Clive Lucking on the importance of entrepreneurial skills
Fourfront Group CEO, Clive Lucking talks about why it is essential to start developing entrepreneurial skills in school to successfully prepare children for the future of work.
I believe that people are at the heart of any workplace and quickly realised the importance of having a number of people initiatives to support employees. This is the vision of Fourfront Group, to be the leading, globally-connected workplace creator.
One that is very close to my heart is NextGen, a programme designed to identify and develop the talent of those aged 30 and under within Fourfront Group. Along with accelerating career progression, NextGen creates a platform for innovation and allows young talent to feed their ideas and energy into the business. I do believe that if you want to start a business or be an entrepreneur then you can never start too early. This was the reason behind my interest in the Grant Thornton School Enterprise Programme.
Programmes such as these are essential in teaching the next generation how to be entrepreneurial, taking what they learn from their subjects in school and applying it. It’s a different mindset, creatively communicating and utilising their knowledge from several different subjects at the same time is what makes a successful business leader.
Schools are limited at times with their ability to inspire; typically, the curriculum’s emphasis is on remembering facts rather than applying knowledge. For example, in maths class rather than simply remembering calculations it’s important children learn how to apply them to real life situations. You need to know your profit margin if you’re going to sell a product or service and understand the concept between profit, loss and mark ups.
The School Enterprise Programme facilitates upskilling and fosters the financial and entrepreneurial skills children need to grow a business mindset. By giving Year 7 and 8 students the opportunity to create their own microbusiness, they gain hands-on real-life experience of what is involved in bringing an idea to life.
As business leaders we have a responsibility to share our experiences and highlight that through motivation, resilience and the ability to accept that at times there will be failure.
The work done during programmes such as these further supports the future of our global economy. There was such a variety of amazing ideas put forwards by the children at St. Michael’s during our session, all of which had real mileage. You could have easily built a business plan around any one of them.
I was encouraged by the diversity, innovative ideas and the unbridled energy of all those involved. It is a mutually beneficial experience in that we help inspire them, but they in turn inspire us through their unrestricted thinking. As we get older we find lots of reasons not to do something or pursue an idea, however when you’re 12 years old there are no barriers.
The collaboration between those involved at the event was what made it and will continue to make it a successful project. Whether it was volunteers, staff, pupils or Grant Thornton employees, everyone came together to form a solid team that facilitated a fun and interactive day of learning.
I would definitely encourage other business leaders to get involved with the Grant Thornton School Enterprise Programme and help to shape the future generation of entrepreneurs today.
To find out more about Fourfront Group visit the site here.