How to Support Future Entrepreneurs

The workforce is rapidly changing due to technology and globalization. The jobs of tomorrow will either be entrepreneurial directly or involve entrepreneur-like thinking. Securing a safe job at a big company after college is no longer a guarantee. Unfortunately, many students graduate with plenty of debt. How can you support the future entrepreneurs of society?

Divergent thinking is critical for entrepreneurship. It’s a thought process where creative ideas are generated by looking at a tremendous amount of solutions. Entrepreneurs usually have no guidelines to go by and will have to use plenty of creative thinking. Have an informal discussion with your kids. Every day, ask them open-ended questions and listen closely to their response. Encourage problem-solving and share ideas on politics, technology, and culture. When there’s a learning experience, try to build on it.

You can instill some great behavior in your kids. Encourage them to ask deep questions and to research the possible answers. Ask them to pay attention to everyday life. If there’s a pressing issue, examine how they’d resolve the problem.

Try to make your dinner table or house a “safe zone” for ideas. Entertain any idea, no matter how crazy and don’t criticize or make fun of anyone.

When your kids get old enough, begin to challenge their ideas. If they think homelessness can be solved by giving out free housing, ask them where the money would come from. Try to encourage leadership. You can have them handle projects around the house. Find out what they are naturally interested in and try to encourage their curiosities. Try to avoid managing them directly.

Entrepreneurs fail a lot. In fact, it’s fairly unrealistic to expect their first venture to be a success. Many entrepreneurs work for many years before having their first major success. Try to condition your kids for the long game. Encourage them to utilize tools like GoFundMe, and see if they can find support through peers and like minded individuals. When they have their first failures in life, tell them how to get back up. Self-reflection can be a great tool. In time, they will learn to move on. Learning to deal with failure is not just important for entrepreneurship. It’s also important for growing self-confidence and possessing a healthy mindset for life.

Lastly, you’ll probably want to educate your kids in personal finance. Entrepreneurs have to save to fund their ventures and have an emergency fund in case their business fails. Unfortunately, schools these days don’t do an effective job at teaching financial literacy. When your kids are of a certain age, start buying them personal finance books. You might want to make a matching contribution for the amount they save monthly.

Entrepreneurship is quite a journey. You can prepare your kids when they are young by following these strategies.

Yasmin Bashirova lives and works in San Francisco, CA as a software engineer. Read more about her at yasminbashirova.net