coming of spring, the students at Middle River Consolidated School on Cape Breton Island, N.S., are already looking forward to autumn. That’s when they plan to set up a market on school grounds and sell the produce from their vegetable garden.
“We’ve sold our produce before, at the market in town and to a local restaurant that bought three-quarters of our harvest last year,” says Donna Anton-Mulley, a teacher at Middle River, which has 24 students aged five to 12 years who are in mixed-grade classes. “This year our plan is have a market at our school in October after we harvest and have the public come to us.”

It’s a long way from the lemonade stand that has given many generations their first taste of entrepreneurship. But for today’s young Canadians, the fundamental lesson is the same whether they're selling citrus beverages in front of their house or kale at a farmer’s market: entrepreneurship is essential.

“It’s important to everybody, even for people who aren't interested in running their own business,” says David Valliere, chair of the entrepreneurship and strategy department at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto. “Given how the economy has changed and the uncertainty of the job market, entrepreneurship is something we should be teaching at an early age.”

Many schools today clearly ascribe to this wisdom. Some are teaching entrepreneurship as part of their province’s course curriculum. In Ontario, for instance, high school students can choose to learn about entrepreneurship as part of “specialist high skills major” business studies courses. One school, Allan A. Martin Senior Public School in Mississauga, Ont., even offers an international business and technology stream that includes entrepreneurial studies.